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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 3:14 pm 
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I would like to share with the forum a very pleasing textile which has just entered my collection. Unfortunately it does not come with any provenance except the thoughtful and educated deductions of the friend who found it in Chiang Mai and felt (correctly) that it would interest me.

It is thought to be a Yao/Mien textile from either Guangxi or southern Yunnan in China. It comprises several pieces sewn together. Each piece comprises a narrow band of handspun cotton with very finely detailed indigo embroidery; the end pieces are three times the width of the center, but have been folded into thirds, and are embroidered completely. Swastikas abound, as do tiny figures holding hands. Two especially handsome motifs are also prominantly displayed - one resembles the Mien silver flower pins. Thick cotton fringe finishes the ends. So far a hunt has not shown a similar one in the literature checked. Jess Pourret tends not to cover much from the Yao in China. It could have been used as a headwrap or a belt for a priest. Although it is in good condition there is some soil as it has obviously been used. Size: 59” x 2.75” approx.

I put it around my neck and immediately felt the construction of the textile 'worked' with the single thickness, single width around the neck and then the very much heavier triple thickness bands and thick fringing hanging down in a very satisfactory way. The wear/damage is on the single thickness length. It has a very satisfactory 'feel' to it. Well made for purpose and used for that purpose.

Any thoughts gratefully received.....


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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 5:50 am 
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Very nice. I don't have an attribution, unfortunately, but I am curious about the fringes. Presumably they have been attached separately and are not the warps of the woven part?

With fringes like that it seems to shout out "ceremonial use". A Yao priest's item perhaps?

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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 7:25 am 
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Yes, that is our feeling, that it is a Yao priest's accoutrement and this seems to come though strongly when you handle it. Yes, the tassels - rather than fringing which implies warps - have been attached separately. Very interesting seeing them in natural cotton similar to the background cloth rather than coloured silk as we more usually see on Yao textiles.

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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 2:05 pm 
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Location: Japan
Pamela, Isn't handspun cotton fluffy, warm and wonderful!! And such rich indigo! A beautiful addition to any collection! MAC


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:00 am 
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Pamela:

I am months overdue in posting photos of a pair of front and rear aprons that have fringes of this type. Because the pieces were quite soiled, I spent an inordinate amount of time not only washing it but cleaning and separating the fringe. Doing so revealed that each long thread has two very short threads knotted on to it about 1" from the end, making the end much fuller.

I will try to post the photos but, for now, thought you'd be interested to know that fringe like this has been used on other garments. The aprons are old in comparison to most of what hit the market in Chang Mai a few years ago, and well worn.

Anna

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:41 am 
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Location: Thailand
It is a lovely piece. I'm not familiar with south-east asian motifs but I suspect knowing what the tree-like symbol represents would be helpful. If the garment is worn as a ceremonial wrap this garment has been sewn together so that the symbol rests over the heart ... just an observation. As for the fringes/tassels, it may a regional weaving method. Navajo weavers never fringe their work but may at times add tassels as decorative details. Perhaps if you look at the ends of your piece you can tell how it was removed from the loom.


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