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 Post subject: Miao or Yao
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 5:33 am 
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Joined: Thu May 13, 2004 4:55 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Netherlands
Recently I have purchased three open air bonnets. They are beautifuly embroidered, real little treasures. I couldn't find information in the books I have. Can anybody help me?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 9:59 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
Monique

Are you able to load up images which are larger in screen size than the small photos which you have already posted? Perhaps also some details. It is so very, very hard to identify from such small images. Also I find that it is much harder to differentiate the different groups via children's hats as many groups use similar styles.

Thanks,

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Pamela

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


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 Post subject: Unlikely Yao
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:27 am
Posts: 124
Location: Los Angeles, CA
I agree with Pamela as to the difficulty of identifying these hats with these pics, but I would think it is unlikely they are Yao.


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 Post subject: Books on hats
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 8:36 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:30 am
Posts: 315
Further to the subject of hats - although specifically focusing on those of children - is the wonderful book: "Stories of children's hats: Symbolism and Folklore", published both in Chinese and English, by Christi Lan Lin and Phylis Lan Lin. An English version was published in 1996 by University of Indianopolis Press and illustrates part of Christi Lin's extensive collection of children's hats.
If I recall correctly, initial profits from the Chinese version were given to supporting children with Down's syndrome here in Taiwan, whilst those from the the English version are channeled into supporting the University of Indianapolis Asian studies programs.
Regards
Iain


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:21 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Location: Canterbury, UK
Iain

Regrettably this book is now out of print. Monique managed to run a copy to earth. I have not been so lucky so far. Perhaps we should beseige the publishers with requests to reprint. They have just published another books on children's textiles - bibs and collars. See thread http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... .php?t=929 There are, however, very few minority textiles in the book if that is a particular passion - which it is with me. Les Enphants Co., the children's clothing company owned by the family, is a Taipei-based company, so local to you! If you find any spare copies of the book in Taiwan, I for one, would be very interested in getting hold of a copy of the hat volume - the first that the Lins published. Please keep a look out!

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Pamela

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


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 Post subject: hats
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 3:08 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2004 7:45 am
Posts: 142
Monique,

Thanks for sharing those beautiful hats.

Steven Frost
www.stevenqfrost.net


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 6:37 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:30 am
Posts: 315
I am not sure that this is a Miao hat although it may well be. On p.60 of ‘Hunan min jian mei shu quan ji’ there are a selection of photographs which depict children’s hats from the region and there is one very similar to this piece. The caption for the hats is very general stating only that these are hats of the Hunan minority tribes. The use of the three dimensional leaping carp – a desire for excellence in scholastic examinations in the legend of the carp jumping the dragon gate and the homophonic interplay of ‘yu’ between 'fish' and 'abundance' are possible. The presence of the pompom is more commonly found in several minority groups, including the Miao, than in Han Chinese pieces. Again it is possible that the influences of several groups have come together in this hat. A beautiful piece.
Iain


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 Post subject: Mirror hat
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 6:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:30 am
Posts: 315
My initial reaction is that this is a Han piece due to the particular combination of symbols and the embroidery technique employed. I also think that this hat was meant for a boy as the following outlines:
The two deer are common motifs used across China to symbolize longevity and fortune. This perhaps needs a little more explanation as so often we are given this response!
The association of the deer with one of the immortals brings with it the association of longevity in itself. The immortal specifically associated with the auspicious deer is Ho Hsien Ku. She is often depicted in paintings as carrying a holy lotus blossom (a symbol of purity) or a fly whisk (a symbol of power). Sometimes you may see her carrying a peach – a symbol of longevity – given to her by another of the eight immortals – Lu Dong Pin (Lue Tong Pin). In more relaxed surroundings you may see her carrying a lu-sheng (reed pipe) or drinking wine.
The word for deer – lu – is homophonically related to mean ‘luck to serve in the high court’. The associated fish (there are three visible in close proximity to the deer) have the sound ‘yu’ which is similar to the ‘yu’ meaning abundance/wealth. The fish in your example are jumping over waves which brings to mind the story of the carp leaping over the dragon gate of the Yellow River. Once achieved the fish becomes the immortal dragon. This symbolism is used to indicate the desire to do well in the Imperial examinations – examinations from which a woman was excluded.
The lotus indicates the desire for purity whilst the vase containing flowers is a play on the words for peace and harmony. The use of the hat sections in the form of ruyi sceptres may translate as the individuals desires that all of the above may be ‘as you wish’. The mirror is a commonly used form to reflect evil in many cultures including Chinese minority groups and Han Chinese.
Iain


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 7:05 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:30 am
Posts: 315
I think this hat is for a young boy as indicated by the pigtail attachment (a pigtail was commonly worn by men in the Qing dynasty). The character on the front reads ‘husband’. This character is very similar to that meaning ‘heaven’ and I wonder whether the placement of this symbol amongst what appear to be cloud formations (several people initially thought that these were the tail of a peacock), is an indication of the desire for the child to be a worthy individual. Furthermore, the combination of the 3D lotus blossom indicates a desire for purity. There are many Han Chinese influences present in the stitching and in combination with the pigtail I do not think that this is definitively a Miao piece but instead a Han Chinese piece. you have mentioned that this hat was collected in Yunnan which probably has one of the most ethnically diverse populations in China and it is quite possible that this is a piece made by a Miao woman influenced by the Han Chinese.
Iain


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