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 Post subject: Mystery Baby Carrier(?)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:49 am 
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I recently came across what I think is a stunning textile. Although hard to tell from the pictures, this piece is batik fully covered by embroidery. It was sold to me as a Gejia baby carrier, though I'm not sure if either of those attributions is correct.

I've seen quite a few Gejia baby carriers, both in person and here on the forum http://www.tribaltextiles.info/community/viewtopic.php?t=1080 http://www.tribaltextiles.info/community/viewtopic.php?t=227, http://www.tribaltextiles.info/Galleries/Ge_Jia_babycarriers.htm, and this one does not seem to fit the general design or structure of any of these.

I do see a bit of the Gejia in the bird designs, but that's about it. Some of the design elements are also highly reminiscent of another batik robe I have http://www.tribaltextiles.info/community/viewtopic.php?t=1205, which was sold to me under a general Miao attribution.

If anyone can help me pinpoint a more specific group or location, it would be much appreciated.


Attachments:
Gejia Baby Carrier (full).JPG
Gejia Baby Carrier (full).JPG [ 79.87 KiB | Viewed 8053 times ]
Ge Jia Baby Carrier (detail).JPG
Ge Jia Baby Carrier (detail).JPG [ 98.23 KiB | Viewed 8053 times ]
Gejia Baby Carrier (detail 2).JPG
Gejia Baby Carrier (detail 2).JPG [ 93.08 KiB | Viewed 8053 times ]
Gejia Baby Carrier (strap detail ).JPG
Gejia Baby Carrier (strap detail ).JPG [ 61.77 KiB | Viewed 8053 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 5:09 pm 
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Location: Canterbury, UK
Ann Goodman has emailed me after seeing Jon's striking textile above. She says:
Quote:
"Dear Pamela,
Here are two baby carriers that relate to Jon Tung's mystery BC this week. One is definitely Gejia, both from the shape and the outer border decorations; I think the other is Baibei from Danzai and the designs are similar to the 100-Bird designs. The batik work in this BC is very appealing.
Ann"


Attachments:
Geyi-BCw.jpg
Geyi-BCw.jpg [ 78.73 KiB | Viewed 8021 times ]
Batik-BCw.jpg
Batik-BCw.jpg [ 77.96 KiB | Viewed 8021 times ]

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 5:12 pm 
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For a photogallery of Gejia babycarriers see http://www.tribaltextiles.info/Gallerie ... rriers.htm None of them are embroidered in the way shown in Jon's and Ann's photos above but there are similarities in imagery

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:35 pm 
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Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Jon's carrier is stunning! Not only is the design striking, but the color is quite unusual. I really do not have any idea of attribution, as the elements, if taken individually, do not add up to one group that I can think of. However, the circular elements arranged as a square are reminiscent of Dong embroideries I have had and have seen. I am quite perplexed by the bottom designs of bat-like motifs with stylized tassels hanging between them, tho. Quite unique and handsome.

Ann's Geijia carrier is more typical in shape and design motifs, but very handsome in coloration and materials. The batik one is also very attractive and lively.

Thanks for sharing such lovely pieces!

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http://tribaltrappings.blogspot.com/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:46 pm 
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Location: Bristol, England
In my humble opinion, Jon’s baby carrier looks as if it could be a newly made piece, produced by the Miao of the GaoPai /Baibei area of Rongjiang county. Although the upper square section bears a certain likeness to Gejia resist baby blankets (the square chain pattern around the edge, the 4 suns and other smaller motifs, see photo below), it is not a Gejia baby carrier. Most elements of the design are typical of the Miao of the Baibei area including the spiral dragon, ruyi and suns with long curved rays, all often found on their long wax resist banners. I am aware that there were waxers based in this area of Rongjiang county knocking off Gejia batik, so it is quite possible they are now doing the same for Gejia embroidery. The colour of the thread is similar to some “fake” Gejia baby carriers I saw 2/3 years ago in Kaili. But who knows the truth!

Turning to Ann’s 2 baby carriers, the first is a Gejia piece, although I would suggest that it is a modern take on an old style of batik carrier. The basic pattern is possibly from the 3~4 quarters of 20 century although the details are of a modern style (ie. birds, fish and the pattern inside the suns). This type of pattern was traditionally made in wax resist (as far as I know), so, perhaps because the batik skill is being lost or maybe because more money can be earned from an embroidered piece compared to a batik piece, this type of carrier has been produced using embroidery. The second carrier looks to be one from the Gaopai/Baibei area and is a lovely piece, with many traditional patterns from that area often found on their wax resist banners.


Attachments:
File comment: Gejia wax resist baby blanket
img011web.jpg
img011web.jpg [ 69.53 KiB | Viewed 7940 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:58 pm 
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Thanks to Ann for sharing some lovely pieces with us. In regards to the Gejia baby carrier - is it also embroidery over batik, or is it pure embroidery?

Many thanks to Andrew as well for his information. I also was leaning towards a Rongjiang County attribution, but wanted to hear what the experts had to say!

I agree that this is a newer piece, though I'm not sure that it is newly made. There are actually three layers (four if you count the embroidery) - a top layer that has the batik work, an inner layer that is attached by the embroidery, and finally a third, thicker, backing layer. In my mind that seems a bit excessive for a "fake" piece.

My first impression of this piece was that it was originally a batik apron, or other costume element, which was later cut down and embroidered over to turn into a baby carrier. The bottom looks to have originally been flared, and the straps re-positioned.

Taken in context as a costume piece, I'm sure I have seen something similar before, but I can't place my finger on it at the moment. Does it ring any bells for anyone else?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:05 pm 
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Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Jon,
Unfortunately I am not the expert you are looking for, but I probably could have been more helpful if my record keeping were more accurate. Still, I am attaching two photographs of a similar textile, probably a square cover, which I purchased in Beijing in 2005. My notes say that it is from Rongjiang. However, the next set of photographs from the same time period are of another Miao woman adding the embroidery to the batik piece. She said that the design she was creating was not from her area. My notes indicate that she is from Shidong. On occasions I have met embroiders producing work inspired from other areas, usually because they like the designs and also because the designs are not as labor intensive as some of their own traditional pieces.
Pam Najdowski


Attachments:
File comment: Large embroidered batik square attributed to Rongjiang County, Guizhou
OM -097 Ronjiang.jpg
OM -097 Ronjiang.jpg [ 147.64 KiB | Viewed 7855 times ]
File comment: Detail of Rongjiang piece
OM -097.1 detail.jpg
OM -097.1 detail.jpg [ 190.26 KiB | Viewed 7855 times ]
File comment: Possibly Miao woman from Shidong, 2005
Shidong woman.jpg
Shidong woman.jpg [ 101.22 KiB | Viewed 7855 times ]
File comment: Embroidery in progress
cover embroidery.jpg
cover embroidery.jpg [ 147.33 KiB | Viewed 7855 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:13 pm 
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Pam,

Many thanks for some great shots and your insights. I am not surprised that it might be Shidong women - who have a tradition of fine embroidery as well as a reputation as strong entrepreneurs - who are embroidering on top of other Miao groups' wax resist to create striking (and saleable) textiles but without a true cultural base. I guess it is a lesson to all of us not to take things we see at face value!

Very interesting....!!!

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:33 pm 
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Location: Bristol, England
Thanks Pam for the photos and info about the Miao woman (quite possibly from Shidong) embroidering a piece of batik. The piece looks like a Gejia batik baby blanket. Since the Shidong Miao do not have a tradition of producing batik, it is possible it was batiked by a Gejia woman. The Shidong Miao are notorious for copying other groups’ embroidery styles to earn a shilling or two (they are also tough bargainers, the worst/best at telling fanciful stories about the textiles they are trying to sell and experts at deconstructing, reconstructing and adding to textiles for sale). I’m pleased your photos are able to put a date to this style of “fakery” (entrepreneurmanship(?)), as they will be invaluable information for future reference!.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:00 pm 
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Pam,

Thanks for your photos and notes!

Sometimes I really do wish textiles could talk! It would be fascinating to hear the whos, hows, whens and whys of their journeys.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:53 pm 
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I thought I would (with his permission) share with you Martin Conlan's comments on the 'fakery':

Quote:
"The "Mystery Carrier" thread is quite interesting. The Shidong woman in a market is definitely embroidering a Gejia batik piece. My take on this is not so much about 'fakery' ie. deception, but more along the lines of traders maximizing the value of something, especially when they themselves are doing the additional work. Jon's original pictures suggest the quality of the stitch work is really quite good, in fact his pics make the carrier look quite old.

I saw some old Liping Dong bags this year that were being sold at very high prices. The front parts of the bags were genuine old embroidery of a high quality. The body of the bags was old plain indigo fabric with a running stitch through it. The straps were obviously not very old. I saw a couple of these and was tempted, but didn't buy. Later I met someone who had a number of these all of the same make up. I concluded that they were 'fakes' in so far as original old ones would have all been made with differing body fabrics. I think someone has accessed genuine old bags in poor condition all made up for an event, hence the repetition, and seen the chance to add a lot of value to them. Increasingly as prices rise and supply diminishes more and more of this is likely to happen. The deception with these was to claim that these old pieces were original and not old/composite.

When the older Bai textiles in Yunnan more or less finished the standard practice was to put together various individual pieces and "create" a higher value item out of them."

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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