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Khami, Khumi, Mru and Sunghtu, southern Chin groups - Bangladesh and Myanmar

A Khumi tube skirt in Olivier Tallec's collection

image © Olivier Tallec

A very fine Khumi textile in Olivier Tallec's collection.  He refers to page 152 in Michael Howard's book 'Hill Tribes of Burma' as showing similar Khumi tubeskirts although the photographs do not show enough detail to show the very beautiful weaving which Olivier's photo illustrates.  

In The Textile Museum (Washington) Journal 1999-2000 article "Notes from the Field: On the Trail of Khumi, Khami and Mro Textiles" by Deborah Lindsay Garner and Jay Bommer, pages 26-42, there are excellent black and white photos on page p29, figures 5 and 6 (detail) which show "Khumi woman's lower body wrapper (nay na) 96.5 x 44.5 cm" where the weave and beading are almost identical to Olivier's.  On the same page is a photo of a Khumi woman in Paletwa wearing the traditional nay na - figure 7. 

Garner and Bommer describe (page 28) the nay na thus: "Women also wear a short, tubular shirt called nay na, which falls just above the knee (figs 5,  6).  These skirts display tightly controlled single faced weaving with elegant geometric patterns.  The top and bottom edges are ornamented with rows of beaded fringes.  This skirt is secured by a metal or glass beaded belt that is tied in front and sometimes draped gradually down in the back to behind the knee."

Also on page 28 Garner and Bommer describe the Khumi as "mostly hill people who inhabit settlements along streams in the vicinity of the Kaladan River and its tributaries (Mi Chung, Pi Chaung, Sami Chaung) north, northeast, and northwest of the town of Kyauk Taw, with a major concentration in the Paletwa area."  Pages 26 and 27 have maps illustrating location.

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this page last updated 1 January, 2004