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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:04 am 
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Here is a Yao jacket that came from a Kaili dealer recently, who also sold me some wedding headcloths from Guangxi at the same time. She described it as "from Yao people on Hainan". There are indeed Yao-related groups on Hainan, though they are officially described as "Miao". I have not seen any items I could definitely say were from Yao people there however. The jacket is old, as you will see from the texture of the indigo cloth. The red edgings are more recent and look to have been replaced at some stage.

The book "Clothing and Ornaments of China's Miao People" illustrates one classic long Yao coat from Hainan on page 206, though it is a recently made piece and not much use as comparison for this one. It does at least show that the classic long Yao jacket is or was in use on Hainan amongst at least some groups living there.

Ann Goodman pointed out to me that this is similar to jackets from Vietnam in Jess Pourret's book on pages 98 and 99 (compare the pom poms, which Mr Pourret says are charmingly called "Pooki").

I am wondering if anyone else can shed light...

Chris


Attachments:
File comment: the front of the jacket
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File comment: the back of the jacket
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File comment: detail of embroidered panel
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File comment: embroidered naga-dragon from the back of the jacket
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 1:15 am 
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Chris,

What a nice and unusual jacket. Maybe only Jess Pourett, or a trip walking to every remote corner of Hainan can answer your question.

Happy New Year to everyone on the forum and best wishes for a happy, wonderful 2011!

Steven

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:05 pm 
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Happy New Year to you both! Nice to see you on the forum again, Steven. Can I suggest a good New Year's resolution for you................?

Chris, I contacted Martin Conlan to ask him to have a look at your coat as he has plenty of experience of Yao and a good eye. No direct ID but interesting comments, nevertheless:

Quote:
Not sure about the provenance of this jacket apart from the fact that it is obviously Yao. I don't profess to have much knowledge of Hainanese Yao costumes, but would be doubtful of any "Hainan" attribution, as it sounds too much like dealer talk. Unless they bought it from a Hainanese dealer at or near source I think it is likely to be guesswork on their part.

I would think Vietnam might possibly be a more likely attribution. The embroidered dragons appear similar to others I've seen on simpler Vietnamese Yao/Dao shaman robe styles, and the refurbished scarlet red cotton edging is also fairly typical of pieces from Vietnam. However the obvious figures on a horse and the dragons are unusual to see on regular Yao/Dao clothing and so this jacket could possibly be associated with some sort of ceremonial use?


I particularly like the embroidered horses. One is used to seeing dogs embroidered on Yao textiles but the horses have a real wooden-like charm. Their necks are very elongated!

It certainly does have echoes of Vietnam. A tantalising teaser to start off 2011!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:42 am 
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yes, the horses are charming. They appear to have 6 legs (perhaps for extra stability on the steep mountain slopes...).

And thanks to Martin for his comments too. I had wondered about a ceremonial function, though this does not look like a typical Yao-Daoist robe.

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