A motif used in textiles in the shape of the sun, in forms such as concentric circles or with serrated rays, the sunburst motif carries with it the iconographic associations of the sun with auspiciousness and vitality, along with an emphasis on luminosity. The pattern due to its rarity and distinctive form was also known as the matahari motif.
The medallion had a significant presence on trade textiles, found as early as the thirteenth century in Indonesia. In these textiles produced in Gujarat through block-printing and resist-dyeing, the medallion would be enlarged and centred, surrounded by tiny floral motifs and maroon and indigo borders. Presently, it is a popular feature in textiles such as kanjivarams, ikat, phulkari and kantha, where it is either embroidered or printed. Besides cloth works, the motif is also present in Tibetan khabdans and Kashmiri kaleens.
“Ceremonial textile with sunburst (matahari) design.” Museum of Art and Photography, Google Arts and Culture. Accessed, September 13, 2021. https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/_/LQERU3w2nQF8Sw
Veenu, Charu Katare, and Renu Bala Sharma. “Symbolic Motifs in Traditional Indian Textiles and Embroideries.” International Journal of Research in Economics and Social Sciences, vol. 6, issue 3. March 2016.