Vintage Burmese Kalaga, Ca late 1900’s, # 964
CulturalPatina maintains a large shop on Etsy with over 800 Museum quality products and original art. Our focus is primarily on American Western art, but we also have a sizable collection on Naga beadwork and textiles, along with other tribal from around the world. Clicking on the ‘Shop on Etsy’ button will take you to that section of our shop where you can see similar works. If this item has sold, you should be able to find something else of the same quality and price range.
#964. Vintage Burmese Kalaga, Ca late 1900’s. Beautiful tapestry inside frame, without glass.
Dimensions: 46” x 28” inside frame, including frame is 50” x 32”
Condition: Very good for age, with only a few missing beads, bronze sequins all in tack.
Provenance: Smith Estate, Howell MI
Background Info on Kalaga’s follow:
Kalaga (Burmese) is a heavily embroidered appliqué
tapestry made of silk, flannel, felt, wool and lace against a background made of cotton or velvet indigenous to Burma (Myanmar). The word kalaga, which means “curtain,” comes from the Burmese language, although Burmese refer to such tapestries as shwe gyi do; lit. “gold thread embroidery”).
These tapestries use a sewing technique called shwe gyi 
This art form emerged during the Konbaung dynasty in the mid-19th century and reached its zenith during the reign of Mindon Min, when velvet became fashionable at the royal court.
In a typical tapestry, padded figures are cut from various types of cloth and sewn onto a background, usually red or black cloth to form an elaborate scene, traditionally from Burmese classical plays (e.g. Ramayana, Jataka).
The figures are sewn using a combination of metallic and plain threads and adorned with sequins, beads and glass stones.
1. a b Mukharji, T. N. (1888). Art-manufactures of India. Superintendent of Government Printing, India. pp. 387–388.
2.”Journal of Burma Studies – Volume 16.1″. Northern Illinois University. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
3. Fraser-Lu, Sylvia (1994). Burmese Crafts: Past and Present. Oxford University Press. p. 265. ISBN 9780195886085.
4. Falconer, John; Luca Invernizzi (2000). Burmese Design and Architecture. Tuttle Publishing. pp. 194–195. ISBN 9789625938820.
5. Leslie, Catherine Amoroso (2007). Needlework Through History. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 121. ISBN 9780313335488.
6. Jump up to:a b “More information about Burmese Kalagas”. SiamTraders.com. 2001. Retrieved 6 October 2013.(Source: Wikipedia)
You can actually see how they are made here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiCQu_v83ek
“Kalaga” is the traditional name for embroidered tapestries from Myanmar (Burma). This style comes from the Mandalay region and the tradition goes back more than a century.
They are generally made from linen, silk, velvet and cotton adorned with plain and metallic threads, metal sequins, beads and glass “stones.”
Kalagas commonly depict stories from the Jataka (Buddha’s journey towards enlightenment) and the Ramayana (Hindu epic Journey of King Rama) as well as historical scenes, lucky animals and signs of the zodiac. Like the decorations you might see in an ornate Burmese temple, Kalagas are awash in colorful and shiny details.
Most Kalagas are best hung in a frame but not under glass so that the detail and texture can be fully appreciated. They can also be hung as-is without a frame. (Source: Siam Traders)
I have had a passion for collecting all things beautiful and unique my entire life and would like to share these items with others having a similar interest. I have representative items from the American South West, Asia, Central and South America, East Africa and Nagaland in North Eastern India. I strive to offer the best items that I have collected or can find for sale from numerous sources to the discriminating collector of unique cultural items from each of these areas of the world. My primary interest is in pottery, textiles, bronze sculptures, and extraordinary pieces of adornment. All sales are via the internet only. Products from my shop here on Artizan Made link over to my shop on Etsy.