June, 2020


Premaben Versinh Dangera (Maheshwari)

Nani Khakhar, Kutch, Gujarat
77.5 x 47 inches Gift of the Robert and Ardis James Foundation

Premaben Versinh Dangera (Maheshwari) began her quiltmaking career by imitating traditional styles and patterns from her community in Nani Khakhar, Kutch, which is located in Gujarat, India. Eventually, she began to improvise, like with the piece you see here. Her variation on the laheria  or “waves” pattern seen is rendered in thin strips rather than the more common pieced squares.

According to Permaben, her approach to quiltmaking was not widely admired in her village. “The people in the village made fun of me,” she said. She stopped showing her work to others, but continued to make quilts.

“We were so enthusiastic about Permaben’s non-traditional quilts that she continued to bring out all of them to show us,” said researchers Patricia Stoddard and Martha Wallace. “As we left, there was a tear in her husband’s eye. We assumed it was because his wife received so much appreciation from us, and some of her work would now go to an American museum."

This quilt previously appeared in our 2019 exhibition “Collecting and Recollecting: Contemporary Quilts in Western India.”