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 Post subject: Dong Babycarrier
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:52 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
Because I know that several forum members are attracted to Dong textiles I am posting here some photos of a babycarrier which has just come into my collection. It seems to be pretty complete and has some very fine detail work on it - including some layering of fabric as edging and some lovely tiny stitching which the uninitiated might think to be machine as it is so even. There is a little wear of the embroidery where the layers of fabric on the squares make them rigid and more in danger of suffering damage due to rubbing.

See pages 56-59 of 'Bonding via Baby Carriers' for a similar Dong carrier.

As I mention on another thread, this is an 'interesting' example of where it is important to buy what you like and within your own expertise. This was attributed by the dealer as Miao based on having been told by a Miao trader from whom it was sourced (certainly not the original owner) that the piece was Miao.


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 Post subject: Dong carrier
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 2:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:30 am
Posts: 315
Just to tie in here Pamela: A very similar example is to be found on p.272 of the book Beishan:Baby Carriers (ISBN 722106017) where it is attributed to the Dong and broadly located in Conjiang County.
The Chinese character for "well", jing (井) has been discussed elsewhere on the forum as possibly being represented by the the head cover design found on this baby carrier. Although I am not sure that this is indeed the case, the design is commonly found on both Dong and Miao textiles. The strong dependence of the Dong and Miao on agriculture in the past certainly lends weight to a possible association.
Perhaps a diversion into agricultural characters may be of interest:
The character 井 is an agricultural key word denoting fields laid out along the lines of this character. Each jing was divided into nine plots. To eight families were assigned the eight exterior plots, the one in the centre, containing a well with our roads leading to it, being reserved to be worked in common on behalf of the State.
The character 土 for earth, of which the upper line is the surface soil, the lower the sub-soil or rocky substratum, with the central stroke representing vegetation. The character for field 田 is said to portray the dykes of the rice paddy; while the character for man or male 男 is a combination of power 力 and field 田 , literally 'labor in the fields'. This appears in the C.A.S. Williams book: Chinese Symbolism and Art Motifs originally pubished back in 1932.
OK enough on character insights...
Definitely Dong NOT Miao and wholeheartedly agree with purchasing something you like and living with the joy of these incredible textiles!


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