baby carrier from Huangping county, Guizhou province, in the collection
of Andrew Dudley. It was purchased in 2003 in Kaili and is probably mid
20th century. Note the three types of bird across the top of the carrier
and two bats drawn in the wax resist in the outer triangles. This piece
was posted by Andrew in response to an enquiry about motifs in Ge Jia
wax resist. As Andrew commented, "people seem to resort to traditional
Han patterns to explain minority patterns of uncertain design, meaning
and origin. Thus, unidentifiable winged creatures are often explained
away as bats (in Chinese, bat is bian fu and fu means
rich, wealthy and abundant, so the bat has become an auspicious symbol)".
"Some Ge Jia women/family groups say categorically there are no bats
in their pattern repertoire, only different types of birds varying in
their levels of abstraction, whilst others say there are not only birds
and bats, but also frogs, snails, butterflies etc. and other, long forgotten
types of animals. I tend to go along with the idea there are more than
just birds represented in Ge Jia batik."