Vintage Hazara prayer cloth, hand-embroidered in Central Afghanistan.
The handkerchiefs are hand embroidered using satin and surface satin stitches in by the Hazara people of Central Afghanistan. The cloth is into four sections each featuring a motif reminiscent of hands. Hands are a common motif in this medium and are meant to represent the hands of Abbas, a Shi'a martyr killed in the battle of Karbala in 681 AD. These cloths were intended to hold turbah, a stone that Shi'a Muslims use in prayer.
In good condition, with color fading and some wear. Light handle, consistent with handkerchief weight.