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 Post subject: Zhouxi style
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Location: Canterbury, UK
I thought that forum members might like to see a beautiful Miao woman's jacket and apron from the Zhouxi, Kaili county area in Guizhou. It is a very fine set indeed, clearly of some age, and has been recently added to the collection of forum member Ann B Goodman. She very kindly shared it with me during an email exchange and, as you know what a nag I am about sharing on the forum, I wanted to share it with you. I also add an embroidered detail which attracted me in both the apron and the jacket sleeve decoration. As Ann says, it could be a scorpion.

I am going to post below a couple of photos of Zhouxi festival dress worn today.


Attachments:
File comment: Zhouxi Miao woman's jacket and apron in the collection of Ann B Goodman
ZouxiWW.jpg
ZouxiWW.jpg [ 69.3 KiB | Viewed 3547 times ]
File comment: embroidered detail from Zhouxi apron
ZouxiDD.jpg
ZouxiDD.jpg [ 58.09 KiB | Viewed 3547 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Location: Canterbury, UK
As promised above I am posting a couple of photos of Zhouxi festival costume as currently worn. The photos were taken in Shi Qui village, Kaili in May 2005. Despite some drizzling rain the women were prepared to show us their festival costume seen here against the background of the village. I also include a detail of an apron. It is interesting to see just how much more complex Ann's older apron is although both aprons have fine work. The Miao in this village applique silk felt as part of their decorative embroidery.


Attachments:
File comment: Zhouxi Miao women dancing in festival costume in Shi Qing village, Kaili in May 2005
IMGP1995w.jpg
IMGP1995w.jpg [ 143.13 KiB | Viewed 3536 times ]
File comment: close up of apron in Shi Qing village, Kaili in May 2005
IMGP1972w.jpg
IMGP1972w.jpg [ 67.98 KiB | Viewed 3536 times ]

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 Post subject: Changes in costume
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:30 am
Posts: 315
Great seeing this apparently older example. In the second costume you posted Pamela I see the one detail that nagged me when I bought an example of this costume and that is the extension on the bottom of the jacket front. Strange as it appeared so incongruous with the rest of the silk felt applique and interwoven metallic strips. (An excellent description of the technique of how the white metal is incorporated with the silk felt applique may be found in "Miao Embroidery From South West China: Textiles from The Gina Corrigan Collection."[p70-73]) I speak of the small strip of plain embroidery which can be seen underneath the silver butterflies/bats and sounding charms.
In your example this looks like plain embroidery depicting a freehand floral and foliate design. In my own example this added strip contains plain embroidery depicting mice and flowers. From Ann's example this added strip does not seem to be present. I wonder if this could reflect the ever increasing influence of women from the Shidong area in Kaili and beyond....
The body of my jacket is made of machine woven purple silk whilst Ann's appears to be of handwoven indigo dyed bast fibres showing again the move away from use of material requiring intensive labor. That said in "Minority Textile Techniques: Costumes from South West China" (p104) this bottom strip is apparent in an image dated to 1993 from Zhouxi, Kaili.
Scorpions? ... maybe. But scorpions usually have three pairs of legs (although there are some with 4 pairs) and a pair of pincers. A more likely candidate may be a spider. Also inclusion of so many scorpions would be strange given their association with the five ills whilst spiders amongst Dong and Miao groups are seen to symbolize both wisdom and perserverance. See: Yu Chiao Liu Lan, Christ Lan Lin, Brenda Lin "Bonding Via Baby Carriers: The Art and Soul of the Miao and Dong People." p50, for an anecdote on how the spider and its web gets incorporated into these textiles.
Thanks for posting that wonderful example!
Iain


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