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 Post subject: Miao men's headcloths
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 11:56 am 
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I thought that I would share with the forum a couple of photos of Miao men's head cloths which I have been sharing with Susan Stem. She was trying to identify a head cloth which she believed to be Dong. I could not share a Dong man's decorative head cloth with her as I did not see any on the trip. The Dong men that I saw wearing headcloths were wearing plain indigo dyed, shiny cloth. Of course there are several different Dong groups and we only saw two or three slightly different Dong groups.

The photos were taken on my May 05 visit to southeast Guizhou and are men from two different Miao groups wearing festival head cloths. They are perhaps particularly worth sharing since men's traditional clothing disappears from use so much earlier than women's although, perhaps, head cloths for ceremonial wear are one of the items which may last longer.

The photo immediately below the text is a Miao from from San Gang village, Gu Ping township, Congjiang county, Guizhou wearing a headcloth and folding one ready to dress a young man in festival dress. This is very much an area where Miao and Dong live near each other. (See also other photos of this Miao group in post: http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... .php?t=284 There are a couple more photos of men and boys wearing head cloths.)

The second photo below is of a Miao man from Yangtze village of Bajie township, Sandu county, Guizhou. This group of Miao are nicknamed '100 bird Miao'. The woman in the background is Shui. This is very much a Shui area. The hundred bird Miao village is higher up the mountain than the Shui village. Both villages have the same name.

As you can see the decoration is different on each head cloth and the fold and way of wearing slightly different.


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File comment: Miao man from San Gang village, Gu Ping township, Congjiang county, Guizhou wearing a headcloth and folding one ready to dress a young man in festival dress
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imgp3870w_418.jpg [ 55.96 KiB | Viewed 5073 times ]
File comment: 100 Bird Miao - Man wearing a headcloth in Yangtze village of Bajie township, Sandu county, Guizhou. The woman in the background is Shui.
imgp2900w_120.jpg
imgp2900w_120.jpg [ 59.42 KiB | Viewed 5073 times ]

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Pamela

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 Post subject: A Dong man's headcloth
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 7:20 pm 
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The only type of Dong man's headcloth that I saw being worn in Guizhou/Guangxi in May 2005 was this style of headcloth in very dark, shiny indigo shown in the photo below. This was taken in Ying Tang Village, Gu Ping township, Congjiang county, Guizhou province. You will see that this is the same township as the San Gang Miao village. Ying Tang Dong village is a newly opened up village as a result of a new road having been built to and past the village.

Whilst the younger man and boys were wearing festival clothing for our benefit it is possible that the old men were wearing the clothing that they would normally wear every day - or, at least, 'market day best'. For festival wear one end of the head cloth, which has embroidery stitching right at the end, is fanned out as can be seen by the middle aged man between the two old men and the young men in the background.


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File comment: Dong men wearing head cloths in Ying Tang Village, Gu Ping township, Congjiang county, Guizhou province
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 Post subject: Is it Dong?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 1:45 am 
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Location: California, USA
At the Annual Ethnic Arts sale in San Francisco, this February, I bought a "Dong" textile from John Gillow- We weren't able to figure out its use. It could have been the local version of a "pha chet", or what I thought might be a woman's turban.

Very old, and already stiffening, it was very finely made, and on its top and bottom, before the fringe, was a row of little people, on horesback, fingers pointing downward-alternately dressed in blue or pink.

However, it shares with the Miao male's turban, patterns and placement. I was quite surprised that the designs on both of them were very similar to the T'ai, with strong geomtric designs.

I'll check Susan's web site now to see what I can find, and also try to get a hold of John.

Sandie

(I know, I know. I'm giving up and trying to get an entirely new computer set up soon. Pictures may appear soon.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 6:50 pm 
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Sandie

Is your headcloth anything like Olivier's on this thread http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... =1166#1166 see detail of figures.

Sorry to take so long to respond but I just could not access the forum properly to find this post. See also figures on Dong jacket of Andrew's see http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... ost&p=1124 especiall detail. Also see the Dong babycarrier at http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... .php?t=143 especially details of woven girls.

Similarities with Tai. Are not the Dong and the Tai supposed to be linked linguistically way back? I am away from my references but a quick check of Dong language on Google gave me http://www.chsource.org/Dong.htm
Quote:
The Dong People come from the Tai language family. It is believed that their ancestors migrated out of present day Thailand more than 3000 years ago and settled in the lofty areas where Guizhou, Guangxi and Hunan provinces are joined together. Reference to the Dong nationality can be found in ancient Chinese historical sources from as far back as the Qin Dynasty (221-207 B.C.).

The Dong language belongs to the Sino-Tibetan language family, the Kam-Dai branch, and the Kam-Sui group. It is divided into Northern and Southern varieties. Every variety is divided again into three local vernaculars. Although a very difficult language to speak due to its 15 tonal variations, the Dong language is the primary means of communication for this people.

I love the description of 'lofty areas of Guizhou, Guangxi and Hunan provinces' it vividly sums up the landscape!

John Gillow probably got the weaving from the dealers in Kaili which is where textiles from all over China find their way. (Glad that you were supporting his participation at the Annual Ethnic Arts sale in San Francisco!)

We all look forward with eager anticipation to you being able to directly post photos on the forum!

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 11:08 pm 
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Hi Pamela,

The Dong language is in fact, related to the T'ai language family. (Sui and Mak, along with Dong, form a closely related subgroup) It is also related to Zhuang as well. This latter kinship is quite important, since some scholars have suggested that the frog icon may have originated in some rite the Zhuang apparently enjoyed.

The information you quoted has a few errors (only a linguist would know). The larger T'ai family is related to the vast Austronesian phylum, and has no relationship to Sino-Tibetian at all; however, the Miao and Yao languages do form a sub-group of Sino-Tibetan, as does Burmese.

Also, the route of migration claimed here would constitute what is known as "back migration"; the Dong are said to have entered China from the areas along various river banks from the area known as Sip Song Panna in the south. up to the areas where they now live.

Unfortunately, that migratory route is wrong; there is evidence (including the settlement of the Li on Hainan) from a number of sources that the T'ai came down from China, not up.

It was a delight to revisit the wonderful Dong textiles on this thread. I think Andrew's little maidens are the closest thing to mine. However, my little creatures are on horseback, and alternate pink and blue garments, or maybe red and blue. This is an interesting point...are the pinkies female, and the blue male? (garment wise) The color-coding coincidence could be interesting.

Sandie


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