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Costume doll

  • Place of origin:

    Varanasi (made)
    Uttar Pradesh (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1867 (made)

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Costume doll representing an Akali Sikh. Unidentified armature and stuffing covered in cotton cloth. Dark blue/black robe (angarkha) trimmed with couched metal-strip and gota (tinsel ribbon). Collar of metal-strip and sequins on orange cotton. Triple strand of metal-wrapped thread around upper body, stitched at left shoulder. Black trousers (paijama). Magenta satin shoes trimmed with metal-strip and black velvet soles. Black cotton turban with two applied strands of seed pearls, with 'chakra' of gota (tinsel ribbon) and metal strip around top-knot. Embroidered eyes, eyebrows, mustache and mouth. Beard and hair of felt with long brushed nap. Earring of large gold-coloured hoops each with two seed pearls and a glass bead. Fingers tipped with red cotton cloth. Flag (now separated) consisting of a bamboo stick wrapped with black cotton cloth and a pennant of black cotton with yellow satin side, trimmed with silver gota (tinsel ribbon); applied trident and flower on one side and crescent moon and red cotton and metal-strip sword on the other, finished with a tassel of black cotton thread and gota in flower shape. Spear (now separated) of bamboo stick wrapped with black cotton cloth, with metal pin inserted at one end.

Place of Origin

Varanasi (made)
Uttar Pradesh (made)


ca. 1867 (made)


Height: 33 cm Doll, Weight: 16 cm doll, Length: 19 cm Flag pole, Width: 20 cm Flag pennant, Length: 28 cm spear

Object history note

Transferred from the India Museum in 1879. Slip book entry 5863: 'Dressed doll / Benares, Bengal / Rs. 6 / 1867 / Original nos 4270 / Costume of a Seikh Gooroo or High Priest / Akalee tribe [sect]'

Descriptive line

Costume doll representing an Akali Sikh man, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, c.1867; Dolls; Textiles


Cotton (textile); Felt; Seed pearls; Tinsel ribbon; Metal strip; Metal-wrapped thread




Parasol Foundation Trust Indian Textiles Cataloguing Project; Dolls; Textiles; India Museum


South & South East Asia Collection

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