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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:51 pm 
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Hello I bought two years ago a textile in Burma. I see one similar in the book about the luntaya burmese court textiles but I see it quickly, I don't have this book, I don't like really luntaya style. I want to share with all members to have some information about this piece. Thanks in advance. Bertrand


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:26 pm 
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Bertrand

Thank you for posting your court longyi with the detail photos.

I am not very expert about these textiles. However, I think that this textile is a woven textile on which the decoration has been embroidered. Looking at some of my references which include court textiles from Burma it seems to me that the term luntaya is used when the decorative design has been woven by tapestry weave. I don't know if the embroidery was done locally, perhaps by court embroiderers or perhaps imported as is sometimes the case with court textiles.

I hope that Renzo will see your post as I think that he has considerable expertise in these textiles.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 5:03 pm 
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Location: switzerland
hi there,

bertrand, congratulations, you have found beautiful and unusual piece in burma. you have been kind enough to tell me, that its size is 150 x 100 cm ( approx 60 x 40 inches)


i tend to think that this cloth, with delicate and most likely hand stitched motifs, has not been worn but used for decoration or a brahmin priest's rituals.
besides the floral motive it shows the popular brahmanic figure of the mithical hintha or hamsa duck. the fashion of depicting this animal in a very ornamented, almost pompous way, started in the 19th century.
it is without doubt a piece made by extremely skilled craftsmen (or -women).
i tend to think it was produced in india and came through the popular trading route to the place, where you ultimately bought it. it resembles an embroidery technique used throughout india. i have not been able to find a picture of a piece, that comes close to the quality of your textile, but i am posting a link to a contemporary example of a machine made piece from india in the marla mallett collection which has similar features in style of depiction and ornamentation.
http://www.marlamallett.com/e-3812.htm

it is known, that the hintha (very frequently used as a motive on opium weights) is associated with the city of pegu and the kingdom of the mon, where it was used as a symbol on coins. it stands for unity and purity. i have no knowledge of any place in burma where the art of embroidering reached such a high level of craftsmanship as to produce a piece like yours.
a trace to follow might nevertheless be, to find out, if there is or has been a tradition in producing embroidered textiles around bago.

best regards


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 10:09 pm 
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Renzo

I am interested that you think that the textile may well be an embroidered piece from India. That was my strong impression of the embroidery style when I saw it - hence my reference to 'imported'. I did have a look through John Guy's book 'Woven Cargoes: Indian Textiles in the East' but could not find anything to match.

Thanks for your very helpful and thoughtful comments to enhance our understanding.

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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 Post subject: antique burmese longyi
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:36 pm 
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Thanks, Renzo, I think it's a longyi because you can see one part in the end not embroidered to join. Anyway it's interresting to hear that it was manufactured in India. I heard also it can be a Meithei skirt from the burmese community. All the silk embroidery are strech out at the back side. Bertrand


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:03 pm 
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Hello Bertrand,

As a newcomer here, maybe I should be a bit more deferential about second guessing Renzo, but as the proud new owner of the book on Burmese Court Textiles I think I have found the item in the book that you had a quick look at. On page 249, there is indeed an embroidered longyi with very much similar embroidery. The basic silk fabric is a light pink - without the stripes that your piece has, but the embroidery is in repeating stripes with the "hintha" motif and similar floral work, all in just darker pink and white and a light olive shade for the head of the hintha, which looks rather as though it has faded. I.e., not at all as colorful as your piece

The caption for the photos reads:
"Fig. #100) Mon textile from the early 20th century; a woman's silk hta-mein embroidered (pan htoe) with the hintha (Pali: hongsa, Sanskrit: hamsa) motif. A mythical bird, the hintha was the emblem of the kingdom of Pegu (13th to 16th century) and is still the emblem of Burma's Mon State."

This -and your piece - are definitely not in the "luntaya" technique, "interlocking tapestry weave", like true Cashmire shawls.

Regards, Larry


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