Parasol in India

Allen W Thrasher athr at LOC.GOV
Wed Nov 24 16:12:16 UTC 1999

A computer search turned up the following two titles which I have examined:

LC Control Number:       75484019 
Type of Material:        Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
Personal Name:           Crawford, T. S.
Main Title:              A history of the umbrella.
Published/Created:       Newton Abbot, David & Charles, 1970.
Description:             220 p. illus., facsim. 23 cm.
ISBN:                    0715347993
Notes:                   Includes bibliographical references.
Subjects:                Umbrellas and parasols--History.
LC Classification:       GT2210 .C7 1970b
Dewey Class No.:         391/.44
National Bib. No.:       B70-08813
CALL NUMBER:             GT2210 .C7 1970b

LC Control Number:       92164145 
Type of Material:        Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
Personal Name:           Weber, Marga.
Main Title:              Baldachine und Statuenschreine / Marga Weber.
Published/Created:       Roma : G. Bretschneider Editore, 1990.
Description:             xviii, 259 p., [58] p. of plates : ill. ; 30 cm.
ISBN:                    887689036X
Notes:                   Slight revision of the author's thesis (doctoral)--Universität
Frankfurt am Main, 1982.
                         Includes bibliographical references (p. xvii-xviii) and index.
Subjects:                Baldachins (Architecture)--History.
                         Baldachins (Architecture) in art--Catalogs.
                         Umbrellas and parasols--History.
                         Umbrellas and parasols in art--Catalogs.
Series:                  Archaeologica, 0391-9293 ; 87
LC Classification:       NA5062 .W43 1990
CALL NUMBER:             NA5062 .W43 1990

Both are scholarly, have bibliography,  although the Weber is heavier than the Crawford title.  The Crawford title discusses the umbrella and parasol in India and Greater India.  Weber discusses both sunshades (with a single pole) and canopies (with 2, 4, or more poles) as belonging to both human dignitaries and divinities.  The parasol of honor was clearly in use in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Achemenian Persia.

If one wants to investigate the parasol's use in India prior to currently readable written records one should look at the Harappan Culture seals to see if they show anything like it. Even the use of baldachins/canopies for gods might show that protection from the sun was reserved for some for honor and not allowed to all for convenience and comfort.

Allen Thrasher


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