This is an old prayer cloth from central Afghanistan measuring 35.7 x 35.7 cm. The embroidery technique is satin stitch in silk thread intricately worked on a fine cotton linen ground. These cloths are unique to the Hazara and used to protect the prayer stone from Kerbala, Iraq, which is a holy city of pilgrimmage to the Hazara and other Shi'ite Muslims. The terra cotta prayer stones depict the mosque and minarets of Kerbala and are traditionally brought back by pilgrims to be used during prayer, where the stone is placed on a small square on the cloth which the man touches with his forehead.
The textile is in good condition but has some fading due to its age (early to mid 20th century).