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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2005 2:57 am 
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Thanks Pamela for the drum photos. These have such a different graphic design than either the Karen or the Dong Son. They do keep the sunburst in the middle, although without the butterflies between the sunburst points like the Karen. Great work.

Bill Hornaday


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 8:17 am 
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Location: Bristol, England
Bailing Miao quilt covers/coffin covers.
I have just come back from a quick trip to Guizhou where I was fortunate enough to be invited to a Bailing Miao friend’s aunt’s funeral. Taking place in the countryside (Pai Diao township), this was a very traditional affair, which included the sacrifice of 2 water buffaloes and 5 pigs (a very honourable, ‘though expensive send-off, and one which resulted in a lot of meat eating over the next 2 days due to a lack of refrigeration). From this interesting experience, I can confirm that specific styles of batik “quilt” covers are used as coffin covers (as mentioned earlier on in this thread). Depending on when the simple inner wooden casket/coffin becomes available, the cover might be put directly over the body, although it usually covers this casket until the actual burial, when the simple casket is put inside a more substantial coffin. The coffin cover is then taken back to the family home to be kept (and possibly used again).


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File comment: Bailing Miao coffin cover in use.
bailing Miao coffin-cover-1.jpg
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File comment: Bailing Miao coffin cover in use.
Bailing Miao coffin-cover-2.jpg
Bailing Miao coffin-cover-2.jpg [ 59.99 KiB | Viewed 11636 times ]
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 Post subject: Bailing Miao origins
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 8:21 am 
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On a different note, I must revise my explanation about the origins of the Bailing Miao. Apologies for getting it wrong! My Bailing Miao friend’s family and families in other specific areas, see themselves as historically being members of the Shui people, whereas Bailing Miao from certain other areas and townships consider themselves to be of Miao ancestry. The Shui have two distinct types, one being more traditionally Shui, using their own language, an ancient form of writing, costumes and traditions, the other being those who share a common language, wear the same style clothing and follow similar customs to the Bailing “Miao”. Since the Shui are a much smaller minority than the Miao, perhaps over time (many hundreds of years), the Shui that lived in close proximity to the Miao, slowly adopted the local costumes, customs and language of their dominant neighbours. Apparently, the Bailing Miao language is more in tune with the Miao language than traditional Shui. Partly due to this language connection, the government considers the Bailing Miao to be a subgroup of the Miao rather than a subgroup of the Shui, however, some Bailing still call themselves Shui and elect to be classified as Shui on their ID cards. There are still many unanswered questions concerning the origins of the Bailing Miao and their double ancestry, but they themselves seem happy to accept that although they originate from 2 different sources, they belong to the same group and have traditionally married predominantly within that group.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 8:12 pm 
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Andrew

Thank you SO very much for sharing with us this information and these very special (and priviledged) photos. I will make sure that I pass on the info to Gina Corrigan since we have discussed this very point (in 2001) when amongst the Bailing Miao and examining a very beautiful example of a cover in the process of being waxed.

It is gems like this which really, for me, make the forum seem SO very worthwhile.

THANKS!!

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Pamela

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 5:20 am 
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Andrew,

Do you know if this particular wax resist cover had been made by the deceased aunt or whether it was a family piece or lent by others? It makes me think of my own visit to Ma Guang village, Ji Chang township, Duyun city where there were just 3 old ladies in the village still waxing. Such a diminishing resource brought home so vividly by your photos of the funeral.

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Pamela

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 1:22 pm 
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Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Andrew-
Thank you so much for these recent photos- it's really helpful to see textiles in context. I, too, am curious about who made the cover, etc. This thread is a real window into a culture- keep up the good work!

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Susan Stem

http://www.tribaltrappings.com
http://tribaltrappings.blogspot.com/


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 Post subject: shui
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 2:05 pm 
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
Andrew-
Wonderful pics and info. Just to compare do you have any pics of textiles, esp. wax resist, from the more traditional Shui?

Also Pamela's question as to who is creating the textiles brings up an interesting subject. Maybe some of you can give us an idea how many people are actually making these textiles in the different Miao groups. I guess it has to be broken down into people making textiles culturally and those making pieces to sell to visitors like us. In so many areas, the younger women are making textiles only for sale, leaving only a few older women making textiles for cultural reasons.

Thanks again,

Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 5:11 pm 
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I have various Shui photos both from my trip in 2001 and more recently in May 2005 as we visited villages. None have been made into photogalleries yet. When I am not so frantic I will post a few photos. I think I posted one of their drums on another thread (very similiar to Miao drums of course).

I am not sure that it is particularly the young women making articles for sale - it is often the same old or at least middle aged women as they may be the only ones still making textiles at all.

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Pamela

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


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 7:57 pm 
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I would have thought that the escalation of prices for tribal textiles has gotten to the point where even younger women would participate. This certainly has happened in Laos. Obviously the best prices go for older pieces, but I would think new quality pieces would also sell. In other ares of the world the young weavers are copying the old designs out of books (Laos, Guatemala, Mexico)
Further in certain areas the wevers are duplicating textiles from other motre prestigious or valued areas. Navaho by Mexican weavers, Tai Daeng by other areas in Laos). This brings up interesting questions and disturbing answers as we see the disintegration or evaporation of so many tribal cultures.

The case of Carol Cassidy in Laos is ironically on point as she single-handedly revived weaving as a commercial profession in Laos, even so far as teaching the weavers the old techniques that had been forgotten (tapestry weave). I know Carol did the same thing in the Peace Corp somewhere in Africa.

Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 7:45 am 
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Thanks for your comments. At the funeral, I asked a couple of people if they knew whether the old lady made the coffin cover herself, but didn’t get a definite answer. However, my friend just told me over the phone that his aunt’s batik skills were considered pretty good, so he assumed she would have made it herself.

Here are a couple of photos of my Bailing Miao friend’s sister in law, who is about 42 years old and is also considered to have very good batik skills (for her generation), demonstrating her batik. She is making a coffin cover similar to the one used in the funeral above and to the one Pamela showed earlier on this thread.

When you go into the countryside today, it is very sad to see that most villages are now made up of young children and older folk, the majority of young adults having escaped to Guangdong, Shanghai and other industrial areas to work. These workers very rarely return home, partly because they can’t get time off (it might take them 3 or 4 days to get home) but partly also because they just don’t want to go home, finding the excitement of big city life preferable to the drudgery, boredom and comparative poverty of the countryside, and so they stay on in their adopted homes and settle down. This is going to be a massive problem for the Chinese government in the near future, when the old can no longer farm the small, inefficient pieces of land available to them and the young are happy to stay away.


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Bailing-Miao-batiking-1-.jpg
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Bailing-Miao-batiking-2-.jpg
Bailing-Miao-batiking-2-.jpg [ 59.37 KiB | Viewed 11615 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 7:49 am 
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As far as youngsters learning the traditional skills of batik and embroidery are concerned, 20+ year olds have almost all been through the traditional learning process and therefore have some basic skills, but generally, the next generation either don’t have the time (school, television etc.) or they are simply not interested in learning.

Sorry Bill, I know next to nothing about the non “Bailing Miao” Shui. As to who is now doing what in terms of traditional textiles, since basic plain stitch is much easier to master than batik, most items being made to cheat the tourist are plain stitch (and some chain stitch) embroidery, and not so much batik. Since most types of Miao have embroidery skills, and comparatively few have batik skills, it is easier to find people to knock out copies of the hottest selling embroidered items, be they from their own group of from another (such as the Ge Jia). Having said that, this year I did see a number of “fake” Ge Jia batik pieces, including jackets and aprons. The skills are pretty/very good, using old traditional patterns and trying to sell them as 50-100 year old pieces. They add the old smoky smell by waving them over a fire for a day or two, sometimes kick them around a bit to make them look and feel old and used, and even add a small hole or two to enhance the look of age. I saw one type of long apron in three different dealers homes in one day, all using exactly the same pattern! You really do have to be extremely careful when buying these items now.

In most countries of South East Asia, the poor living in the mountains have no choice but to stay in their villages and produce textiles for the modern market, however, in China, the demand for nimble fingered girls and cheap labour in general to man China’s manufacturing companies means that there is an alternative life that can be chosen.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 8:01 pm 
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Yes, Andrew, the saddness of the younger people leaving the villages in China so that only the old people and the small children are left is a real problem. It is putting huge pressure on the old people who have to assume such large burdens and responsibilities.

About the only time that many of the younger people return to the village is for the week-long National holiday at the beginning of October. In 2000 when I visited Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi the trip was around this holiday. It was interesting to see that there were so many men back in the villages. Now the factories want the young girls as well and it is hard for a village to be able to get together a dance troupe unless it is pretty remote.

Interesting to see your photos of your Bailing Miao friend's sister-in-law. It is women in their forties and perhaps fifties who are able to do some quite fine work because they have been taught the skills when young and still have reasonable eyesight. Taking spare spectacles into a village for these women is very rewarding.

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Pamela

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 8:20 pm 
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I am posting a photo of a Shui woman creating gimp from horsehair and cotton thread which is used for outlining embroidery. This was in Ban Miao (near Miao) village, Zhong He township, Sandu county in Guizhou in May of this year.

Near this village was a very busy market full of Shui in Zhong He township. Many of them were wearing traditional dress. For everyday they would not wear the embroidered apron with silver chains shown in the photo but there were a few younger girls (still around) who were wearing the apron and silver chains in honour of market day and who they might see.

Note the embroidered babycarrier showing in the bottom right corner of the photo which is very traditional Shui work using the horsehair gimp thread. Also see the photos of Shui women in the Sandu district in both 2001 and 2005 on page 2 of this thread. In each case they were living very closely with Miao. Bill, I have not seen any Shui wax resist - it seems to be the Miao (Bailing - white collar - or 100 bird Miao who work with wax not the Shui who weave (like the Miao) and embroider).


Attachments:
File comment: Shui woman creating gimp from horsehair and cotton thread Ban Miao (near Miao) village, Zhong He township, Sandu county in Guizhou May 2005
IMGP2648w.jpg
IMGP2648w.jpg [ 54.87 KiB | Viewed 11593 times ]

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Pamela

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


Last edited by Pamela on Fri May 11, 2007 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 7:28 am 
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As it all seems a bit quiet on the textile front, I thought I’d post a few more batik quilt covers to give the forum a wider appreciation of the variety of patterns and styles used by the good folk of SE Guizhou………… I appologise to any members who feel they’ve seen enough batik to last a life time, but I hope some of you will enjoy looking at these pieces.

As is quite apparent, a number of them have various imperfections, either from when they were being made (particularly during the dying process), from general wear and tear and from damp damage. Unfortunately, this is generally unavoidable with covers that would have been used all year round for many, many years and then been roughly washed perhaps once a year. However, they do make quite an interesting little group.

All of these covers are by the Bailing Miao,


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Bailing-Miao-quilt-cover-289.1.jpg
Bailing-Miao-quilt-cover-289.1.jpg [ 67.95 KiB | Viewed 9864 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 7:33 am 
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Location: Bristol, England
Some more covers.


Attachments:
Bailing-Miao-quilt-cover-289.2.jpg
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Bailing-Miao-quilt-cover-301.2.jpg
Bailing-Miao-quilt-cover-301.2.jpg [ 65.93 KiB | Viewed 9855 times ]
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