Botni/Cheoni Prayer Mats

Botni/Cheoni Prayer Mats

From Noakhali come the botni prayer mats. Woven by women for their fathers and husbands, these beautifully designed prayer mats are an expression of devotion and skill. Woven diagonally, the variety and profusion of designs are formed in the imagination of the women weavers. As the layout and design is not pre-planned it does not follow a set pattern and often unusual and whimsical designs are created. Restricted within the four walls of their homes, the women weave stylized and imaginative forms of everyday articles, birds and plants. In the botni or cheoni mat the weaving is horizontal, on a vertical warp.

Elaborate pomegranate trees, symbolizing married life are often featured. Verses expressing affection and contentment with married life, motifs of wedding chairs, birds, flowers and mosques are edged with borders of different linear patterns. Geometric designs emerge with striking clarity in this type of woven mat; hence the entire surface area is sometimes embellished with intricate arrangements of fine diamonds, chevrons, triangles and zigzags. Maroon and dark blue natural dyes are used in strands to weave the patterns against the natural golden shade of the background. The charm of the botni lies in its unique patterning.

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