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 Post subject: Dai tribe jacket
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 8:37 am 
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Location: Malaysia
Dear forum readers;

Firstly, a very Happy New Year 2007! May the new year be another great year for us collectors in our search for good quality and good priced works.

Anyway, I have been collecting Han Chinese court and informal robes for a few years now and has recently started collecting tribal textiles specifically the minorities of China and Dayaks/Ibans of Eastern Malaysia. I guess the virus started when I visited Lijiang and Kuching recently. The plethora of extremely delicate and beautiful Miao, Yi, Dai, Dayak etc minorities textile specifically their robes/jackets/skirts/pua have open my eyes to the fact that incredibly beautiful textiles are not the speciality of more "civilised" society. Seeing what they can do, personally, the term tribal is an understatement; as "tribal" usually denotes or gives the impression of a less "civilised" society. In fact, their work can anytime compete with the court robes I have or seen.

In any case, I have recently seen in a shop a gorgeous indigo blue cotton jacket with motifs drawn using the wax resist dye method(batik) and applique cross stitch pattern. It looks very much like a western jacket with two long rectangular tails at the back. Something that orchestra conductors used to wear, I think.

According to the information written, the jacket is of the Dai tribe of Yunnan. I have tried doing some research but am unable to get anything specific to the Dai people or even a picture showing something similar to the jacket. The shop that carried the jacket does not allow any photographs to be taken, hence I am unable to show the pictures on this forum. I am very sorry but you would have to use your imagination a little.

Is anyone able to maybe post some pictures similar to what I have described or even a Dai tribe related textiles?

Thank you in advance.

Cheers,
Edwin


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:26 am 
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First of all 'welcome' to the forum! We look forward to getting to know you!

My first thought when I quickly read your message was that the jacket might be one of the ones recently contrived for the tourist market. I post an example from 'The Traditional Miao Wax Printing' by Yang Wenbing and Yang Ce plus the comment.

However, re-reading your post I see that you mention "and applique cross stitch pattern". I find this a bit confusing as applique would be fabric applied to background and cross-stitch would be an embroidery stitch. However, it just might be one of the Yi jackets which seemed to come onto the market out of Yunnan in the last couple of years. I will add some photos from the Enthnographic museum in Kunming which I took in the shop in 2000.

You may well dismiss both styles of jacket but at least we will have got them out of the way and can continue the hunt!

all the best,

Pamela


Attachments:
File comment: Figure 125 of The Traditional Miao Wax Printing by Yang Wenbing and Yang Ce
125w.jpg
125w.jpg [ 67.55 KiB | Viewed 14509 times ]
File comment: Text from
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125wt.jpg [ 44.62 KiB | Viewed 14509 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:30 am 
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I attach a photo of two jackets, the one on the right as seen for a woman and the other for a man. The jackets are actually layered.

If this is at all like the one you have seen I have several more shots I can post.

best wishes,


Attachments:
File comment: Yi wax resist jackets from Yunnan
0009Y33w.jpg
0009Y33w.jpg [ 49.89 KiB | Viewed 14504 times ]

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 Post subject: Dai tribe jacket
PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:15 am 
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Location: Malaysia
Hi Pamela;

Thank you very much for your reply. It is very informative and I am certainly looking forward to more information from the forum and hopefully contribute as well.

Firstly, to clear the confusion on my statement "applique cross stitch pattern", I am basically refering to the technique that was used for one of its decoration. From what I have seen, the DAI jacket consists of two methods of decoration i.e wax resists dyeing and pieces of squarish cloths decorated using cross stitch and then applied on the jacket. The jacket is by itself already indigo in colour.

In any case, thanks for the pictures you have posted. Unfortunately, it is not what I have seen although the pair of jackets are quite similar. The patterns are very abstract consisting of squares, crosses, stars shapes. Nothing like the blue miao dress with human figures.

I will try to take a picture of the jacket and hopefully, everyone can get a better idea. What is for sure is that this is a DAI jacket at least according to the details.

I am wondering, based on your knowledge, can we always tell from the motifs or techniques whether a textile belongs to a certain tribe expecially in Southwest China i.e Yunnan, Guizhou etc. From what I understand, there is a lot of intermingling and sometimes the MIAO item might looks like the Yi item etc.

I am not surprised to hear that there is an industry going on to produce full scale tribal items for the tourist market. However, is there anyway to know? As a collector, it is important the collecting is for pieces that are distinctive and not mass produce. I guess that is always a peril of collecting isn't it.

Anyway, I will try post the picture and hopefully, more info can be obtained.

Thanks :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:23 pm 
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edwinooi

It can be possible to identify the tribal group and even the village from the costume and, in the past, this was quite often the case. You do get migrations when a group will split off and move but this can help you to identify the migration.

Different tribal groups living close to each other do influence each other and styles will be adopted. In Patricia Cheesman's book 'Lao-Tai Textiles: The Textiles of Xam Nuea and Muang Phuan' she talks of groups adopting the clothing styles of those they live with especially after war or capture. Where the intrinsic style sometimes remains is in textiles like bedding which is more hidden from view.

As collectors we tend to try and identify the textiles to an ethnic group and area location based on what we may have seen or is available in the literature. The best that one may be able to say is that a textile is 'in the style of......'. Experience will help identification but we can all get it wrong!! However, it is the challenge that we enjoy rising to.

If you can get any photos that would be great. I will see what I can find in any of my books and perhaps one or two of our forum members (or even non-member 'lurkers') might be able to help.

all the best,

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 Post subject: Dai tribe jacket
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 12:53 pm 
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Hello!

I finally am able to get some pictures of the illusive dai jacket. I attached three pictures; one on a view of the jacket from the front, another detail on the front of the jacket and finally the detail of the back of the jacket.

I have to really apologise on the quality of the pictures and the cut and paste manner the pictures have been processed. I still have not mastered photoshop yet. Please bear with me.... :)

Anyway, appreciate some feedback on this. Is this of the Dai tribe? From the look of the jacket, it doesn't look too old. The bright pink thread used in the cross stich could be of aniline dye. Any inputs?

Cheers!


Attachments:
dai_tribe_jacket_detail_2_b.jpg
dai_tribe_jacket_detail_2_b.jpg [ 68.37 KiB | Viewed 14449 times ]
dai_tribe_jacket_front_deta.jpg
dai_tribe_jacket_front_deta.jpg [ 75.8 KiB | Viewed 14449 times ]
dai_tribe_jacket_137w.jpg
dai_tribe_jacket_137w.jpg [ 66.19 KiB | Viewed 14449 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:30 pm 
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edwinooi

Many thanks for the photos. Sorry for the delay in responding but I have been away and then I could not get my internet connection to work.

I think that this jacket is Miao rather than Dai. I found photos of some Dai photos which did not seem to fit - I put the book down before I went away and now I cannot find it! Oh dear! I am indebted to Andrew for an email and some info on photos which he sent me based on your description before you posted the photos. He, and I agree - especially having seen the photos - that this could well be Long Horn Miao. His scanner is not working at the moment. I will scan some photos and post. Your photos have far less wax resist than the ones in the photos but the 'tails' on the coats are very similar indeed. I would say that your jacket is probably more recent than those in the photos.

One set of photos is from Deryn O'Connor's 'Miao Costumes from Guizhou Province South West China'. The photos are quite small. I will try and scan and post both costume and shots (by Gina Corrigan) of a festival with the costume being worn although you cannot see the back in the shot. The other photos are from an excellent set of 2 books on Chinese wax resist which, in 2002, accompanied an exhibition of Guizhou batik in Taipei, put on by an art and culture magazine publisher. Many of the items for the exhibition came from Fu Jen University. Together with the exhibition, the company published an interesting book. It is in 2 parts, the first full of more than 500 photos of batik items, again, many from the Fu Jen University collection. The second, I understand from Andrew, gives details of what the publishers had learnt about the batik culture of Guizhou. As the info is all in Chinese I cannot give the book titles but there is an ISSN 1023-0386. See the next posts for the photos.

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 Post subject: Dai tribe jacket
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:00 am 
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Location: Malaysia
Pamela;

Thank you very much for your reply. It is interesting to know that this is not Dai but Miao instead. I'm sorry, you mentioned Long Horn Miao. Are there differences even between the Miao tribe?

I am looking forward to your next posts. Hopefully, we can solve this mysterious jacket that is wrongly labelled Dai.

Thanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:13 pm 
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Sorry, I haven't had a chance to scan and post the photos yet!

There certainly are differences between different Miao groups. According to the verbal history of the Miao there were originally 12 tribes. The different groups may be called different names by non-Miao based on their clothing or hair styles but these are not the names that they call themselves. The long-horn Miao are so-called because of very big wooden 'horns' that are part of the hair-style of the women. When I get the photos posted you should see this. There are many books which show different Miao groups and their clothing. See the China bibliography http://www.tribaltextiles.info/bibliogr ... _books.htm for some examples. Also see China photogalleries for some examples of different Miao groups http://www.tribaltextiles.info/Countrie ... leries.htm

I will try and post the photos soon, sorry for the delay.

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 1:08 pm 
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Here is a shot of 2 Long Horn Miao girls wearing their festival costume (front view I am afraid) and then the back view of the woman's festival coat. It shows more wax resist than Edwin's. These photos are very small ones from 'Miao Costume from Guizhou Province South West China' by Deryn O'Connor and accompanied an exhibition (of Miao costume collected by Gina Corrigan) shown at the James Hockey Gallery in Farnham, UK in 1994. I believe that the catalogue is still available from the Gallery and for enthusiasts is a very good buy.

There are various shots in the catalogue of the Long Horn Miao costume which Deryn terms 'Sichuan-Guizhou-Yunnan model, Kaiyuan style, Popular name Long Horn Miao. See pages 31-33.

Deryn has previously given me permission to use material from this catalogue on the web.


Attachments:
File comment: Two Long Horn Miao girls in Festival costume - plate 48, page 32 'Miao Costume from Guizhou Province South West China'
LHM48.jpg
LHM48.jpg [ 64.9 KiB | Viewed 14363 times ]
File comment: Back view of Long Horn Miao jacket - plate 57, page 33 'Miao Costume from Guizhou Province South West China'
LHM57.jpg
LHM57.jpg [ 59.97 KiB | Viewed 14363 times ]

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 Post subject: dai tribe jacket
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 1:42 pm 
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Location: Malaysia
Thank you very much Pamela....

The picture of the woman jacket is extremely similar to the picture I posted especially the long tail at the back. Are the Long Horn Miao the only ones with this kind of jacket as far you know?

I cannot see very clearly the motifs used on your example but you are right in the sense that more wax resists are used to create the pattern compared to the one I posted. If I observed my pictures correctly, there are mainly abstract motifs i.e crosses, swirls, and deer horns motifs on the jacket I posted. Are these typical motifs of the long horn miao's? Are you able to maybe elaborate a bit on the motifs shown on the picture you have posted?

You have mentioned that this would be fairly recent. Any reason you came to this conclusion?

This is getting very interesting. I guess this is why collecting is just part of the fun. It is the discussions and investigation that follows which makes it interesting.... :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:52 pm 
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Here is a detail shot of the jacket in the post above.


Attachments:
File comment: Detail of Long Horn Miao jacket shown above
LHM57detw.jpg
LHM57detw.jpg [ 101.71 KiB | Viewed 14343 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 9:52 pm 
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I am posting a page from the book from the wax resist exibit in Taipei and then a detail of the back of one of the jackets shown. I think that there are some stylistic similarities in the embroidery patterns with the one that you show. You will find that patterns may be different in each village and also patterns may change over time so that certain designs will be used 40 years ago from 80 or even 20.

Why do I think that the jacket that you show in fairly recent? Various reasons. It looks as if it has hardly been worn and has the fresh look of a newish textile. The colours of the embroidery threads used and the lining fabric all look fairly modern. If you look at the shade of red in the ones from the Taipei exhibit there is a blueish tone to the red. The one you show has quite an organge hue. The fact that there is so much embroidery and much less wax resist is a modern trend. The skills of the wax knife drawing take a long time to learn and very much practice. These skills tend now to be lacking in the young girls. There is more of a trend for thick embroidery and you find this amongst many groups. It is generally easier to obtain the 'wow factor' from embroidery.

I don't know enough nor have I studied Long Horn Miao to be able to identify particular motifs. I will say that the motif on each front breast of the jacket are very typically Miao (many groups) or Hmong to use the term for the same ethnic group as they are found outside of China (Thailand, Vietnam etc). The snail-like shapes are the ones that I am talking about.

A book on Miao that is relatively cheap and easily available is Gina Corrigan's 'Miao textiles from China' in the Fabric Folio series of the British Museum. I have seen the book in bookshops all over Asia. There is a photo of Long Horn Miao on page 10. I refer you again to the China bibliography page in my earlier post above. You will find that we textile collectors are also book collectors too as this is key to learning and identifying.


Attachments:
File comment: figures 464 and 465 of Long Horn Miao textiles - see info above for book information
464-465.jpg
464-465.jpg [ 82.66 KiB | Viewed 14336 times ]
File comment: detail of back of Long Horn Miao jacket
465det.jpg
465det.jpg [ 102.55 KiB | Viewed 14336 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 10:05 pm 
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I am going to post 3 two-page spreads of Dai costume from a little book 'Costumes of the Minority Peoples of China' published in Japan and which I bought in Tokyo a few years ago. There are full details in the China bibliography but I fear that the book is now very difficult to find - but a great find if you can track it down.

No doubt there are various other Dai styles but I think you will see that the clothing shown here is not really like your jacket in the motifs in the embroidery.


Attachments:
File comment: Dai textiles shown in 'Costumes of the Minority Peoples of China'
dai170-1.jpg
dai170-1.jpg [ 51.14 KiB | Viewed 14330 times ]
File comment: Dai textiles shown in 'Costumes of the Minority Peoples of China'
167.jpg
167.jpg [ 57.26 KiB | Viewed 14330 times ]
File comment: Dai textiles shown in 'Costumes of the Minority Peoples of China'
165.jpg
165.jpg [ 88.38 KiB | Viewed 14330 times ]

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Pamela

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:23 am 
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Also see thread http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... .php?t=927 for some further Dai comments/information.

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