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 Post subject: A new comer from Taiwan
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:41 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Formerly Taipei -Taiwan, now Shanghai - China
Hello,

I’ve known this forum for some time, but I never registered before. Now, the opportunity has come.

Looking recently in some shops for my favorite stuff from Taiwan, I tumbled on two Atayal looms. As I’m always ready to share my passion for Taiwan aboriginal art, I said to myself it could be a good opportunity to show/share the one I bought as an introduction on this forum. So here it is. This loom is not even yet on my own website. This is a scoop for you ;-). I would like also to know more about this loom.

Well, I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Nicolas Grevot, AKA as yuanzhumin on this forum. I’m French, but I live in Taiwan, and I’m crazy about the Taiwanese aboriginal art. I come here not only to share what I know and what I have with the enthusiastic lovers of tribal art that you are, but also because I intend to learn from your expertise.

If I know few things about the textile patterns of the Taiwanese aboriginals, but I have to say that I’m pretty ignorant about the weaving technics and the materials.

I thank you all for your patience and, mostly, I thank Pamela for her kind and warm greetings.

(I will try to post correctly the pictures, but forgive me if I don’t succeed first. Any comments on this loom are welcome.)

Yuanzhumin


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:42 pm 
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Location: Formerly Taipei -Taiwan, now Shanghai - China
I didn't have enough space for the two last pictures. So here they are.


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 Post subject: welcome nicolas
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 2:30 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2004 7:45 am
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Nicolas,

Glad you have decided to join us. I envy your living in Taiwan, it is a place I have always wanted to visit. Look forward to your sharing more with the group in the future.

Steven

www.stevenqfrost.net


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 6:05 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:41 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Formerly Taipei -Taiwan, now Shanghai - China
Hi Steven,
You want to visit Taiwan, and I'm dreaming about visiting the Guizhou. Who is going to make it first ?
In any case, you are most welcome here, in this fascinating island !
I checked on your website and loved the picture of you with the Nuo dancers, in the Travel section.
Thanks a lot for your warm welcome.
Nicolas


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 Post subject: Atayal loom
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:39 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 7:18 am
Posts: 93
Dear Nicolas,

Maybe this article will be of interest to you.

Nettleship, Martin A., 1970. A Unique South-East Asian Loom. Man 5:686–98.

It is a wonderful thing to have such a loom. What do you plan to do with it?

Best wishes,

Sandra

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Sandra Niessen

www.bataktextiles.com
http://bataktextiles.blogspot.com/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
Nicolas/Yuanzhumin

Many thanks for your interesting post and for it being a scoop for us!

Great to have a loom which has a piece of weaving in it. I have a backstrap loom from another island off mainland China, Hainan, which also has a piece of weaving in it and is probably from the Li speaking the Meifu dialect. I will post a photo of it below.

I see from your loom that the Atayal weaving is warp faced and displaying warp patterning i.e. warp stripes, as I would expect from an indigenous group in Taiwan. I have had a look in the Yang-Grevot collection for Atayal weavings but there is nothing which is very similar - the textiles shown being generally more complex although some pieces have warp stripes.

I am interested in pictures 184, 183, 182, 180. Are they all of the same item? I cannot see this piece in the overall of the loom pieces so I cannot judge size. I would have thought that a hollowed out piece of wood like this might be to hold a shuttle but it is difficult to tell without knowing the size.

I can see some faint design carved in the wood in 197.

I am trying to work out from your photo 195 which is the heddle bar and which is the warp beam. I think that the cloth/breast beam is the one to the right of the photo with the textile ties. I can't work out quite what is happening with the sticks and threads with yours. Mine is, I think, laid out for the photo in the same order as yours starts on the right. I can post more detail photos of my loom is anyone is interested?

Sandra Niessen has been taught to weave on a backstrap oom by an expert Batak weaver and we have Marla Mallett (who has written 'Woven Structures: A Guide to Oriental Rug and Textile Analysis') who is a forum member but usually very reticent about posting directly. Both of these people are likely to be able to tell you far more about your loom than I can. I have been looking at Marla's book (page 25) trying to work out the order in which you loom is laid out.

Great to see the loom pieces and to think about the technique of weaving.


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File comment: Meifu Li loom
ATW230.jpg
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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource
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 Post subject: The loom
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 4:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:41 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Formerly Taipei -Taiwan, now Shanghai - China
Sandra : I plan simply to keep the loom. I sometimes sell some of the pieces I find in order to finance my costly collection. But not this time. And I have to say frankly that I'm less and less willing to sell this Taiwan aboriginal stuff as it is becoming incredibly hard to find - the good pieces, I mean. When I bought this loom, in a shop nearby, I saw another one that was much more expensive and not as old as this one. I will add this newly arrived loom to my website in the next few months as I have already a waiting list of items to register. Ah, Sandra, thanks for the article references. I will try to find it.
Pamela : Yes, the bigger piece is part of the whole set of 8 pieces. 2 or 3 secondary pieces are missing if I compare with the loom drawn by Chen Chi-lu in his reference book. The big warp beam itself is 89x31x22cm. And it is the same one on all the pics but pictured under a different angle. I don't know if we can find this kind of massive warp beam in other cultures. Concerning Taiwan, it is typical from the Atayal and I have been surprised to discover that it had also a second use that could explain its particular shape : it could also be used for percussion. I've seen old pictures where this kind of beam was suspended (and check this one : it has one hole on each side, for suspension - see pic 182) and then beaten with two sticks to produce the noise. Did you see anything like this in other cultures ? To come back to this warp beam, on the pic 184, you can notice two parallel white spots on the surface of it, one on the right clearly visible and one on the left half hidden under a big black spot : these are the places where the feet of the weaving woman were touching the warp beam during the work. I will try to find pictures later of weaving women.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 2:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:41 pm
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Location: Formerly Taipei -Taiwan, now Shanghai - China
-I've just watched the Kathleen F. Johnson slides presentation on Taiwan aboriginal textiles ( http://www.travlinweaver.com/Taiwanyuinzumin.html )
I recommand it as it gives a good oversight of the island tribal textiles and how to make them. There are some pictures of a loom like the one I displayed with a lady using it.
-Pamela, you wrote :
I see from your loom that the Atayal weaving is warp faced and displaying warp patterning i.e. warp stripes, as I would expect from an indigenous group in Taiwan. I have had a look in the Yang-Grevot collection for Atayal weavings but there is nothing which is very similar - the textiles shown being generally more complex although some pieces have warp stripes. I will post later on this forum photos of some less complex striped textiles I own - usually from the Atayal tribe.
I am trying to work out from your photo 195 which is the heddle bar and which is the warp beam. I think that the cloth/breast beam is the one to the right of the photo with the textile ties. I can't work out quite what is happening with the sticks and threads with yours In a following post, I'm going to post pictures, I should say book captures, with drawings showing the whole loom and naming and ordering its different pieces.
-Your complete set is beautiful, Pamela. I enjoy looking at it. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Pictures
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 2:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:41 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Formerly Taipei -Taiwan, now Shanghai - China
These are the pictures with the drawings showing the whole Atayal loom, with the explanations.
The pictures and drawings are coming from :
-Textile fabrics of Aboriginal tribes in Taiwan, Tsai Yu-shan, Taichung County Cultural Center, ISBN 986007321
-Material Culture of the Formosan aborigines, Chen Chi-lu, Taiwan Museum Taipei, 1968
-Ino Kanori's pictures of Taiwan Aborigines, Shunyi Museum of Formosan Aborigines, ISBN 9579976740


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Last edited by yuanzhumin on Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 2:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:41 pm
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Location: Formerly Taipei -Taiwan, now Shanghai - China
Few more pictures. Book captures of old photos.


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 Post subject: Drums
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:24 am 
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Posts: 315
Nicholas as to your question re percussion instruments and warp beam:
The chiBemba tribe of Zambia uses a set of drums almost identical in shape to the warp beam that you own. The technical name for this type of drum is a "slit gong".
The royal set of chiBemba drums passed into the ownership of the Catholic White Fathers (the society is now known in Africa as The Missionaries of Africa) during the 1896-1899 succession crisis of the Paramount Chief known as Chitimukulu. Bishop Dupont, who headed the society at the time, was appointed to the Paramountcy, which, through skillful negotiations and an incredible resolving of internecine struggles, prevented major bloodshed and helped unify the chiBemba nation. This was of particular importance with the rising power of the baLozi (Barotze) associated with Protestant missionaries in the southern region of what is today Zambia. But I digress....
The drums fell silent on the death of Dupont and were housed in a number of missions around Zambia - travelling with the incredible French Canadian Father, Jean Jacques Corbeil. I had the great privilege of spending time with Fr Corbeil on the Mambwe Mission Station during the 1980's. He was a spellbinding raconteur of great intellect and passion and till this day largely ignored for his significant contributions to the world's understanding of chiBemba culture. As an anthropologist, linguist, botanist, musician and priest to the chiBemba Corbeil was unsurpassed whilst being much vilified in his lifetime for his almost total identification with and support of Bemba nationalism. He became such a thorn in the side of his superiors that he was forced to part with his collection of Bemba cultural relics that he had been collecting and all his field notes which were then divided between many organisations (notably the University of Zambia Library) and other people.
The bulk of his collection went into forming the nucleus of the Moto Moto Museum, located in Mbala (old Fort Abercorn) in northern Zambia - a region where I lived, worked and collected in before undertaking studies in South Africa. This museum was run under the auspices of the Zambian government and unfortunately over the years much was lost. It did get a new lease of life with a building constructed with funding from the Norwegian government. It remains a touchstone for those interested in furthering their understanding of chiBemba culture.
The International Library of African Music (ILAM), which I fully recommend visiting if you are in Grahamstown, South Africa, has on its Home Page a wonderful photo of a group of chiBemba men playing a similar drum
http://ilam.ru.ac.za/. Here the drum is placed on a wooden resonance box to amplify the sound.
One difference to the Atayal is that other groups who use this form of drum, is that there is no documented evidence, oral or physical of woven textiles.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 2:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Location: Canterbury, UK
Nicolas and Iain

What fascinating posts!

Nicolas, the diagrams of the looms and the old photos are stunning and very informative. Thank you so much for sharing them with us. The warp case really is a huge beast! So good to see it all in action in the pics and to have all the detailed items in the diagrams. I love old photos like these - so atmospheric and they really bring collection items to life.

Yes, Kathleen Forance Johnson's site is getting more informative all the time as she builds up her photo resources on-line. She is a member of this forum although - as is the case with several other members - tends to mostly participate rather at third hand via me, which is one of the reasons I seem to crop up so much on forum! Have you met Kathleen? She spent time in Taiwan when her US Foreign Service husband was posted there. As a keen weaver herself her photos are excellent as they are taken with a weaver's eye. There used to be a web article of hers on indigenous Taiwan weaving on another site on the web which I used to link to but unfortunately it disappeared.

Thank you Iain for the cross-cultural post. Very informative and the weblink indeed reveals a very similar shaped instrument.

I feel that two windows have opened for me - thank you both!

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Pamela

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


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:44 am 
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Further to the drum and possible use in textiles: I was speaking with a Zambian friend last night and they pointed out that the drums have indeed been used in the production of traditional costume. The drums were used for the tensioning and drying of strips of animal skin that were then incorporated into the costume made for senior members of chiBemba clans. It always amazes me how our apparent differences are really not so different!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:41 pm
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Location: Formerly Taipei -Taiwan, now Shanghai - China
Thanks Iain for this interesting infos on the Zambian slit gong used for tensioning and drying animal skin incorporated in costumes.

Is there any other comments or documents on the use of a loom as a slit gong/percussion instrument in the tribal world like the Taiwan Atayal do ?
Thanks


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