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 Post subject: Miao skirt information?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2007 5:10 am
Posts: 2
Location: California
Hello Textile Enthusiasts,

I am a neophyte to textiles; although I have always had an interest in them I've just never had the time to pursue the interest. I recently visited China with my Chinese sister-in-law. It was a whirlwind trip without time for proper research or preparation on my part. There, in the town of Qingyan (about 30-45 minutes south of Guiyang) I saw some fabric and had to have it. It turns out it is a skirt. My sister-in-law said it was Miao, but she had no other information about it, nor did we ask the woman from whom I purchased it.

I discovered tribal textiles.info - what a great site! Please, if someone has some idea of where this skirt came from (Black Miao?), I'd appreciate it immensely.

Perhaps you'll cringe at this, so forgive me, but I want to wear the skirt. (Why keep a Van Gogh locked in a vault? It should be displayed!) How do I care for it?

I'm going to try to attach photos of the skirt and detail images. I'm a newbie at posting to forums, so please forgive if the images aren't great.


Thank you in advance!


-Karen


Attachments:
File comment: The waistband measures 14.5 cm x 119 cm. The pleated material is 55 cm wide. The embroidered border is 15 cm wide. I see evidence of the threads used to secure the pleats while the skirt was drying.
Miao_skirt mostly.jpg
Miao_skirt mostly.jpg [ 58.65 KiB | Viewed 4250 times ]
File comment: underside of the waistband and detail of the tie. Some of the stitching appears to be by machine, most of it is by hand.
Miao_waistband_detail.jpg
Miao_waistband_detail.jpg [ 57.77 KiB | Viewed 4250 times ]
File comment: underside of the skirt showing pleats, seam, and a thread left from securing the drying pleats
Miao_skirt_underside_pleat_detail.jpg
Miao_skirt_underside_pleat_detail.jpg [ 56.85 KiB | Viewed 4250 times ]
File comment: another detail of the border
Miao_skirt border_detail.jpg
Miao_skirt border_detail.jpg [ 59.49 KiB | Viewed 4250 times ]
File comment: a detail of the embroidered border
Miao_skirt_border.jpg
Miao_skirt_border.jpg [ 55.06 KiB | Viewed 4250 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
Karen

Welcome to the forum!

A very nice Miao skirt in the style of those worn in Huangping county in Guizhou. This style is also found in Shibing county and Kaili City. In 'A Picture Album of China's Miao Costume and Ornaments' page 120 the style is referred to as 'Gulong Style' (Gulong is a town in Huangping county). You might like the comment on the skirt (although I not sure that the colours in yours follow the example):
Quote:
"Each skirt of this style needs 16-25 meters of cloth. There are 3 color ribbons on the hem of the skirt. The first is red representing the Yellow River, the second is yellow representing the Yangtze River, and the third is blue or white meaning the Qingsui River. This exhibits the history of their ancestors' immigration from the north."


The women of Huangping are fine embroiderers and also good business women often to be found trading textiles (theirs and other minorities) in Kaili.

How do you care for it. Applying the customs of the Miao as first rule of thumb could point the way. It is a nice skirt in very good condition so would be kept for special festival occasions. They would try not to wear it in the rain (pleats will come out and dyes may run if wet). They would store it rolled up with the pleats kept in place by winding ties around the the rolled skirt. They would avoid washing it.

Congratulations on your photos - good illustrations of the construction of the skirt - and attaching them to the forum - one of our best forum newbies!

Do enjoy your textile - wearing it and also the sheer pleasure of appreciating the skills which have gone into its construction!

best wishes,

PS Thanks for your kind words about the www.tribaltextiles.info main site. I am afraid that I have not been to Huangping county so there are no photos of this style on the site. I do have a child's skirt and jacket in my collection.

_________________
Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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 Post subject: found a similar skirt
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:08 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2007 5:10 am
Posts: 2
Location: California
Hi Pamela,
thanks for your response and the information. I did a lot of poking around on the internet - gee, it can provide a wealth of information. There are quite a few Miao skirts available on ebay. I queried one of the sellers about the care of the skirt. She said to handwash the skirt and to keep it rolled up when not worn.
I did find an online store, "Ethno Echo", which has an outfit with very similar colors to those found on my skirt:

http://www.ethnoecho.com/ethnic/clothin ... gping.html

As you noted, the skirt is from Huangping.

Thank you very much for your help. I think I'll try to learn a bit of Chinese before I head over there next. And now I know to look for terrific textiles!

Cheers!
-Karen


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:55 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
Karen

Thanks for the Ethnoecho link - they are a member of the forum. I recognise the descriptive text beneath the nice Huangping outfit they show. Although they do not attribute the text it is directly from 'Clothings and Ornaments of the China's Miao People' page 55 as is the photo of the outfit that they show with the text. If we were giving such information on the forum we would cite full details of any references.

If you happen to find a copy of 'Clothings and Ornaments of the China's Miao People' it really is excellent and always my first port of call for checking any Miao costume. It has been out of print, reprinted and probably now out of print again but really a 'must' if you can trace it. The English text is quite good - unusual in these books directly from China. (See the China bibliography for book details http://www.tribaltextiles.info/bibliogr ... _books.htm

Yes, learn some Mandarin but, of course, the Miao speak their own language and there are several Miao dialects which are mutually unintelligible. Even experience Han guides find it difficult to communicate directly with the older women (who are the textile experts) and the men or teenagers still in school are crucial to communication. The women, traders, of course, have some Han and may have a few words of English.

_________________
Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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