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 Post subject: Help please!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2005 10:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:34 pm
Posts: 393
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
I would appreciate any assistance in determining what this textile is, what it's used for, by whom, and from where, tho it is rather obviously from some part of China. Curiously, I found it in Saudi Arabia and presume that it came there with a hajji (pilgrim), perhaps from one of the areas of Islamic China. The Afghani rug dealer from whom I bought it said that it was hung down the back from the buttons at the shoulders, but I cannot vouch for that (note main photos are sideways). There is also a rather curious leather 'tie' on the underside, with a wooden bead held by knots- for what? Perhaps the coins could be a clue... Also, the buttons are all of shell, and the embroidery is of silk and metal-wrapped threads; the red twill is probably commercial fabric, perhaps a cotton or silk- I cannot tell; the black fringe is cotton and the rusty red is silk. Thanks!


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Susan Stem

http://www.tribaltrappings.com
http://tribaltrappings.blogspot.com/
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 9:44 pm 
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Location: Canterbury, UK
Susan

You have certainly set us a challenge!

Unfortunately I can't immediately identify it and feel frustrated that my literature does not stretch - I have been thumbing through various volumes to no avail! There is no doubt that the embroidered 'mountains' are very familiar.

I think that the item may be part of regalia/dressing of some animal - yak, camel, buffalo, horse.....? It only has tassles on one end so one feels that it should hang down that way. Would it be between two animals?

Tibet? Mongolia?

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Pamela

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2005 9:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2003 8:50 pm
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Location: Cheam, UK
The above textile is certainly very interesting and I agree with Pamela that it could possibly come from Tibet, Mongolia or adjacent regions. Among the peoples of Central Asia, items with a certain resemblance to this are seen in the form of women's back ornaments, mostly suspended from the head and in the case of Tibet, from the hair, which is made up into narrow multiple braids. ( eg the Tibetan nomads). Such back pieces are hugely variable and many different materials can be attached to the base fabric eg stones, coins and sometimes beads and buttons. The Central Asian decorated back ornament seems to have variants in Turkish and Korean costume: - an illustration of its huge range across Asia.
The ceremonial costume of the Buddhist monks of both Tibet and Mongolia often has a curious back ornament consisting of fabric and other materials which appears to be suspended from the shoulders and hangs over their vestments. In the illustrations I have seen these have fringes at the lower end.
I have not, as yet, seen items like the above specimen as animal trappings. Also the curving designs seem to suggest Mongolia, Tibet or possibly Northeast China.
However,In view of the fact that Susan obtained it from a dealer in Saudi Arabia, it could be more likely that it is from an islamic group, possibly nomadic, from somewhere further west eg a tribal group from Afghanistan, Pakistan or another area of western Central Asia.
The coins may possibly help in locating its origin. The larger ones look Mongolian or east Asian of some kind, while the copper ones do not seem to be related to the former and may well have a different origin. However, I must confess, I don't know much about coins.


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 Post subject: is it uigher?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 1:22 am 
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Location: California, USA
Hi all,

The consenses seems to be this piece is from western Asia, and I agree. The silver coins are definitely Chinese-I'm not sure about the copper ones; however, they are very beautiful, and may have been chosen for their decorative quality.

The textile itself appears to have any number of similarities with minority China; the fringe, the use of coins, and overall structure have a definite Miao feel. The white buttons are similar to the use of tiny white job's tears. Could this be a convergence?

I have several very strange textiles from the Miao, including one sold as a belt, but is in fact an ingenious cloth for working in the fields. It goes around the neck, and drapes down about a half meter on each side, but with another cloth attached, forms two very large pockets for carrying implements and/or items collected in the fields. (Maybe implements used in scoring poppies?).

The front of each cloth making the pocket is embroidered in the style of Miao batik; the design in white thread is definitely an imitation of traditional batik patterns of birds and flowers.

Forgive the digression. I think that as more ethnic minority textiles reach the market, new and unusual textiles will keep cropping up. And this may be one.

But probably not this textile. It shows too little wear to be used on an animal, and as Sirol suggest, may be worn in the back of a garment. Actually, there is some recent linguistic evidence that Korean and the Turkic languages may be distantly related; their clothing is certainly distinctive

I think we're looking at Western China, where the Uighers have access to Chinese coins, and unlike say, Indo-Aryan tribes in Central Asia, would find them valuable. Uighers are Turkic people spread along the western edge of China near the Gobi Desert, who are Muslim, and have a long tradition of flat carpet weaving (kilim), and other woven textiles.

One more comment: the coloration is very sophisticated.

Sandie


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 Post subject: textile orgin
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 7:14 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2004 7:45 am
Posts: 142
I cannot tell you with certainty where your new find came from. But the silver coins are from Republican Era China, approx. 1932.

Regards,
Steven Frost
Nanjing, China


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 7:17 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2004 7:45 am
Posts: 142
Oops. The Chinese coins are 1942, not 1932.

Steven Frost
Nanjing, China


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 1:25 pm 
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Steven

Pleased to welcome you as a contributing member of the forum! We are happy to have the 'lurkers' but it is great when they chip in with info or questions.

Sandie

I don't think that the designs on this piece are Turkic and the Muslim tribal groups from Central Asia. I initially wondered this myself but then consulted my references and realised that the design motifs were just not right. I have quite a bit of material on Central Asia following travel there in 1990.

I find this piece frustrating as the design is ringing some kind of bell with me but I just can't pin it down!

Keep those contributions rolling in.....!

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Pamela

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 7:44 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Location: Canterbury, UK
OK, I now know what has been nagging me about the design on Susan's textile, particularly as seen in the embroidery details in 1. and 5. The bell that has been ringing in my mind are the designs that you see at the bottom of Qing dynasty robes in court dress. These designs are based on Manchu and Tibetan clothing from the north-east borders of China.

Today I took delivery of a couple of new books one of which is 'Costumes and Accessories of Chinese Minorities' published by the National Museum of History, Taiwan and was published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name in Taiwan in, I think, 2000. (ISBN 957-02-6406-3) It is a thick book full of excellent quality colour photos of costume - most of it old rather than current. The first section of the book covers 'Manchu and Tibetan Costumes'. Page 21 refers to 'Ginger shoot motifs are the emblems of giner ghoots like superimposing hilltops and thus symboize mountains and rivers. Mountains and rivers were thought to be a symbol of the territory of the kingdom.'

I don't know if there is a Manchu/Tibetan relationship with Susan's piece or whatever it's function is. However, at least I know what it is that has been haunting me in the design motif!

(Oh, and the book has lots of photos of Dong costume much of it unlike items we have posted here on the forum and clearly 'ancient' as claimed in the captions! There are lots of references to 'Reed Clothing'. I am wondering if this is hemp or ramie - I need direct translation of the Chinese script. The book has English (or chinglish) text including location where collected. Obtained from Paragon books in Chicago although the books took an unscheduled detour to a bookshop in London in their consignment of books!)

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Pamela

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2003 8:50 pm
Posts: 101
Location: Cheam, UK
When I visited the Tribal Art and Textile Fair in London a couple of weeks ago, I came across an unusual textile on Martin Conlan's stall
He informed me it was from the Tu people who inhabit the Tibetan and Mongolian borderlands in the Gansu province of China, and who are regarded as a Mongolian subgroup

Martin kindly provided me with the following links which I think will be useful to include, as these people may not be as familiar as the groups from Southwest China



http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3458001102.html

http://www.yellowsheepriver.com/~qh0000 ... m/cosm.php


Anyway, this textile, which I finally purchased, has many similarities to Susan's example and consists of two long panels connected at the back by a strip of cloth to keep them together. These panels each consist of matching sections, which at the same time display different styles, showing Tibetan, Han and Mongolian influences. This is perhaps to be excepted among this small, remote section of the far flung Mongolian people. They are also in close proximity to Chinese Moslems - Hui, or other Islamic groups and this may provide a route by which Susan's example reached Saudi Arabia.

The textile itself, Martin informed me, is to be hung from the back of the coat at the neck, thus providing decoration down the back. This idea is widespread among Mongolian and also Tibetan groups, and among the latter, elaboate back ornaments extend down the back from the head, sometimes almost compleatly obscuring the wearer from behind. (see my previous comments)

Most contemporary Tu embriodered panels, are however suspended from the waist. see below

http://traditions.cultural-china.com/en ... ns847.html


and last but not least here are some photos taken by Martin Conlan of theTu back ornament I bought from him


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Last edited by siriol richards on Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2003 8:50 pm
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Location: Cheam, UK
more pics!


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 Post subject: tu pics
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:29 pm 
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Location: Cheam, UK
some more


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:41 pm 
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more pics
note lower end section terminates with a fringe of black theads (silk?)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:41 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Formerly Taipei -Taiwan, now Shanghai - China
As Steven already stated it, the coins are from the Chinese republic time, but I don't think he mentioned the correct year.
Actually, the year marked on the coins is the 30th year of the Chinese republican calendar. Because this calendar is beginning in 1911, with the foundation of the Chinese republic, the year converted into our calendar is therefore 1941 (1911 + 30).


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