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 Post subject: Mystery jakets
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 11:52 am
Posts: 72
Location: france
Hello Pamela

Thank you for the work and your contacts. Yes the mystery remains. In my opinion there are two possibilities : first we are in presence of a commercial forgery in which the jackets are made with old simple jackets ornamented with baby carriers panels sewn on the back and on the shoulders. One indice of this work could be the fact that the panels are often cut and sewn by bands. The difference of wear between the jackets' material and the embroidered panels could also be a proof (but one of the jackets I have displayed seems to be more coherent).
Second hypothesis : those jackets are genuine pieces made directly by one of the numerous ethnic groups, but little known, and just recently appearing on the market. The process of fabrication could in this case the same : jackets ornamented with baby carriers panels when the baby carriers have no more use (old women for ex).

Here are pictures of one other jacket of this type.

Amicalement

Louis


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s6002-1.jpg
s6002-1.jpg [ 78.66 KiB | Viewed 7061 times ]
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 Post subject: Nanbao
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:45 pm 
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Location: france
Hello

I have got one info from the dealer who said to me that, after a friend, those jackets are genuine and from the Nanbao area (Jianhe county).

Louis

And again pictures from one other piece (on the market).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:26 pm 
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Location: Canterbury, UK
Louis

Thanks for your latest posts - regardless of provenance - they are very strong and stunning. Your jacket 6002 seems to have a slightly different development on the sleeves with the applique pieces down the sleeves rather than around the shoulders/top of arm.

I still think that it does not really make sense - other that, I suppose, to use up old plain jackets - to put the babycarrier pieces onto the jackets. Babycarriers by themselves are so much more saleable as they display well, and the pieces that go on the sleeves could easily be sold mounted/framed on newer cloth as so often happens with sleeve pieces from Huangping. You have shown us several jackets. I know of 4 or 5 at another source. I don't know how many more there are around - I do know that I am now looking out for them as we try to solve the mystery.

It would be good to think, as you suggest Louis, that perhaps they are from a little known village or area. Tony talks of not having been to the Jianhe area because of the building of the Hydroelectric dam. Perhaps there has been a costume development which has been missed.

So far no one has come back with a specific tale of dealers deliberately faking the jackets. I have heard this about some other costume.

We would SO like to see a photo! Of course, it could be that the jackets were a development but are no longer worn so getting a photo would be very difficult indeed!

Much of the fun of the forum is the chase after the mysteries! En avant mes amis!

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:39 am 
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A postscript to the information from Tony which I posted yesterday:
Quote:
"I made a call to a famous Miao costume photographer who is also a scholar, he has published the best Miao costume book before.
Here is his answer for the spiral pattern from Jianhe:
1. The spiral pattern from Jianhe is only used on baby carrier. The Miao in the regions of Wubao, Liuchuan use this kind of pattern.
2. I never saw the spiral pattern from Jianhe on women's jacket."
Tony came back to me overnight when I asked for the name of the photographer and said that he is:
Quote:
'Wu Shizhong, a man from Baozhi village, near Kongba village - the silver smith village in Leishan'.

Not content with only the name I then thought I would look to see if my copy of 'A Picture Album of China's Miao Costumes and Ornaments' qualified as 'the best Miao costume book' and eventually found out, right at the end of the 'Introduction' that the photographer of this book was Mr Wu Shizhong! There is a nice paragraph of thanks to him:

Quote:
"We greatly owe to Mr. Wu Shizhong, a Miao photographer, for the composition of this album. He spends more than twenty years visiting the Miao's regions and taking all these photos. What Mr. Wu has done makes the album original and true of life. It deserves mentioning in particular that these pictures, taken twenty years ago (book published in 2000), have turned out to be invaluable. Some of them have become historical records for the changes of the local costumes and ornaments."


This would suggest that Mr Wu Shizhong was particularly active taking his photos around 1980. It could be that our 'Jianhe jackets' are a more recent development - am I clutching at straws?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:28 pm 
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Ann Goodman received a weekly Digest of the forum and was interested to see this Jianhe thread as, guess, what, she too has one of the mysterious 'Jianhe jackets'. See the photos below.

Ann has a comment/question about her jacket:
Quote:
"Here is a Jianhe jacket which puzzles me. The piece is very soiled and the shoulders of the back panel appear to be covered by some oily pigment. I was wondering about this jacket even before I read the fascinating thread on the Forum. So here is my jacket with the question, "Is the oily substance a matter of wear or an attempt to age the jacket." I will send a second email with the shoulder detail that shows the oily substance on the light colored applique."


I have struggled somewhat to see the darker, oily part of the top of the jacket but think I have spotted it. I don't know, is my answer! I don't feel that the staining has been done as part of an aging process but I have no basis for saying this. My only idea is that it might be thought to detract not add to the value of the textile. It could have happened by accident with a spillage. Oil does spread so and is very difficult indeed to get out of fabric unless a petrol-based cleaning spirit is used and/or it is boiled - not something to with on this textile. It might have a spillage from oil used to dress the hair.

What I find very interesting is that the applied spirals on the back seems to be so much a baby carrier directly applied and not pieces taken off a carrier. I still have difficulty accepting that this is done by dealers but feel that it is done by women to imitated the fashion of young girls wearing baby carriers over the back of jackets at festivals. If the jackets themselves were made of newer cloth I might think that the jackets were made in this way for the dance troupes which have become quite a feature of the minority scene in China today. It would be a quick way to achieve the decoration of a carrier and much easier to dance in without it falling off. When you see the costume worn by Miao girls in the dance troupes they tend to be brighter and more glitzy. However, I am not sure that the older jackets would have been used as a basis for the dance clothes.

The mystery continues!


Attachments:
File comment: 'Jianhe jacket' in the collection of Ann B Goodman
JianheJacketw.jpg
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File comment: detail of 'Jianhe jacket' in the collection of Ann B Goodman
Jianhedetailw.jpg
Jianhedetailw.jpg [ 68.56 KiB | Viewed 6995 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Location: Canterbury, UK
Well, I have finally got to see one of these Jianhe jackets up close and personal! I attach photos of my jacket - which I propose to wear!

As you can imagine I have been pouring all over it trying to work out whether it is 'original' or not. Clearly it has had some careful conservation work on the appliqué especially on the back sewing down what must have been lose pieces of braid and fabric. (I don't think that the braid used is hand made as it is very similar to manufactured braid that has been available for years and years). The whole jacket and lining seems to have been assembled by hand sewing. I think that the cuffs are replacements - just looking at the bottom front hem where there is some wear fraying says to me that the original cuffs would have been worn and therefore needing replacement to sell-on. I have often seen these replaced when old jackets come to market - and presumably if a jacket is given a renewed lease of life in its original home. Looking at the lining and at the pieces of binding around the neck the jacket has been worn in its current state from the signs of slight wear on the edges of the fabric. The new cuffs are not necessarily made from brand new fabric and the fabric is certainly very similar to that which has been used in the main body of the top layer of the jacket. The appliqué pieces look to have received heavier wear than the main jacket - presumably in their first life as part of a baby carrier cover/s.

So, I am still mystified as to whether the jacket was ever used in a real life situation amongst the Miao of Jianhe in its current form. I feel pretty certain that at least a plain version of the jacket was worn in situ.

Having sent printed pages of the Jianhe jacket forum thread as it was until a few days ago to Gina Corrigan she rang me yesterday when she got back from a trip to Laos. She has never seen these jackets being worn in the form in which we see them and only seen the baby carriers for sale via dealers, usually in poor condition so she was not attracted by them. She has certainly seen the orange plaid waist ties that Iain showed us. She has been to Jianhe but not to any villages where these particular pieces of costume come from but there are lots of different villages in the area. She was with Wang Jun and they also saw some Red Miao (which he mentioned to me and I posted) but the style of costume was completely different. I have asked her to keep her ears to the ground when she is in Kaili so we might, at some time in the future, get some further feed back from her.

I think that the jury is still out on this one!


Attachments:
File comment: back of jacket
Jianhe_Back.jpg
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File comment: detail 1 of back of jacket - see some careful later sewing down of braid
Jianhe_Back_Detail_1.jpg
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File comment: detail 2 of back of jacket
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File comment: front of jacket
Jianhe_Front.jpg
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File comment: detail of sleeve
Jianhe_Sleeve_Detail.jpg
Jianhe_Sleeve_Detail.jpg [ 64.25 KiB | Viewed 6930 times ]

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Pamela

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 Post subject: child model
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 11:52 am
Posts: 72
Location: france
Hello Pamela

You are a real Sherlock Holmes !
In order to progress in the study of this particuliar style of jackets here are pictures of a little model in child size (I am trying to buy it).
The existance of child models militates for the "genuine" hypothesis.

To be continued

Louis Dubreuil


Attachments:
jianhe child.jpg
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jianhe child2.jpg
jianhe child2.jpg [ 67.09 KiB | Viewed 6920 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Location: Canterbury, UK
Louis

What a stunning jacket! Yes, it certainly looks original. It makes sense if perhaps a baby's carrier is later transformed into a jacket for the child to wear.

Good luck in your negotiations - a lovely piece for your collection.

I wish I had access to DNA testing. That might really help with seeing who has worn the jackets!

best,

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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 Post subject: Jianhe child jacket
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 3:05 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:30 am
Posts: 315
Here is another child's jacket utilising an older baby carrier panel for decoration - this one using a double twisted hemp core wrapped in red cotton thread. The same red cotton thread is used to couch the wrapped thread. The ground of this baby carrier panel is of machine made white cotton. The applique is of handwoven plain weave black baste fibre. It is one of several similar jackets waiting to be photographed so I apologise for the floor tiles!
This piece has undergone several repairs over time with indigo dyed machine cotton pieces being used to cover the worn damaged right arm; a small section on the right bottom front panel and the cuff of the left arm. All these pieces do not actually replace the damaged material but serve to cover it and in turn show signs of natural wear. There are also two minor repairs made in green cotton on the back applique panel.
Examination of the inside of the jacket shows how the baby carrier panel was cut to fit the front jacket opening which is finished with a much faded green cotton edge and two "Chinese knot " buttons. The jacket is lined with indigo dyed handwoven baste fibre.


Attachments:
File comment: Jianhe child's jacket: Front
Front1.jpg
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File comment: Jianhe child's jacket: Back
Back.jpg
Back.jpg [ 34.87 KiB | Viewed 6899 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:32 am 
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I thought I would add another child's hat probably from the Miao in the Jianhe area. I bought it recently at the tribal fair in London. The same dealer had a couple - especially one - very fine babycarrier in this style. Unfortunately the price all too fully took account of the excellent quality of the textile! Because I am interested in this group - and, although we seem to have a good body of textiles from them illustrated on the forum - it is difficult to find much hard information, I thought I would share the beautifully constructed hat with you. The detail shots illustrate not only the fine applique and couching but the construction of the hat. Such a lot of thought and work for a baby's hat!

The best source of info on these baby textiles seems to be 'Baby Carriers' published by the National Museum of Prehistory in Taiwan which has several photos of baby carriers and hats in this style. See thread http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... php?t=1131


Attachments:
File comment: Jianhe Miao baby hat
IMGP6418w.jpg
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File comment: detail of Jianhe Miao baby hat
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File comment: detail of Jianhe Miao baby hat
IMGP6415w.jpg
IMGP6415w.jpg [ 65.48 KiB | Viewed 6143 times ]

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Pamela

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 Post subject: Further Jianhe examples
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 12:11 pm 
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Posts: 315
What a beautifully executed hat! The couching of the red thread (wool?cotton?) is particularly fine. I share a recently purchased baby carrier from this area executed in a tightly controlled design.


Attachments:
Full carrier.jpg
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detail.jpg
detail.jpg [ 98.22 KiB | Viewed 6128 times ]
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