Motifs in Kanjivaram Saris: Mango

The ‘mangaai’ or mango motif is one of the most popular and enduring motifs in traditional Indian design. A fruit that has a firm place in Indian mythology (the young Lord Ganesha and his brother Lord Muruga having contested for it!), the mango has made its presence felt in the Kanjivaram weaving tradition too. From tiny mangoes strung along the sari border to mango ‘buttas’ on the body of the sari or even large mango patterns on the pallu - the mango motif is used in myriad ways. One of the other manifestations of the mango is the colour, best described in vernacular as ‘mambazha' colour - a luscious, auspicious orange/yellow that best represents this king of fruits.

The mango motif is also very beautifully used in other areas: for instance the ‘mangaa’ malai in temple or kemp jewelry and the mango symbol in ‘mehendi’. Well, let’s just say this motif has captured the hearts of womenfolk since time immemorial and will definitely continue to do so. Here’s our salute to a timeless motif.

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