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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 2:07 pm 
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Hello group,

My wife and I recently purchased this baby carrier. The vendor did not know provenance so I am looking for any information.
Unable to locate a similar example in my library here in China.
Your knowledge is appreciated.

Regards,
Steven Frost


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babycarrier1_202w.jpg
babycarrier1_202w.jpg [ 62.54 KiB | Viewed 12888 times ]
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 1:35 pm 
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Dear Steven

I wonder if this may be a Han Chinese babycarrier rather than a minority group. It is certainly difficult to immediately identify it. I am away from my library at the moment so I can't currently check to see if I can find anything similar. The embroidery has a more Han 'feel' to it and that kind of patchwork style appears amongst the Han. It also - just to confuse - also appears amongst minority groups as in Yi skirts in Yunnan.

Perhaps others may be able to pin it down more.

Thanks for sharing it.

Best wishes,

Pamela

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 Post subject: baby carrier
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 12:51 am 
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Pamela,

I am fairly certain it is not Han. The Yi patchwork is much more irregular and coarser than this baby carrier. It was probably collected in Guangxi.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 1:07 am 
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Steven

The pointer to Guangxi is useful. I have some textile literature on Guangxi - all in Chinese - although you my also have this and checked it. See on the China bibliography http://www.tribaltextiles.info/bibliogr ... _books.htm ( "Art of Guangxi Minorities Customs: Colorful Costumes" (2 Volumes) - Guangxi Minzhu Fengsu Yishu: Wucai Yishang and "Art of Guangxi Minorities Customs: Embroidered Baby Carrier" - Guangxi Minzhu Fengsu Yishu: Wazai Beidai (2 Volumes)). As I mentioned above, I am away from my library so cannot check through for about a week. Regrettably there is not nearly as much literature available, especially in English, on the textiles of the minorities in Guangxi compared to those in Guizhou.

It is certainly difficult to make an easy identification with a textile like your babycarrier which incorporates basic styles which are common (or have been common) to many inhabitants of China over the years. I would say that there is Han influence - i.e. in the use of symbols in the embroidery

As someone who has been a patchworker and quilter the strong 3D patchwork style of your carrier is very attractive (and it would have been likely to have found its way into my collection if it had come my way!)

Best wishes,

Pamela

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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 Post subject: baby carrier
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 1:16 am 
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Pamela,

No question the embroidery is Han influenced. And I agree this is a beautiful piece. I saw a second, lesser example two weeks ago selling for a much higher price because this style is too difficult to find now.
I have the Guangxi books, they are really terrific, and I can read them basically. My scouring has yet to reveal an answer, but I am still working on it.
My hope was perhaps Bonding via Baby Carriers, which I do not have, might have a similar example.
Once we solve this mystery I have others.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 4:59 am 
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Steven

I and some other forum members have the Bonding via Babycarriers book. I don't recall a similar example in its pages.

I suppose it would be no fun if we found out the answers straight away.....!

best wishes,

Pamela

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 3:16 pm 
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Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Steven and Pamela-
I have been scouring my small library of books on Chinese textiles, including Bonding Via Baby Carriers, and cannot find anything quite like this unusual and very striking carrier. I find the juxtaposition of what appears to be fairly 'classical' embroidery, in the center panel, with the almost-three-dimensional and very graphic and modern patchwork surround to be most curious. I do hope we find an answer...

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 10:00 am 
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Susan,

Last time I was in Guizhou I saw a similar, albeit inferior example. It is the only other I have ever seen.
It is exciting to have a rare, fine piece. At the same time I am surprised nobody else has seen one before.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 2:29 am 
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The nearest example in Guizhou that I can think of with patchwork is an old form of Danzhai jacket. I know that Olivier Tallec has an example. I managed to find a post by him from February this year showing a small photo of his jacket - see http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... ight=#1175 Actually, when I now see the patchwork on the old style jacket it does not have the same 3D effect of Steven's baby carrier which makes it so eyecatching.

I don't know if I can get Gina Corrigan to have a look at the baby carrier - she may be travelling at the moment and she does not use the internet by choice. When I get home I think I will print off a copy from Steven's original (large and better quality) photo posted and mail it to her to see if she can shed any light.

It may be frustrating not being able to identify but a good mystery is fun!

best wishes,

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 5:13 am 
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I too thought of the Dazhai connection, but as you mentioned Pamela, the patchwork and effect is quite different.
A highly questionable Miao personal source told me the piece is from Lipin County, Guizhou in an area with a highly mixed Miao/Yao population. Until verified this can be treated with a high degree of skepticism based on my source.
I am curious to hear Pamela's follow up from Gina Corrigan. An even deeper mystery is how someone these days cannot use the computer as a means of communication... only kidding.


Steven


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 Post subject: is it patched?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:31 am 
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Location: California, USA
This textile is clearly difficult to place, although it is definitly not Yao. I'm wondering about the style used to place a baby in a carrier-often the placement of ties and other fasteners is the most important aspect of discovering the origin of a piece.

I'm also not sure what to make of the psychedelic squares-was the textile folded first to assist in the embroidery? I agree with Pamela about the Han feel. The middle piece is definitely Han, and in all likelihood was used for its decorative value: interesting in itself, because these baby carriers rarely are so discordent for color and style blending.

Having returned to somewhat gainful employment, I have not been as diligent as usual in presenting my normal yearly lectures, so here goes #51:

I'm not quite sure of the need to attribute the origin of pieces. Many textiles that seem obvious from originating in a particular area and ethnic group contain elements that are harder to place. Cues from weaving and dying tend to be more accurate than textile motifs, which can widely differ, yet are strangely similar throughout SEAsia,

For more on this topic, check out Bill's comments about similarities between Mezo-American textiles and those found in SEAsia.

And for even more, check out the comments regarding Pamela's hat (emphasis on my remarks, of course).

Sandie


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 4:29 am 
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Sandie

Welcome back after (too long) a break! Glad that you are gainfully employed.

As a patchworker/quilter, albeit it 'resting' at the moment, I can say that the piecing technique for the patchwork is very simple and basic indeed and I would expect it to be two isoceles triangles pieced together separately twice and then these two piecess (of two joined triangles) pieced together with careful attention to matching the two joins. What is so striking is the choice of colours/shades of the 4 different triangles which, when joined, gives such a three dimensional look. It reminds me of some of the 19th century military quilts i.e. sewn by soldiers convalescing made from woolen uniform cloth which you find in the UK in museums and collections.

I am afraid, Sandie, that so many of us collectors are obsessed (and it is incurable) with attributing the pieces in our collection to a particular group and even place.

best wishes,

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


Last edited by Pamela on Thu Oct 13, 2005 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: baby carrier
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 3:42 am 
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I agree this carrier is definitely not Yao. I only brought up the area it is supposedly from, according to one opinion, is a mixed Yao-Miao population.
The Han possibility is certainly there, but is by no means certain. One possibility is that the piece is in fact "Lao Han", the Ming Dynasty Han immigrants to Guizhou.
There are populations of Miao people around Chongqing and in Eastern Guizhou-Western Hunan who are highly influenced by Han deisgn in their arts, particularly around Songtao-Fenghuang. Some other ethnic groups also incorporate Han styles of embroidery.
I highly disagree that it is unimportant to try and give objects (textiles, sculpture etc.) a geographical attribution. Can you imagination if museum's and important collections took this attitude towards documentation?
On a personal level I agree with Pamela, it is a lot of fun.
I will keep inquiring on my end and hope you all can keep investigating as well.

Steven


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 Post subject: photos
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 4:05 am 
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Here are a couple of additional close up images of this piece.


Attachments:
dsc_0085_122aw.jpg
dsc_0085_122aw.jpg [ 67.88 KiB | Viewed 12730 times ]
dsc_0086_161w.jpg
dsc_0086_161w.jpg [ 61.66 KiB | Viewed 12730 times ]
dsc_0083_167w.jpg
dsc_0083_167w.jpg [ 56.04 KiB | Viewed 12730 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 4:25 am 
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Pamela,

I know the images are too big with regard to dimensions, my apologies. I will try to learn how to use formatting software in the near future.

Steven

I have edited the images for you so that it is easier for us to see the images - Pamela


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