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 Post subject: Li textiles
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 5:43 pm 
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I'm looking some informations and publications about Li textile from the Hainan island (south china). They seems to have strong indonesian (or philipan?) influence in their weaving and cloth. Thank you.

Originally posted 10 Jun 02


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 Post subject: Li textiles
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 5:50 pm 
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I agree - I would very much like to find information on the Li of Hainan Island. So far I have not found much. In the 'Ethnic Costumes & Clothing Decorations from China' (published by Hai Feng Publishing Co., Ltd pages 294/295 give a summary of the 'Li Nationality' plus 2 pictures (not photos) of costume. Michael C Howard & Kim Be Howard in their recently published book on the 'Textiles of the Daic Peoples of Vietnam (White Lotus Press) p29/35 talk about the Li as being long separated from fellow Daic peoples. They refer to a Hans Steubel in 1937 giving especially important information on Li textiles. He did his research in the 1930s. There are some black and white photos of Li costumes from Steubel in these pages and then 211-214 with several colour plates also from Steubel - nice and clear of the textiles. White Lotus press (published in Thailand) is quite widely available - their website is http://thailine.com/lotus email: ande@loxinfo.co.th When I was in Guizhou last Oct/Nov I saw several Li textiles from Hainan especially with one of the traders in Kaili. I bought a very fine woman's woven skirt with very complex weaving. I was fascinated and am looking for more information. Hope we stimulate some further info with this thread - thanks! Pamela

Oh, the Steubel reference is: Steubel, Hans, Die Li-Stamme der Insel Hainan: Ein Beitrag zur Volkskunde Sudchinas (Berlin: Klinkhardt & Biermann 1937)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 6:32 pm 
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Pamela, thanks a lot for these good informations. I will try to find these books. I have also different kind of woman's woven skirt from Hainan island : one is a very short skirt made with 4 very small panels with very complex weaving (colors are red, beige, black and indigo). The jacket is an industrial indigo coton with silk embroidery. An other one is a real indigo ikat tubeskirt (like indonesian sarong). And the last one is a handspun indigo tubeskirt, probably older, with very fine silk embroidery (which are anthropomorphism representation) I have never seen these kind somewhere else. I have also seen in Thaïland a Li skirt made with a natural fiber.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 6:33 pm 
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Olivier, very interesting descriptions of your Li textiles. Did you find them in Hainan or elsewhere? I would be very interested to find some direct (current) information on what is happening in the villages today. If I find any more info I will contact you. If you have any photos and any expanatory text perhaps I could add a Li information page to the site. I must photograph my skirt to be able to share. Pamela


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 6:39 pm 
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Pamela, in fact I found these textiles in Thaïland. Unfortunately I don't have direct informations about villages today. (I just heard that the most part of Li wear chinese clothes today.) I will try also to find more about it. I have also to photograph some textiles it will be interesting to compare.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 6:41 pm 
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To Olivier; A note on Li textiles: They are closer to what are called the CORE TEXTILES of the TAI people, and except for what can be considered as southeast Asian symbols, they in fact are not really related to Indonesian textiles. They were originally woven on a back-strap loom, with the narrow weft which characterize the textiles of the Tai world. You're lucky, the Li textiles are difficult to find. What you are describing is a "pha sin", the tube skirt of the Tai. Technically it is not a sarong as the skirts are usually sewn together; those which are not are called hip wrappers. Best


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 6:43 pm 
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Do see these excellent photos of Li costume and also click for the excellent close-up details on the Ethno Echo website (a link in listed in the tribaltextiles.info links page.) I now have both a jacket and skirt similar to those shown and a very different type of skirt from, I believe, a different Li sub-group. http://www.ethnoecho.com/ethnic/clothings/liset.html


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 6:45 pm 
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Olivier, At long last I have created a small photogallery from the photos which you kindly sent to me after my previous post on this forum strand. http://www.tribaltextiles.info/forum/Olivier_Li.htm I have also put together a page of quotes from three books in my library ‘Li textiles: references’. The book to get remains the Howards’ Textiles of the Daic Peoples of Vietnam’ because it reproduces 1937 photos from Hans Steubel’s book ‘Die Li-Stamme der Insel Hainan: Ein Beitrag zur Volskunde Sudchinas’. You will see that I have tentatively identified the 3 Li sub-groups that I believe your textiles come from. I would welcome comments from anyone else who had more info on Li textiles or can more correctly attribute them. Thanks for sharing your photos. Pamela


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 9:14 pm 
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Pamela, I just checked out Olivier's Li items on the site you provided. Thank you very much - they are beautiful. I've never seen Li textiles; is there any chance the figures are actually applique'd, or are constructed and then attached to the body of the sin in some way? Thanks, Sandie (ps are all the dyes "natural", any comment abo


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 9:26 pm 
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Sandie, I think that the embroidery will have been directly applied to the textile but it is possible that it is done over a paper-cut (which would give it some stiffness. It also might be outlined - perhaps with a chain stitch. When I first saw the figures I thought that there was some similarity with Shidong Miao embroidery and that is often outlined with a fine chain stitch and may be done over paper cuts which is quite usual for some Miao embroidery in China. It is not possible to see properly in the photo. What we need is some input from Olivier. It would be interesting to know definitely 1. are the figures embroidery? 2. does it feel as if there is some light paper underneath? 3. Is there an outlining stitch either chain stitch or perhaps a couching over a hair. Olivier - any comments? Pamela


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 9:28 pm 
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Pamela, You are right, the big human figures and the small ones on the body of the tubular skirt are really embroideries. These embroideries are directly applied on the indigo skirt without paper cut. It is a chain stitch (three color of thread (orange, white and green/blue). But the interior of the figures is supplementary weft (the brown thread). I have seen a similar tubular skirt (but in quite bad condition) in the future museum of "arts premiers" which will open in 2005 quai de Branly in Paris, so it seems than a plain indigo panel is missing in the up part of this skirt. Olivier


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 9:34 pm 
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Hello, What an interesting discussion group, I will have to check in regularly from now on. I am also interested in Li Culture textiles from Hainan Island and have purchased about 25 or more over the last couple of years. I have sold some, kept others. There are many more types than I originally thought, but my favorites are the small mini skirts with the bands of a weft-float techinque and the ikat or embroidered sarongs like the ones Oliver has on his site. I have found little information on the Li in books, although I have acquired an old National Geographic issue from the 30's that has a nice article about them. There is also a book that I believe is in Japanese that has several good photos, but difficult to find. I will be doing a special web exhibit on my Li textiles in the near future and will let you know when that is set-up. You can go to my website at www.markajohnson.com and then to the Gallery link to view a couple of Li pieces on the Textile section. Keep up the good work, there needs to be more information available and these discussion groups are helpful. Regards,

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 9:37 pm 
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Mark, thanks for your comments. I hope that you will continue to contribute to the forum. I think I know of (but have not yet seen) the Japanese book to which you refer. If you click the link http://www.tribaltextiles.info/forum/Li ... panese.htm
I have added a scan of the frontpiece of the book with publishing details etc and some comments.

I like your site and, if I may, I will add it to the tribaltextiles.info links. I spotted the two Li textiles in your gallery - possibly (from Stubel) Meifu Li and Ba-sa-dung Li (the mini-skirt). I have an example of both and think they are very fine indeed. I really must photograph to add to the Li info on the site. Pamela


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 9:39 pm 
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Hello, The National Geographic issue about Li on Hainan is September, 1938. The title is: "Among the Big Knot Lois of Hainan". Very interesting and some good black and white photos. I found it on line through an internet service specializing in old issues of the Nat'l. Geo. Unfortunately, I did not save the site immediately and have not been able to find it again. If I can find it, I will re-post it on this site. Regards,

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 9:41 pm 
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Mark, thank you very much indeed for the reference and also for the photo of Li women (from the Japanese book) that you emailed to me. I have pasted the photo into a web page and linked it to the Li references and also Olivier's Li textiles. http://www.tribaltextiles.info/forum/Li_women.htm I find it very interesting that The National Geographic article on the Li was in 1938 and Hans Stubel's book on the Li was published in 1937. I hope that a link to the photo will also appear with this post. I am sure that Olivier will be as pleased as I am to see it. Thanks very much again, Pamela


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