Dame Madi Hita
Dame Madi Hita
Dame Madi Hita is an amazingly fun and very unique one-of-a-kind pillow. Patch work embroidery from the Sindh District of Pakistan in pinks and black pair well with the colorful hand woven pink fabric, embellished with rows of bead work and fringe from the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. In any setting, this pillow is definitely a conversation piece.
19” x 19” (48 cm x 48 cm)
Front - cotton
Back - linen, in black
Down feather pillow insert
Fabric origins: Pakistan, Indonesia
This one-of-a-kind pillow is a real treasure celebrating the traditional handiwork of women in Pakistan and the women from the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. These pieces tell a wonderful story.
The Pakistani embroiderers are women from the remote areas of the province of Sindh. Pieces of recycled fabric are embroidered, embellished, and hand stitched. Mirror work, or shisha, is added for that extra sparkle and held in place with crochet stitches. When not tending the fields or harvesting crops, the women embroider in a group, sitting together side-by-side on the floor. Embroidery is a mark of pride for the Sindhi culture. Whoever makes the better embroidery is respected for her craftsmanship. A wedding is not considered complete without these embroideries given as a dowry to the bride. My friend, Fahad, sends me the embroidery. His organization, Dominion Traders, has been a long-time partner of Serrv International. Unfortunately, I had to cancel several work trips to Pakistan due to U.S. State Department travel advisories. Someday I will meet these women and Fahad!
The colorful hand woven and beaded fabric on the right is from a shoulder cloth made by the Batak women who live on the island of Sumatra. “Dame Madi Hita” is Batak language and refers to a blessing bestowed by the giver to the recipient. The Batak Ulos cloths are ritually used to express affection and sincerity between people as a means to strengthen social and family bonds. The bold diamond and floral pattern is known as “Rasta” and is achieved using a supplemental weft technique. The fabric is highlighted with gold metallic threads and the occasional white beads. The black, white, and red beaded trim and warp fringe came from the end of the cloth. As the trim was quite long, I continued to attach it to the back of the pillow and embellished both ends of the trim with the original bright orange and yellow pompoms. I found this cloth in a thrift store and was fascinated by its uniqueness. Woven into the fabric was Dame Madi Hita which was the clue I needed to research this beautiful piece.