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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 3:00 pm 
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Location: Bristol, England
I hope you don't mind seeing a few more Bailing Miao pieces! Here are a few Bailing Miao baby carriers I’ve recently photographed. The Bailing Miao’s embroidered carriers generally follow a standard design, having rich and colourful embroidered top panels and central squares, usually on a bright red base material, with black (v. dark indigo) shiny calendered diamond twill cotton cloth around the other three sides (no 1). The black background provided by the surrounding cloth is excellent for highlighting the brilliant colours used in the satin stitch embroidery and shows off the imagery and workmanship to great effect. The red base material used for the embroidery is quite often the highly prized red woolen cloth (also found on jacket and shoe embroidery), or it is cotton (although carrier no 4, which includes satin stitch with needle-weaving (Miao Embroidery from South West China, by Ruth Smith, page 23) seems to be embroidered onto a manmade red cloth).

Carrier no 1 has the more traditional bronze drum motif that is found on many Bailing Miao textiles. The others all include birds, butterflies, fish and pomegranates and I’m sure many other important motifs that so far no-one has been able (or willing) to explain to me.

Carrier no 7 is an unusual shape for an embroidered carrier, although batik carriers are often similar to this (see no 9). It is also extra large with two or three times as much embroidery as normal, all being done on the bought in and therefore expensive red woolen cloth (except for one purple strip of woolen cloth), no doubt indicating it was made by a girl from a wealthy family who had plenty of spare time to complete such a wonderful piece.

Batik carriers come in two styles, one having the shiny cloth around a square of batik, usually of traditional patterns (no 8), the other being predominantly made up of batik showing birds and butterflies etc (no 9).


Attachments:
File comment: Bailing Miao baby carrier 1
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File comment: Bailing Miao baby carrier 1 (detail)
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File comment: Bailing Miao baby carrier 1 (detail)
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File comment: Bailing Miao baby carrier 2 (detail)
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File comment: Bailing Miao baby carrier 3 (detail)
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Bailing-Miao-bc-3.1.jpg [ 58.74 KiB | Viewed 8010 times ]


Last edited by Andrew Dudley on Sun Apr 16, 2006 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 3:05 pm 
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Location: Bristol, England
Bailing Miao baby carriers (continued)


Attachments:
File comment: Bailing Miao baby carrier 4 (detail)
Bailing-Miao-bc-4.1.jpg
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File comment: Bailing Miao baby carrier 4 (detail)
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File comment: Bailing Miao baby carrier 5 (detail)
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File comment: Bailing Miao baby carrier 6 (detail)
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File comment: Bailing Miao baby carrier 7
Bailing-Miao-bc-7.1.jpg
Bailing-Miao-bc-7.1.jpg [ 61.49 KiB | Viewed 8001 times ]
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 3:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:12 am
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Location: Bristol, England
Bailing Miao baby carriers (continued)


Attachments:
File comment: Bailing Miao baby carrier 7 (detail)
Bailing-Miao-bc-7.2.jpg
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File comment: Bailing Miao baby carrier 8
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File comment: Bailing Miao baby carrier 8 (detail)
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File comment: Bailing Miao baby carrier 9
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File comment: Bailing Miao baby carrier 9 (detail)
Bailing-Miao-bc-9.2.jpg
Bailing-Miao-bc-9.2.jpg [ 59.53 KiB | Viewed 7993 times ]
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 2:36 am 
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Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Hi Andrew-
What a wonderful collection of baby carriers! Thank you so much for taking such good photos and sharing them with us. Besides the beautiful embroidery and attractive layouts, I found it interesting to see what appears to be a variation of the 'well/spring' design being used on #3 and #5. I believe we saw this symbol on some Dong baby carrier panels in a previous post.

Can you tell us more about where these are from- did you get them in the villages from the original owners like other pieces you have? Is there particular variation in design or style from one village to the next that you know of? The stories always add another dimension to the textiles.

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Susan Stem

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


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 8:17 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Location: Canterbury, UK
Andrew

Gorgeous babycarriers! Thanks so much for sharing and brightening up the forum.

Interesting to see, particularly for me, in the embroidered carrier 7 and in the construction of the (lovely) wax resist carrier 9, the cross fertilisation of design with the Shui with whom the Bailing Miao live so closely. I would think that, especially 7, might initially be mistaken for Shui although it does not have the horsehair gimp embroidery of the Shui.

As you will gather, I love the more restrained 9 and the balance of its designs.

Thanks very much for showing the close-up of the embroidery in 4. It has a real Jacobean embroidery design feel to my Western eyes! The embroidery style has echoes of the needle weaving of the Miao (not Bailing Miao) of Taijiang county - see photo below. However, that is edging but does show how the Miao utilise needle weaving as effective embroidery techniques.

I must look out the modern wax resist baby carrier square that I have from a Bailing Miao village collected in 2001 just to link your lovely mature items to the present day.

Thanks for the joy of the beautiful textiles and, as Susan said, excellent photography to really show them off for us.

Best wishes,


Attachments:
File comment: Miao needle embroidery from Da Zhai villag, Taipan township, Taijiang county, Guizhou province - May 2005.
Da-Zhai-embroidery-w.jpg
Da-Zhai-embroidery-w.jpg [ 33.59 KiB | Viewed 7960 times ]

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 6:47 pm 
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I hope that Andrew will not mind if I post some photos from Shui/Bailing Miao villages in Ji Chang township, Duyun City, Guizhou province taken in 2001.

We climbed up to Wong Jiang village, Ji Chang township which was a village were Shui and Bailing Miao lived side-by-side. I am going to post a photo of a Bailing Miao baby carrier which is similar in style to Andrew's 1 and 5. I am sure that, if Andrew has collected them, they must be old pieces. I think the one I am showing is not brand new but (and Andrew can no doubt correct me) probably not more than 10-20 years old. I am also going to show a couple of details of it including one of some embroidery paper cuts on top of it. I think that there is a Shui embroidered textile showing underneath the Bailing Maio carrier.

Looking at the babycarrier more closely I do wonder whether it might be older than my initial estimate based on 'likelihood'. Andrew, what do you think?


Attachments:
File comment: Bailing Miao baby carrier in Wong Jiang village, Ji Chang township Duyun City, Guizhou province taken in 2001.
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File comment: Detail of a Bailing Miao baby carrier in Wong Jiang village, Ji Chang township Duyun City, Guizhou province taken in 2001.
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File comment: Detail of a Bailing Miao baby carrier in Wong Jiang village, Ji Chang township Duyun City, Guizhou province taken in 2001. It is probably on top of a piece of Shui embroidery. Note the paper-cuts for the embroidery.
0111E08-w.jpg
0111E08-w.jpg [ 52.48 KiB | Viewed 7938 times ]

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


Last edited by Pamela on Mon Apr 17, 2006 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 6:59 pm 
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Three more photos, all taken in Ji Chang township Duyun City, Guizhou province in 2001.

One is of a much more ordinary embroidered baby carrier in use in 2001 for a Bailing Miao baby.

Anther is another babycarrier in use for a Bailing baby but this time a wax resist one. I think that this might be winter baby carrier (we were there in November) since it has thick wadding inside the cover. (Rather similar to Ge Jia winter baby carriers).

Finally, while I was going through my photos, I see that I took a photo inside a Shui/Bailing Mai House in Wong Jiang village, Ji Chang township showing some of the roof support beams. What caught my eye and I want to share with you is a painting/drawing of a fish similar to the lovely one shown on one of Andrew's baby carriers (No 4). There were both Shui and Bailing Miao in the house at the time.


Attachments:
File comment: Embroidered Bailing Miao baby carrier in use Ji Chang township, Duyun City Nov 2001
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File comment: Wax resist Bailing Miao baby carrier in use Ji Chang township, Duyun City Nov 2001
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File comment: Shui/Bailing Mai House in Wong Jiang village, Ji Chang township showing some of the roof support beams Nov 2001.
0111D33-w.jpg
0111D33-w.jpg [ 38.74 KiB | Viewed 7930 times ]

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:12 am
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Location: Bristol, England
Thanks Susan, yes they look quite good as a collection. I didn’t buy them in the countryside myself, one of my regular dealers collected them about 5 years ago. She said they all came from the various villages that make up PuAn township in Sandu county, although I cannot confirm this.

As for villages having their own special patterns/designs, it is possible to say that they do, as the embroidery is done over paper cuts (as seen in Pamela’s final photo above, and photo 6.2 below), which would often be made by one or two village women with particular drawing skills and which would be sold to the less artistic girls of the village. These women would tend to have a favourite style or pattern, and so might appear to give a village its own special patterns/designs.

About the diamond pattern in the middle of nos.3 & 5, I’ve asked a Bailing Miao source in Kaili whether he has heard of it having the “shui jing” spring/well meaning, but he says he’s never heard of this. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a special meaning though!

Pamela, about the age of these carriers, I don’t know enough to really say, but…. the red woolen backing cloth often used for the embroidery is, in my experience, usually said to be 60 or more years old (but I can’t verify this), and a contact has just told me that this cloth, which was made on foreign mechanical looms somewhere in China, was very popular with minorities in SW China during the first half of the 20th century. However, even if the cloth is 60+ years old, the embroidery could be younger, the cloth having been bought but never used, or perhaps kept for a daughter’s or even granddaughter’s baby carrier. Also, it seems that the embroidery might not have been completed (presumably due to old age or health problems) and so left to be completed by a later generation (photo 6.2 below shows unfinished pale blue embroidery which has had some later light blue embroidery added).

As for the carrier in your photo above, it looks to have been embroidered onto the red woolen cloth, suggesting it is 50 or more years old (although the style and colours indicate it is probably not much older), but it could have been made up into a carrier more recently (but also remember, these items were generally only used on special occasions, so they were kept quite well).

Sorry for the wordiness of this reply, but I’m a lousy editor.


Attachments:
File comment: Carrier 6.2- Detail of unfinished embroidery and paper cut
Bailing-Miao-bc-6.2.jpg
Bailing-Miao-bc-6.2.jpg [ 63.1 KiB | Viewed 7883 times ]
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