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Sitara Collections

Hand-Embroidered Patchwork Snakes & Ladders Game

$49.99 $79.95


Hand-Embroidered Patchwork Snakes & Ladders Game

Snakes and Ladders is the ultimate game of morality. Earlier called Moksha-Patamu ("heaven and hell") the game originated in India, perhaps as long ago as the 2nd century BC. Some historians believe that the game may be a variation of the ancient game dasapada, also played on a 10x10 grid. A simple race game imbued with overtones of good and evil, sap sidi was presumably used to teach children decent behavior.


  • 100% Pure Cotton with Handbag and handmade leather playing counters.
  • 20.0 inches x 20.0 inches
  • includes storage bag


Cloth versions of games have been stitched since at least the Mogul era. These were often included in a girl's dowry, embellished as opulently as the family could afford. This Sap Sidi (Hindi for Snakes and Ladders) game is hand made by artisans who migrated from the Nagar Parkar region of Dindh to Kutch, a remote desert region of Western India. The board is a mini quilt of vegetable dyed fabric. Highly skilled in fine geometric suf and kharek style embroidery, women of the Nagar Parkar traditionally turn their sense of patterning to patchwork once their eyesight begins to wane.

The counters of this game are hand made by a traditional leather worker, who also migrated from the South. Decorative punching was originally used to embellish the sturdy shoes worn by herders and farmers of the region.

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