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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 9:23 pm 
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For years I have been collecting and writing about antique combs and other hair ornaments. It is difficult to locate research, though by now I have more than 1700 articles in my bibliography - and many hundreds of photos. Still, that does not cover enough. I need primary resources, profiles and/orinterviews, anecdotes, one-of-a-kind and odd ornaments for the hair, traditions, artists, carvers and other makers, symbols and their meanings, a way to contact other collectors and owners, the names of all types of hair ornaments in other languages and dialects. Even one reference would make me happy, but I can never give up. Ihave been involved wiht the Antique Comb Collectors Club International and one of the founders, as editor of the newsletter, as a board member, speaker at conventions and before groups in the US and abroad - I am really "hooked" and don't want to get away! Will certainly appreciate hearing from some of the interesting people who have been writing on this site. You seem to have a passion that consumes you, too (well, not totally consumed . . .) the kind of curious, energetic people I like to know. Hope to hear from you. Belva

originally posted 25 Jun 03


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 9:24 pm 
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The Thai women, until European contact, wore their hair very short, as elderly women in Southeast Asian countries like Cambodia, still do. Rather than hair ornaments, they wore head ornaments like turbans, etc. Kings of Siam wore symbolic hair ornaments especially at their coronations. Thai little boys wore combs and ornaments in their hair, which was kept long until the "tonsure" ceremony, when the hair is cut off. I have never seen any combs, and I'm afraid you might have to find some anthropological sites for more help.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 9:26 pm 
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Sorry I have taken a long time to get to a post on this message. I am posting a link to a 'Sidecomb Miao' lady in Guangxi province showing the comb in her hair. http://www.tribaltextiles.info/Gallerie ... /LDE14.htm There are also other villages of this group of Miao in my china photogalleries. I have a wonderful Yao(Mien) bone and silver comb (large) with a huge red pom-pom on it. I have yet to identify the exact group to which it belongs. One of those irristible things.... Pamela


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 9:28 pm 
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Thank you Sandra and Pamela. Sandra, do you know of any books on the subject? Pamela, I saw that wonderful hair ornament and printed it off. How do I get to the other reference you mentioned?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 9:29 pm 
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Belva, I have not photographed it so far. When I do I will let you know. I should post it to the forum as a 'mystery' item to see if anyone can pin down the identity of the Mien group. Pamela


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 9:31 pm 
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Ladies- I too find the hair ornaments quite interesting and would like to know of reference material out there. I also have a Yao/Mien bone comb with red pompom and do not have any substantive info on it. I really do not like using a forum like this for commercial purposes, but the piece in question is on my site if anyone would like to see it. There are also hairpins from the Miao as well. I would welcome any information you can share about these items. If you are not already familiar with the following, it is one of the few sources I have showing various Miao textiles and ornament: Clothings (sic)and Ornaments of China's Miao People; Nationality Press 1985, Beijing. In particular see pages 66, 67 and 177. Thank you for bringing this interesting corollary to textiles to our attention!

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http://www.tribaltrappings.com
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 9:32 pm 
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Susan - I was up too late last night! I can't find the comb on your site. Any hints? I am very interested to see if it is similar to mine. I bought mine in Singapore and I think it was sourced from a dealer in Bangkok who, of course, could have sourced it from anywhere in the region.....Pamela


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 9:33 pm 
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Belva, May I recommend a new Thai movie called "The Legend of Suriya.."? Not to worry, the final cut was edited by Coppola himself. The photos I've seen try and approximate 16th century Thailand (but, I think, with long hair!). Any reasonable historical or anthropological study should contain early photos from the nineteenth century; textile books also usually have older photos as well. The bibliography compiled by Pamela is a great place to start. Of course some women wore their hair longer, with ornaments, but I personaly have not seen any. My husband wants to inform you, rather wistfully, that along with short hair, T'ai women also went bare breasted, unless going to a "Wat", or when elderly, usually beginning about 35 years old!On another matter, do you collect "Afro combs"? It may just be that I was at Berkeley in the sixties, when they would be placed strategically in a massive hair do, going out of fashion only with the arrival of dreadlocks. A recent cartoon by Bizarro reminded me of all this.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 9:35 pm 
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Pamela- I realized after posting that I should have given a reference number for the comb- sorry! It is Antique/Other/AO106; it can be referenced directly from the Order Form, or the page (with another Yao piece) can be accessed thru Antiques/Ethnographica starting with the Home page. If that doesn't work, please let me know.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 9:37 pm 
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Thanks very much Susan. I think that this link http://www.tribaltrappings.com/AO3.html may link direct. Well, the comb seems very, very similar to mine although I have not yet un packed mine and compared them direct. I will have to get the camera out to show you. Your pom pom looks a little fresher than mine. The bone with the stamped silver is very attractive on both combs. So which Yao/Mien group? Would Jess Pourret know? There is nothing exactly like it in his book. Pamela


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 9:38 pm 
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Pamela - Good questions. It's not in Jess Pourret's Yao book and I have not caught up with him yet. I'll let you know when I do, as I'd like to know more about it, the 'wedding veil', and the 'wedding hat'- none of which are in his book. He admits that the breadth of the book omits some Yao groups- obviously this is an area ripe for more study. Anyone out there???

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http://www.tribaltrappings.com
http://tribaltrappings.blogspot.com/


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 9:39 pm 
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Me again. Belva, you are probably aware of this, but often hair ornaments are included in collections of tribal jewelry. Two handsome books come to mind especially: Power and Gold, about Indonesian and Philippine jewelry; and The Splendor of Ethnic Jewelry, which features a magnificent Belgian collection from all over the world. As one would imagine, in tandem with textiles, hair ornaments in Indonesia vary greatly from island to island, as is documented by both these books.

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http://www.tribaltrappings.com
http://tribaltrappings.blogspot.com/


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2003 7:16 am 
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Belva, as you probably know, the Pagan Gaddang of Luzon Island have combs with embroidery beads and red / yellow cotton tufts. However, in rare cases much finer old examples can be found. These have tiny yellow bird feathers in stead of the cotton tufts. There is an example of a fine one on the CD-ROM "Kalinga Costumes" (by the undersigned). These combs used to be worn together with all sorts of other trinkets on their elaborate and enormous piles of hair atop the head. Hair stuck in the comb would be carefully stored, since it could otherwise be used for black magic if an enemy got ahold of it. When enough loose hair accumulated, it would be made into a tress (with a talisman attached) and added to the natural hair.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 5:13 pm 
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Belva - not sure if are still around but I just got around to reading your posting about combs.

I don't know anything about them but bought this one probably 20 years ago or so from a dealer in Los Angeles. I think it was I. M. Chait. He had a gallery then.

All I have recorded for it is "Ivory Chinese Comb". It is very nicely and finely carved on both sides which is what drew me to it.

Hope this is some help.



belva green wrote:
For years I have been collecting and writing about antique combs and other hair ornaments. It is difficult to locate research, though by now I have more than 1700 articles in my bibliography - and many hundreds of photos. Still, that does not cover enough. I need primary resources, profiles and/orinterviews, anecdotes, one-of-a-kind and odd ornaments for the hair, traditions, artists, carvers and other makers, symbols and their meanings, a way to contact other collectors and owners, the names of all types of hair ornaments in other languages and dialects. Even one reference would make me happy, but I can never give up. Ihave been involved wiht the Antique Comb Collectors Club International and one of the founders, as editor of the newsletter, as a board member, speaker at conventions and before groups in the US and abroad - I am really "hooked" and don't want to get away! Will certainly appreciate hearing from some of the interesting people who have been writing on this site. You seem to have a passion that consumes you, too (well, not totally consumed . . .) the kind of curious, energetic people I like to know. Hope to hear from you. Belva

originally posted 25 Jun 03


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 Post subject: hair ornement
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:44 pm 
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Location: Paris, France
dearBelva,
I don't know if you are still looking at tribal textiles.info, but I would like to answer to your message. Since few years ago I am also interested by hair ornements from south east asia. Some are really interesting in their forms or material; i am posting few exemples of them
From left to right: a Naga male hairpin (bone), a Chin male hairpin (bronze, very heavy) a Miao silver hairpin and a Li hairpin (bone)
I think there are also differents books (3 or 4) about the tribal jewelery'collection of Colette Ghysels(Skira Publisher) where you can find some informations.


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