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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 9:07 am 
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Location: Cheam, UK
Dear Pamela,

I also have a considerable interest in the clothes and textiles of china's minority peoples and southeast Asia (although I have not yet travelled there)and have a large collection of books on this topic as well as other areas of the world including guatemala. I am very interested in the research you are currently doing on the li people on which I have been able to find only scanty imformation. There is a handful of interesting photographs of li in a book called "lifestyles of chinas ethnic minorities" (which is packed with photographs of all the recognised minority groups of China )and I am in the process of obtaining a copy of the sept 1938 national geographic, I am intrigued by the ear ornaments worn by women of one li group and hope this is illus in the magazine.

From what photos I have seen, it appears to me that the fine tatooing tradition of the Li is similar to that of the Atayal of Taiwan being a similar tradition of thin lines on the face. Is there a possible connection, or is the tradition also found in central vietnam an area on which I have seen little photograghic material. On the subject of connections, I saw a photograph of ceremonial head dresses worn by men of the Amis tribe, Taiwan which in its components of basketry, feathers and boar tusks greatly resembles those worn by adi/gallong in arunachal pradesh, the katchin in burma as well as the Nagas. This is included in "culture of clothing among taiwan aborigines" of which I have managed to obtain a copy (from Hang shan tang books)and is full of wonderful photos of textiles and b/w field photos of tribal people in traditional dress It covers all the tribes of taiwan but is mostly in chinese however their is just enough English to get by.

It would be intersting to know to what extent, if any, good quality clothing and textiles are still made by these aboriginal groups, since apart from this book with is mostly historical photos and museum peices, I have only seen photos of taiwanese tribal people in tourist shows and mostly their clothes on close inspection do not look all that good quality.

Lastly I have been trying to gey hold of a copy of "guizhous hidden civilization," for my own library and wonder if you will be able to advise me.

Also with a bit of luck I will be setting up my own website on which I hope to inculde some titles which may be of interest to you, including further details of the Taiwan publication as well as a couple of stunning books on ornaments and clothing of the Tibetans.

Originally posted 3 Jun 03


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 9:10 am 
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Siriol, good to welcome you to the forum! You will be pleased when you get the Sep '38 National Geographic as there are two excellent photos of Ha Li (or Lois) one with a young woman with the huge bundles of brass earrings hanging down - Ouch! - and one with two women with the rings tied up on top of their heads to rest their ears. Yes, the search for Li reference materials is an interesting challenge as there is not much around. I have recently contacted Hanshan Tang about another Li book that Susan Stem found references to on the web and is 'The Traditional Culture of the Li Ethnic Group' published by Xinhua Publishing House in July 2001. Supposed to be mainly a picture book on the Li culture. So far no acknowledgment of my enquiry.

I know very little about Taiwanese textiles although there is quite an interesting piece on the web by Kathleen Forance Johnson who is a keen weaver and was based in Taiwan with her Foreign Service (USA) husband. The article is interesting as it is actually written by a weaver and includes a description of a weaver and her techniques. http://www.aroundkaohsiung.freeservers. ... eaver.html [link updated Aug 09] Kathleen is currently in Thailand - and pursuing her weaving interests when time permits.

The book you mention on 'culture of clothing among taiwan aborigines' sounds very interesting indeed. It would be good to build up some info on the website on weaving in Taiwan.

I have a copy of 'guizhous hidden civilization' but purchased it in Guiyang, Guizhou from the Pavilion where there is a shop selling minority textiles and a few books. Well worth a look if you are in Guiyang. Don't know if Hanshan Tang could get a copy for you.

Tattoos. Yes, I find them very interesting. I think that the Ba-sa-dung tattoos look a little like the Burma Chin tattoos although I think that, to me, the Ba-sa-dung look a little more graceful - perhaps because they remind me of cobwebs. Regards, Pamela


Last edited by Pamela on Sun Aug 30, 2009 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 9:12 am 
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Dear Pamela, thankyou for your response and also for reminding me about the Chin peoples of Burma, I now remember the photograghs of the tatooed Chin women in "the vanishing tribes of Burma", fantastic photographs of Burmese minorities on the whole, yet another area of Asia where it is difficult to find visual material on minority groups.

I am very interested in the Li publication that you recommended, there seem to be a lot of good quality photographic books on minorities coming out of China at the moment with the added bonus of showing people dressed in a traditional manner rather than endless photographs of the artifacts themselves. As to my location, I am based in Cheam, Surrey


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 9:14 am 
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Siriol, About taiwanese aboriginal tribes, there is an article in a good book but may be do you already have it : "Islands and ancestors, indigenous style of southeast asia", published by Prestel. Pamela was looking for it on the web but it is probably now out of print and only available second hand. There is a map where you can localize the different ethnic groups and the extinct groups. This book is not talking only about textiles but also sculpures or jewellery. The onlly big textile photography (except few interesting black & white pictures) is an unsual Atayal shell bead jacket weaving with hemp. Best regards. Olivier


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 9:16 am 
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Olivier, thanks for telling me about the section on aboriginal tribes of taiwan in "Islands and Ancestors" I indeed have this book in my library, and will soon consult it when I have a few moments to spare. I understand that Pamela is trying to locate a copy and I habe just seen it, possibly secondhand, advertised on ABE books, an extensive booksearch wedsite.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 9:17 am 
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Dear Siriol, very many thanks for the helpful info re Abe.com. Interesting as they have been pressing me to add a link to their site in my links - but the books I had searched for were not there so I didn't link. Yes, 'Islands and Ancestors' was there - so many copies and what a HUGE range of prices! Still no luck with either of the Li books that I am searching for..... Very many thanks, Pamela


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 9:19 am 
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The aboriginal population of Taiwan is related to the various tribal groups in Northern Luzon, and belong linguistically to the Formosan subgroup of Austronesian, with links to the Li of Hainan, and some minority groups in Malaysia. For some reason their textiles are not normally included in books on SEAsian culture. Keep it up!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 9:21 am 
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Hello Siriol, A little off subject, but I have recently been to the Chin State in Burma and took several photos of facial tattoos. You can go to my website at http://www.markajohnson.com and then to the travelogue link. On that link there is one link for a Chin travelogue that has several photos of tattoos. http://www.markajohnson.com/Asiat07.html

I believe there will be an article on Northern Chin textiles in an upcoming issue of Arts of Asia Magazine (it may be the next issue). Hopefully, more books and articles on the Chin, Li, and other minorities will be forthcoming. I am led to believe that an article on the Li (written by a dealer on the East Coast) is in the works. I'll keep everyone posted. Also, there are a couple of books on the Taiwan groups that have a considerable amount of photos of textiles, however they are both in Chinese and kind of expensive. Again, on my website and then to the Research link, I have listed these two titles (and another on Taiwan) and a few book stores that may have them in stock. http://www.markajohnson.com/researchguide.html On my research page I have several other listings on Indonesian arts and other parts of Southeast Asia (generally the easier to find books) and will be updating this page soon. Regards, Mark


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 9:33 am 
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Thank you Sandra for your info on taiwan aboriginal peoples. Yes, I also agree it is strange that they are not often included in books on southeast asian island minorities. This many have something to do with politics more than anything else, early studies being carried out by the Japanese, and nowadays books on these groups being produced in Taiwan, but tending not to fit them into the wider cultural picture. however, "material culture of formosan aborigines" has some info attempting to link them to oceanic culture etc. but I have seen this book only briefly. While the books I have seen on china's minorities and published in China tend to classify taiwan's aborigines with those of China, possibly again, political reasons. However "islands and ancestors" (which you may know), is to be commended for including a section on Taiwan aboriginal material culture among its chapters on Indonesia etc (it also includes info on peoples in the southern highlands of vietnam) I Personaly find links with island southeast asia and oceania more interesting, for example the Yami people's connection to tribes in northern Luzon and also similarities futher afield still, out in the pacific for example the similarities some see or imagine, between yami canoes and those of the Solomon Islands.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 9:34 am 
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Thanks Mark, for the link to your travels among the Chin and Nagas. I find the photographs of these peoples in traditional dress of great interest. the photograph of the chin woman with large ear ornaments made of gourds and beads really caught my attention since I have a considerable interest in ethnic ornaments. It has enabled me to make a cautious identification of a photograph that has long facinated me: There is a black & white photograph in "vanishing tribes of burma" of a tribal group wearing similar flask like ear ornaments which could possibly be made from gourds. this is captioned "an unrecorded group of tribal women in the mountains of north burma" and I found it exciting to make a tentitive identification of this group as chin by the presence of these ornaments. I know that this may be in error as many other neighbouring peoples may wear similar ornaments, and to identify them on the grounds of this alone could be highly misleading. Other unrealted peoples in the same general area have similar ear ornaments inserted though the ear and having a "trumpet" shaped flaring portion facing forward. For example by the aka and mishmi people of Arunachal Pradesh, although these as far as I am aware are made of metal (see "the akas" by R Sinha, and "the seven sisters of india" for photographs)I am always on the lookout for illus of unusual jewelry among Asian minority peoples and have aleady searched out photographs of Ha Li wearing massive bundled hoops through their earlobes.Thanks for the info on recommended books. I have managed to obtain a copy of "culture of clothing among Taiwan aborigines" full of wonderful photos of textiles and field photos, very much a must have volume for my collection.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 9:36 am 
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It is rare to find references that connect the Taiwan tribal peoples to other Southeast Asian cultures. One of the first major publications on Indonesian Tribal Art, published in this country was the "Eloquent Dead", a catalog on the UCLA Fowler Museum's exhibition in the early 1980's. It has a whole chapter on the Paiwan and related groups on Taiwan and clearly makes this connection. Unfortunately, this publication is really difficult to find, but well worth it if you can.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:15 pm 
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Location: Formerly Taipei -Taiwan, now Shanghai - China
I noticed that the link to the Kathleen Forance Johnson’s article titled TEXTILES OF TAIWAN'S ORIGINAL PEOPLE was not valid anymore – at least on my computer. I take the liberty to add here another link to the same paper :

http://www.aroundkaohsiung.freeservers. ... eaver.html


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 1:29 pm 
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Great! I was aware that the link did not work some time ago and spent quite a bit of time trying to find a 'live' version of the article but failed. I am very pleased that you, Nicolas, have now supplied it! I have amended the link in the post above. I am going to download the article this time so that it cannon disappear again!

Kathleen Johnson has actually joined this forum although not posted herself. She and her husband have now retired back to the USA but still retain close links with and interest in Asia. Kathleen's own website is http://www.travlinweaver.com/ although she does not have her 1997 article on weaving in Taiwan on the site. The website is a good resource.

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Pamela

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


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 Post subject: Ikat textiles in Taiwan
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:02 pm 
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I am wondering if anyone knows whether any of the tribal groups in Taiwan used the ikat dyeing technique? I don't have any books on Taiwan and have never seen any textiles with ikat from Taiwan. They do ikat in the Philippines and in Okinawa so one would think that the knowledge and use of the technique would also be found in Taiwan which is sandwiched in between, regardless of which way the knowledge was moving. Some researchers think that Taiwan was the cradle of the Austronesian culture which spread as far as Hainan. The ikat dyeing technique is or was practiced in almost all areas where the Austronesians are found and if it is not or never was used in Taiwan does this mean that the Austronesians were not the carriers of the technique but received the knowledge from some other source at a latter date and Taiwanese groups somehow failed to get this knowledge?
I am very interested in the origins and spread of the ikat dyeing technique and would welcome any ideas, opinions or info on this subject.
Best Regards, MAC


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:20 pm 
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MAC

I have just leafed through 'Culture of Clothing among Taiwan Aborigines - Tradition - Meaning - Images' which Siriol mentions above. I cannot see any ikat being used in the clothing illustrated. There are a lot of quite old B&W photos but the definition is not good enough to be able to tell. In the colour photos of collected textile examples I couldn't see ikat amongst the woven decorative techniques. In the weaving pattern seems to be created with coloured threads which are 'solid' and not shaded or resist dyed. There is also a considerable amount of embroidered or beaded pattern/embellishment added to the woven cloth.

Nicolas (yuanzhumin) may be able to help. I will see if I can get in touch with Kathleen Johnson. As a weaver herself she is particularly aware of woven techniques.

Best,

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Pamela

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


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