A hand-embroidered Pashtun nomad purse from Katawaz (Ghazni province) with blue glass beads. Blue beads are considered amulets against the evil eye. Pashtun women, whether settled or nomadic, love rich and beautiful embroideries that shine. Women embroider - for themselves, on their festive costumes and headgear - and for their children and their husbands. Women embroider, not only from pleasure and duty, but equally as a statement of their value and of their love for their husband and children. Traditionally, girls in Afghanistan were taught to embroider from about the age of seven, first following their mother and then other local women.
This piece measures 6 x 11¼ inches (15.2 x 28.6 cm) when fully opened and features gold couching and whorl-like designs in herringbone stitch on a red silk background. It is estimated to be about 40 years old.