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 Post subject: Hani (Ahka) storycloths
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 7:44 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2004 7:45 am
Posts: 142
We just returned from a trip to Yunnan where we collected, among other things, some contemporary Ahka (Hani in China) pieces. I was smitten by these storycloths which were made by an elderly village woman and depict legends and scenes from village life.
Sorry for the lousy camera work, they are rather large approx. 1.5x3m and hence difficult for me to photograph.

Happy New Year and best to everybody for 2007!

Steven

www.stevenqfrost.net


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ahka1.jpg
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Last edited by sqfrost on Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Ahka Storycloth 2
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 7:55 am 
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Another one


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 Post subject: Ahka Storycloth detail
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:04 am 
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Two dogs talking


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 Post subject: Ahka
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:12 am 
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Posts: 142
An Ahka door cover


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 Post subject: Ahka doorcover detail
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:30 am 
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doorcover detail


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 Post subject: ahka floorcover
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:29 am 
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Ahka floorcover


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 Post subject: Ahka Floorcover detail
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:38 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2004 7:45 am
Posts: 142
What I assume to be a sun motif.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2003 8:50 pm
Posts: 101
Location: Cheam, UK
Hello Steven
Many thanks for sharing these intriguing textiles with us.
Just a quick question: -
Can you please tell us, if possible, which Hani group(s) made these pieces. From what I understand in the literature, the Hani cover a range of peoples speaking languages related to Yi. One large division is comprised of the Akha group which in turn contains many groups within it. Thus, in China, (as far as I understand), the Hani group covers more than just the Akha who are well known in Thailand etc.
These other (non Akha) groups covered by the term "Hani" appear to be little known in the west and seem to have somewhat different costumes to that of the Akha. (One can find photos of them in those profusely illus photo books published in China)
I don't remember having seen anything quite like your first 2 textile examples. The 2nd from the top in particular reminds me of the cloths produced by certain Naga groups from Northeast India with their strips of red and black and the panels containing animal figs eg elephants. In the top example, I am particularly curious about the warrior fig on the left with his Naga- like headdress and spear.
Lastly, how traditional are these top 2 textiles? You describe them as contemporary, but are they based on an ancient established tradition among the Hani, which at a glance appears to be the case, (eg traditional activities,rituals etc being depicted) ) or are they modern innovations, containing non traditional ideas the weaver may have stumbled across and found interesting.
One intriguing possibility: - did certain Hani groups once have a warrior costume which resembled that of the Nagas, as the top textile appears to suggest? (assuming they had a well developed warrior tradition).
I know little of the detailed history of the Hani peoples in China.
These textiles certainly raise some interesting questions.


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 Post subject: Hani Panky?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 1:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:34 pm
Posts: 393
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Steven-
I must agree with Siriol- the pieces other than the doorcover bear an uncanny resemblance to Naga men's mantles. I'll include some here from Julian Jacobs; The Nagas; Hill Peoples of Northeast India;Thames & Hudson 1990, as well as Michael Howard's newest edition of Textiles of the Highland Peoples of Burma; White Lotus; 2005- hopefully they won't object. I also agree with Siriol about the imagery of the warrior having a very strong resemblance to a Naga warrior, especially the spear and headdress. I do not know much about the Hani, but find most references and depictions similar to Akha in costume, which supports the doorcover you show as being Hani. I also question the idea of a 'floorcover'- did you see any of these types of textiles in use? Were you in a village?

That these textiles would have come across Burma, or through Tibet, to end up in Yunnan is probably not too much of a stretch, except that the area is very mountainous and considered one of the world's most inhospitable. I do seem to recall that recently a border post opened to facilitate trade between NE India and China, but I'm not sure. That Naga pieces would be sold in Yunnan (you don't say where you were...) is very interesting and could show just how much trade goes on and accounts for the dissemination/diffusion of textile influences. A fascinating subject in itself...

Please do clarify the Hani group you visited and where, as well as how you acquired these pieces, if you don't mind. Hope we didn't pop your bubble...


Attachments:
File comment: From Michael Howard's Textiles of the Highland Peoples of Burma; p.263
Mail-Naga-Man-&-Mantle.jpg
Mail-Naga-Man-&-Mantle.jpg [ 54.32 KiB | Viewed 6713 times ]
File comment: From Michael Howard's Textiles of the Highland Peoples of Burma; p.263
Mail-Naga-Man-&-Mantle2.jpg
Mail-Naga-Man-&-Mantle2.jpg [ 55.69 KiB | Viewed 6713 times ]
File comment: From Julian Jacobs' The Nagas; p.276
Mail-Naga-Mantle.jpg
Mail-Naga-Mantle.jpg [ 51.79 KiB | Viewed 6713 times ]
File comment: From Julian Jacobs' The Nagas; p.276; detail
Mail-Naga-Mantle2.jpg
Mail-Naga-Mantle2.jpg [ 49.12 KiB | Viewed 6713 times ]
File comment: From Michael Howard's Textiles of the Highland Peoples of Burma; p.258
Mail-Naga-Mantle3.jpg
Mail-Naga-Mantle3.jpg [ 60.3 KiB | Viewed 6713 times ]

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Susan Stem

http://www.tribaltrappings.com
http://tribaltrappings.blogspot.com/
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 Post subject: Not Ahka, but Naga
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:34 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2004 7:45 am
Posts: 142
Susan, Siriol...

Thanks for setting the record straight on the pieces I posted. I cannot reveal where I bought them, but I was close to the Burmese border and traffic flows both ways all the time. The guy I purchased them from claimed they were Ahka and showed me pictures of an old woman in a nearby village with her loom. Why he misled me I can't fathom, unless he had no idea what he was selling (probable).
I have been so focused on CHina that I have not done any reading on the Nagas therefore didn't recognize their textiles.
There has been lots of trade both ways for a long time. I saw a Bulang woman in a market whose blouse was decorated with two silver Indian rupees from 1907.
I think one of the best things about this forum and Pamela's original intent was to bring us all together and share information, which obviously includes correcting misattributions, so thanks.
I will try to post more pics in the next little while.

Steven


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