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 Post subject: Headscarf origins?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:40 am 
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Posts: 315
I am trying to identify a recently purchased piece, said to be a Miao headscarf, of incredibly fine silk supplementary weaving on cotton. Something in it reminded me of Miao baby carriers coming from the Zhouxi area of Kaili, Guizhou perhaps the inclusion of the silver threads at regular intervals and the insertion of blue and green threads. The following links will take you to examples of the carriers I am thinking about.
viewtopic.php?t=970&highlight=zhouxi
viewtopic.php?t=141&highlight=zhouxi
http://www.tribaltrappings.com/TACH237.php
http://www.tribaltrappings.com/TACH238.php
I have several of these so perhaps a thread with these carriers could be formed with other forum members?

Chris Buckley shows a very similar piece on his website and perhaps he can clarify: http://www.toranatribal.com/MiaoCostume2.html attributed to the Miao from the Yongjia area of Guizhou.
I am not sure where this is exactly as the only Yongjia area with which I am familiar is Yongjia County, Wenzhou in Zhejiang Province? Could it be Rongjia?


Attachments:
Copy of IMG_0041.JPG
Copy of IMG_0041.JPG [ 254.18 KiB | Viewed 10256 times ]


Last edited by iain on Sat Jun 29, 2013 7:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:30 am 
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Location: Beijing
Hi Iain

I'm afraid I don't have very much firm information on these, I bought several from a Kaili dealer at the same time but I have not subsequently checked the verbal attribution that I was given or found the place on the map. "Yongjia" could very well be "Rongjiang", sometimes it is hard to tell with Guizhou prononciations. I have not seen anything exactly like these in the literature, but I think you are right in saying that Rongjiang supplementary weft work looks similar. Like you I admired the very fine work and unusual coloring. Here is one more example. I too would be interested to know if anyone has more definite information on these ... who and where.

I think it is correct to say they are headscarves, the fold-lines I saw on some pieces were consistent with this.


Attachments:
File comment: headscarf, silk supplementary weft on cotton foundation
CET123-1t.jpg
CET123-1t.jpg [ 277.03 KiB | Viewed 10400 times ]
File comment: detail of headscarf
CET123-2.jpg
CET123-2.jpg [ 146.2 KiB | Viewed 10400 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:43 pm 
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Hi Iain and Chris

I am very taken by these head cloths that you have posted. I wasn't sure from Iain's whether the colouring related to the quality of the photo (sorry, Iain!)

I sent Ann Goodman my weekly forum digest for last week and she has come back to me having seen both posts. She has sent me a couple of photos of a 'waistband' in her collection.
Quote:
"Dear Pamela,

Looking at Iain's and Chris's headscarf recalls a fine waistband that I have , see attached photos. The band is linen with cotton supplementary weft very fine dark indigo weave. 120" x 12". I have it as Baibei Miao, Ronjiang County, Guizhou. Many of the motifs are similar to the silk brocade baby carrier panels that Susan Stem has shown on her site and are suggested as similar in Iain's post.

Baibei is just a suggestion, as I have little to no expertise in this area. I just liked the piece.

Best to all,

Ann

I too have thought of the similarity of the two posted above to both Miao and Dong weaving in this Rongjiang area BUT, for me, what is unusual, is the colouring in Iain and Chris' pieces. I have seen the indigo decorated ones being worn here.

I personally find these irresistible (quite a downfall as Martin Conlan - who also can't resist a nice one - knows well!) Small gems! However, I don't have any which are as Iain and Chris show and I too would like to know more about these more muted coloured ones with their rows of pattern down the length of the textile.


Attachments:
File comment: Ann Goodman's textile
Baibei_w.jpg
Baibei_w.jpg [ 72.77 KiB | Viewed 10378 times ]
File comment: detail of Ann Goodman's textile
Baibeidet_w.jpg
Baibeidet_w.jpg [ 85.82 KiB | Viewed 10378 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:43 am 
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I have two like Chris' - I bought them at the market in Beijing in 2007. No obvious fold lines. I bought them for the same reason as Chris and Iain - fine, interesting weaving. While I know nothing about them, I doubt that they're the same as the indigo textiles - aside from obvious differences in color, there are differences in motif and density of design.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:19 pm 
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Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
These headcloths also struck a note of familiarity to me... I have had some in different colors, but very similar design. I do not think they resemble the one Ann showed either: these are quite small and the designs are repeated motifs forming a pattern in weft-oriented lines- no large diamonds, nor indigo. I was told that they were Dong, but I don't know for sure- I got mine in Kaili. To see how it might be worn I'll show below a Miao woman in Shidong (near Kaili) wearing a headcloth of a similar style, but in different patterning and color (I saw some like hers for sale and they don't have the detailed patterns as in the ones we're seeing on this thread, tho the design is with weft-oriented stripes). Unfortunately I do not have any photos of Dong women wearing these. Maybe another forum member does?

Below are three that I have had- note the soiled areas on the fold lines. The materials are silk brocade on cotton.


Attachments:
Forum-Shidong-Miao ladies.jpg
Forum-Shidong-Miao ladies.jpg [ 77.14 KiB | Viewed 10339 times ]
Mail-TACH213.jpg
Mail-TACH213.jpg [ 73.83 KiB | Viewed 10339 times ]
Mail-TACH214.jpg
Mail-TACH214.jpg [ 77.46 KiB | Viewed 10338 times ]
Mail-TACH215.jpg
Mail-TACH215.jpg [ 68.22 KiB | Viewed 10338 times ]
Mail-TACH215_Detail_1.jpg
Mail-TACH215_Detail_1.jpg [ 87.41 KiB | Viewed 10338 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:33 pm 
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Location: germany
Wonderful textiles, all of them!
They immediately reminded me of old Swedish textiles and woven bands that have very similar designs. Of course, there is no cultural connection; the similarities result from clever weavers finding satisfaction in what they can do with warp and weft and developing more or less the same patterns, which seem to have an appeal that is independent of the individual culture.
Speculating, I suppose that each culture has different names for design elements that make sense in the culture, but the elements are still similar.


Attachments:
File comment: Woven and colored bands from Dalacarlia and other regions of Sweden - from Nordiska Museet [Stockholm, 1925, my addition]
Title: Textilt Bildverk
utgivet av Emelie von Waltertorff, amanuens vid Nordiska Museet

Bild-17w.jpg
Bild-17w.jpg [ 84.54 KiB | Viewed 10238 times ]
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 Post subject: Headscarf details
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:45 am 
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After my first posting here's hoping these images are OK!
These images are included to show the incredibly fine weaving and the inclusiong of the parallel silver threads which recalled the inclusion of pink/green/red/purple/indigo threads in the baby carriers from Zhouxi. A couple of non-uniform details are also shown - the green threads at the end of the weaving and the incorporation of blue thread in the 'white' band separating the supplementary weft sections.

[I have edited the three images (great shots, Iain, thanks) shown here to reduce them to 600 pix in width and file sizes around 80K. Wide images distort viewing of the forum and I would be very, very grateful if forum members would keep to the 600 px maximum width. Thanks, Pamela]


Attachments:
File comment: Section showing inclusion of blue thread
0047_132w.jpg
0047_132w.jpg [ 55.09 KiB | Viewed 10257 times ]
File comment: Section showing band with inclusion of two silver threads
0045_863w.jpg
0045_863w.jpg [ 82.5 KiB | Viewed 10257 times ]
File comment: End detail showing incorporation of green and silver threads
0044_113w.jpg
0044_113w.jpg [ 78.41 KiB | Viewed 10257 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Quote:
Wonderful textiles, all of them!
They immediately reminded me of old Swedish textiles and woven bands that have very similar designs. Of course, there is no cultural connection; the similarities result from clever weavers finding satisfaction in what they can do with warp and weft and developing more or less the same patterns, which seem to have an appeal that is independent of the individual culture.
Speculating, I suppose that each culture has different names for design elements that make sense in the culture, but the elements are still similar.


Larry posted above and Iain slipped in with the detail shots of the headcloth which started this thread. Great as they show the weaving designs very well but, I as was going to add Larry's scans of Swedish textile designs to his post, it has caused a bit of a hiatus in Larry's comments! I have posted one image with his post above and will add some other images below. All the images come from Nordiska Museet [Stockholm, 1925, Larry's addition] Title: Textilt Bildverk utgivet av Emelie von Waltertorff, amanuens vid Nordiska Museet. (I understand that "In Sweden amanuens is used to denote roughly a teaching assistant at university who continues with his own scientific work, or a civil servant at archives or museum. " Wikipedia)

I find it fascinating how the technicalities of weaving have such an influence on patterns and create these similarities across the globe.


Attachments:
File comment: woven and plaited bands from several regions of Sweden
from Nordiska Museet [Stockholm, 1925, Larry's addition]
Title: Textilt Bildverk
utgivet av Emelie von Waltertorff, amanuens vid Nordiska Museet

Bild-18w.jpg
Bild-18w.jpg [ 79.61 KiB | Viewed 10223 times ]
File comment: textiles from different regions of Sweden
from Nordiska Museet [Stockholm, 1925, Larry's addition]
Title: Textilt Bildverk
utgivet av Emelie von Waltertorff, amanuens vid Nordiska Museet

Bild-19w.jpg
Bild-19w.jpg [ 80.63 KiB | Viewed 10223 times ]
File comment: three runners (? extinct Swedish word), Sweden
from Nordiska Museet [Stockholm, 1925, Larry's addition]
Title: Textilt Bildverk
utgivet av Emelie von Waltertorff, amanuens vid Nordiska Museet

Bild-21w.jpg
Bild-21w.jpg [ 85.46 KiB | Viewed 10223 times ]
File comment: textiles from Skaane, Sweden
from Nordiska Museet [Stockholm, 1925, Larry's addition]
Title: Textilt Bildverk
utgivet av Emelie von Waltertorff, amanuens vid Nordiska Museet

Bild-22w.jpg
Bild-22w.jpg [ 90.25 KiB | Viewed 10223 times ]
File comment: two textiles from Blekinge, Sweden
from Nordiska Museet [Stockholm, 1925, Larry's addition]
Title: Textilt Bildverk
utgivet av Emelie von Waltertorff, amanuens vid Nordiska Museet

Bild-23w.jpg
Bild-23w.jpg [ 80.92 KiB | Viewed 10223 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:35 pm 
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Thank you, Pamela, for all your effort.
Iain's more detailed images nicely underline the similarities.
Regards, Larry


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:34 am 
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Wonderful to see the Swedish examples. A salutary reminder too, to all the pattern-connection spotters of how much is down to the influence of structure. I think you could find all of those Swedish motifs (except for the prancing horses) on Dong, Miao and Bouyei weavings.

Anne's pieces (posted by Pamela) remind me a lot in terms of coloring and overall style of Dong blankets from the Liping area. These are usually in 2 or 3 strips, indigo cotton or (more recently) black cotton on white or ivory background. They are relatively thin with a floppy handle on older pieces. I attach a photo of a detail of one. The design is a bird I think. Many of the same repeating motifs as in examples from previous posts.


Attachments:
File comment: detail of Dong minority blanket, supplementary weft patterning
CET261-2t.jpg
CET261-2t.jpg [ 251.56 KiB | Viewed 10151 times ]

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:48 am 
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Some of the previous posts remind me of a small puzzle regarding Li textiles.

Most "Li brocade" has a characteristic structure in which the supplementary weft design is not visible on the back of the textile. The exception to this are the bands of brocade that are sometimes added to Meifu Li ikat skirts from Hainan. These have the same structure (as far as I can tell) as Dong, Miao and Daic supplementary weft from the mainland, with the design visible on the reverse side in "negative" form. Here are pictures of a Meifu Li brocade band and part of a Miao decorative band from the Zhouxi area for comparison.

The inclusion of stripes of a different color in both types (and others in this thread) is also interesting.

There are Miao living on Hainan too. Do any forum members have supplementary weft textiles made by them that they can share?


Attachments:
File comment: Detail of a supplementary weft band, said to be Miao from Zhouxi area of Guizhou
CET306-2t.jpg
CET306-2t.jpg [ 229.81 KiB | Viewed 10146 times ]
File comment: Detail of a "brocade" band on a Meifu Li ikat skirt from Hainan
CET236-2t.jpg
CET236-2t.jpg [ 205.93 KiB | Viewed 10146 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:09 am 
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"all the pattern-connection spotters"

Precisely, Chris, those trying to explain why pre-Columbian patterns must demonstrate ethnic connections with Asia - East or West, or how Greek key meanders in stonework in pre-Columbian Mexico prove a connection.

Some of the motifs seen here also have their counterparts on Caucasian and Anatolian rugs and kelims, hooked diamonds, etc. Interesting, I find, is that in both the Swedish and these Asian textiles, it appears that the weavers were/are demonstrating with exubrance the variety of patterns they can create.

The basic diagonal orientation of the patterns is, of course, due to difficulty of making horizontal and vertical lines (not that anyone here didn't know that).

Someone must have written the book explaining that the Greek key meander and other patterns found in mosaics and stonework are adaptations of textile patterns, in the other medium being able to run parallel with the lines of the structure.

Larry


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:23 am 
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What a fascinating 'thread' this has become! The Swedish textiles are a real feast for the eyes and quite surprising in their similarity to textiles from this region. I tend to be of the opinion that technical limitations have a lot to do with textile motifs, but that said one has to marvel at the similarities to designs used by the peoples of the Tai Kadai language groups, or at the very least, the peoples in those areas. And, the horses are not an exception as they often show up on Tai weavings from Thailand, and in a very similar configuration.

Has anyone read 1421; The Year China Discovered The World? It tells of the different naval forays made by the Chinese and how they mapped the world before any Europeans. They also disseminated many aspects of their culture, from Asiatic chickens to language. The ramifications for the study of textiles are tantalizing.

Re Chris' Meifu Li woven bands and the comparison to the Miao baby carrier bands: it is an interesting similarity. However, contrary to the printed literature... are you sitting down?... the textiles on Hainan that have been identified in the books as Miao are in fact Mun Yao, aka Lanten. One has only to look to see batik skirts (below- from the book cited), which are like those of the Dao Tien in Vietnam, and in old photos the costumes are clearly Yao, with the women wearing long-tailed coats and leggings. The book The Clothing and Ornaments of the Miao People, a Chinese publication, even states
Quote:
The Miao people who lived on the Hainan island speak basically the same dialect as the Yao people of Guangxi.
In the last section of the book, 'The Hainan Island Model', they show costume that is distinctly Yao (p.206). And when I questioned Jess Pourret about this once, he laughed and said that yes, they were Yao people, not Miao. I must wonder what the people call themselves and how this rather glaring error became so widespread. I see in even in Steubel's seminal work that he shows a piece of embroidered textile that clearly has Yao similarities and identifies it as "Miau"(sic) (Abb.258). Also curious is the similarity in dress of the priests (shaman?) to those of the Yao: long coats and similar headdress. Maybe Chris has some insight into all this, having been there and speaking Chinese?


Attachments:
Forum-Yao skirt Hainan.jpg
Forum-Yao skirt Hainan.jpg [ 96.42 KiB | Viewed 10068 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:56 am 
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Hi Susan

I was completely unaware that the "Miao" on Hainan were actually Yao, until by odd co-incidence I was offered an item last week that was described by the seller as "Yao, from Hainan", which set me off on a similar trail.

Thanks very much for pointing out the information in the Miao book ... I had not looked at that lately. You are absolutely right ... those coats and the embroidered wedding veil in the book are most definitely Yao. And here's an even odder thing. Turn the page from the embroidered items to page 210 (practically the last page in the book) and there is a photo of 3 headscarves decorated with supplementary weft, looking very un-Yao-like and very much like the other pieces in this thread. So I wonder if this group of people described as "Miao" actually consists of several minorities who have been lumped together? It wouldn't be the first time.

I haven't visited those parts of Hainan, and I am not likely to be able to go exploring those regions in the near future. But from my last trip I do remember seeing some embroidered head-scarves that were definitely not Li, including one on the head of an elderly lady on the back of a motorbike, who unfortunately whizzed past much too quickly for me to take a close look. I nearly asked my driver to chase her, but then decided that being chased by a foreigner in a taxi would probably cause a heart attack.


Attachments:
File comment: from "Clothings and Ornaments of China's Miao People" page 210
Scarf1.jpg
Scarf1.jpg [ 85.54 KiB | Viewed 10058 times ]
File comment: detail from "Clothings and Ornaments of China's Miao People" page 210
Scarf2.jpg
Scarf2.jpg [ 145.9 KiB | Viewed 10058 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:17 pm 
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Susan,
Since you even liked the horses, look at this one on a Pazyryk felt (ca. 2500 years old):
http://www.persiancarpetguide.com/sw-as ... Carpet.htm

Textile designs on a loom that only has a few different sheds must be limited by the warp and weft, starting with a simple twill, until someone made the twill slant in the other direction, allowing zigzags and diamonds. and eventually more intricate patterns. Once a weaver had seen what someone else could do, she could figure out how to play with the technique.

You weavers can probably tell how many different sheds one needs to make most of these patterns (how many treadles?). It seems to me that the results have to show great similarities.

Larry


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