Border Motifs of Kantha

Border Motifs of Nakshi Kantha

Rich Bengali cultural identity is shared by the people of West Bengal thorough these Border Motifs. The borders of the Nakshi Kantha effectively provide a vast treasure of folk art and one can only marvel at the skill and the wealth of the imagination of the creators, Bengali women workers.

In West Bengal, there seems to be a preference for flowers motifs in Borders. A four inches wide border can be seen in the Kanthas made in the North 24 Parganas of West Bengal.In Paar Kantha design, different types of paar border are used to cover the whole length, positioned longitudinally along the entire surface.

The Kanthas of Sherpur enjoy a wide range of borders, the motifs include

  • Shankha (conch shell) Motif,
  • The Shalpa ( a kind of water plant ) Motif,
  • Videshi chokh (foreigners’ eyes) Motif,
  • Paisa (coin) Motif and
  • Maacher kanta  Motif.

The swastika symbol (symbolizing welfare in Sanskrit ) is was also popularly used.

Border Motif Designs of Various Districts.

Discrict Specific Kantha Borders Motifs.

Shibganj : Hilsa sliced, Vegetables shaped motif borders.

Boalkhali : Paddy Sheaves, Kachu leaves shaped borders.

Jamalpur : Eyes, Stars, Moon and Star, Cycle, Paddy, Fish Bone, Waves, IVW Shaped motifs.

Rangpur : Designs are of scorpion, Chock ( eye), ladder, cycle.

Kurigram :  Trident, Pineapple.

Chittagong: Paddy sheaves.

Bagura : Ants, Waves, Hilsa Fish, chokh, bamboo leaves etc.

Savar : Kalmilata, Sankha.

Kusthia : Vegetables, barfi S, Shapla, ladder, triangle, waves etc.

Jessore : Ladder, bamboo, Vegetables, snails, fishbone, honeycomb,Rows ants, Sliced coconut, ladder, people enjoying boat rides, playing cards, buildings.

Bera village : Barfi, Full moon shaped Border Motifs.

Meherpur : Mocha, Fish bones, Fish scales, Coconut leaves Betal leaves.

Gangni : Ants, Flies, Pineapple, Tooth, Frogs etc.

Manikgunge : Champa flower, fly, rows of ants, mosque.

Sherpur  : Five fingers, Star, Conch Shell, Chain, Paddy Sheaves, Fish, Fish bone, S Shaped Motifs.

Singra : Necklace, olives, Lace.

Bagura : Dhanchari, Nadialata, Shamukmuri,.

Faridpur : Tooth, Ribbons, Spider, Sea Waves, Betel Leaves, Ants, Bracelet, Marigold, Flower, The barfi sweet of Bengal.

Muktagacha : Chokh, Kalmi.

The Pabna Kanthas are made with slightly thicker threads. The most common varieties are baton, bochka and sujni.

In Jamalpur where the two alphabets are woven side by side ‘I’ V ‘ along the borders. Similarly there is the border with ‘W’ shaped motif. The exact reason why these designs were used in unknown.