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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:10 am 
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I´d like to show a couple of odd items that were bought from Bailing Miao villages but are not traditional Bailing Miao garments.

The first is a beautiful red jacket with traditional Chinese motifs. Although it was bought from a Bailing Miao village in Sandu county, the style and patterns are not traditional Bailing Miao. The wonderful red woolen cloth is sometimes found on old (probably 70 or more years old) baby carriers, jacket sleeves and even shoes made by various minorities (including the Bailing Miao) in Danzhai and Sandu provinces and would have been purchased in larger markets from intrepid merchants. This kind of cloth was comparatively expensive and thus represented family wealth and status. Therefore, this jacket would have been a very prestigious item to have worn. The seller said the family was very rich (even now, they still have/had many old traditional Bailing Miao 'wotuo' jackets). He said this jacket was over 100 years old and would have been worn by the head of the family at village meetings and other important occasions. He said that because the family didn´t have a son, they were willing to part with it. I have been told that, as this is of Han origin (or certainly influence), the absence of the dragon motif indicates it was probably for a woman in a noble or high official family.

If anyone can tell me more about the water and rock/island/mountain motif on the back, I´d be grateful.


The second piece is an old, Qing dynasty silk skirt (100+ years at a guess). This is almost certainly a Han Chinese item that again, probably made its way to Guizhou via merchants, and would also represent wealth and prestige to the wearer and her family. It was bought from a comparatively prosperous village, being located on the banks of a navigable river, in Sandu county. The family was the local salt merchant, and therefore particularly wealthy. During the Cultural Revolution, this skirt and other precious family items were taken to a family relative´s home in a horribly remote village for safe keeping.

Although the Miao do use pearl stitch embroidery, the style of the patterns and colours used are not typical of the Bailing Miao. Even the mama butterfly images (as my Bailing Miao friend insisted they were) are more likely to be elaborate bats (having ears).


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Last edited by Andrew Dudley on Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:49 am, edited 3 times in total.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:18 am 
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The second unusual item!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:12 pm 
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Andrew

Great info, textiles and photos. Thanks SO much - for me what the forum is about!

I really appreciate seeing the textiles being worn in situ in a village and then to be able to see them as collectors pieces and to get the background. It makes one realise just how much one misses normally.

The indigo undercoat that the man is wearing is pretty spendid. It is such a deep and richly dyed indigo with a lovely patina. It looks pretty thick and heavy. The bright red jacket with the light and graceful embroidery is such a contrast over the top. The whole outfit certainly speaks of wealth and position. The woman's outfit also.

The embroidered bat/butterflies on the woman's skirt are great. They both look as if they are wearing spectacles!

I am pleased to see the embroidered slippers being worn with the woman's dress.

Many thanks,

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 4:55 pm 
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Andrew said:
Quote:
If anyone can tell me more about the water and rock/island/mountain motif on the back, I’d be grateful.

Andrew, I think that you have this book 'Costumes and Accessories of Chinese Minorities' Published by the National Museum of History (has the great Dong collection in it). In the Manchu section there is some comment on symbols. I thought that the comment (p16) re 'Symbol of Mountains' was relevant in the context of your jacket if it was worn not just by a leading member of the village but, perhaps, by the wife of the village headman 'Mountains represent the composure required of the ruler if he desires to keep the world in peace'. Page 21 says that 'Mountains and rivers were thought to be a symbol of the territory of the kingdom'. Not sure if the same meaning would fit Han as Manchu.

Probably stretching things....!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 6:36 am 
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Thanks Pamela for your comments. Yes, it is nice to be able to see photographs of a piece in its natural environment. Unfortunately, this is very rarely possible, as most original buyers just don’t see the point. On the subject of traditional embroidered shoes, here’s one using the red wool cloth I mentioned above. A shoe of this quality would probably have been made as part of a wedding outfit.

As for the mountain surrounded by foaming waves, yes, I have been told that the mountain represents the earth (or is that the Chinese empire), which was traditionally thought to be surrounded by 4 oceans, with the pattern as a whole symbolizing the bringing of order (and peace) to the country. So it does point to a garment used by a local official of some sort (or his wife) who had powers to maintain law and order. If anyone can elaborate further on this story, that would be very helpful.


Attachments:
File comment: Traditional Bailing Miao embroidered shoe.
Bailing-Miao-Shoe-4.jpg
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:09 pm 
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Andrew

What a very fine shoe! I am very attracted to it. Fine embroidery and detailed trim and, of course, the special red fabric.

I always like the traditional handmade shoes and they tend to catch my eye. From the same region of Sandu county, but this time the Shui village of Ban Miao (meaning 'near Miao') in Zhong He township about an hour from Sandu city I have a couple of photos of shoes - one of a pair being made and the other of various shoes and insoles laid out to show and for sale. I bought a pair of partly made shoes, probably the pair being made here. On the day that we visited we went through the middle of a market in Zhong He and there were several Shui women selling shoes (and dressed in traditional costume).

Sorry, Andrew, I don't mean to distract from your Bailing Miao but couldn't resist the diversion! As we have discussed elsewhere, the Bailing Miao and Shui live very closely together in this area. Quite a different style of embroidery with gimp (cotton around horsehair) outlining the embroidery on the Shui shoes.


Attachments:
File comment: Shui woman making the top of a shoe Ban Miao village, Zhong He township, Sandu county
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File comment: Shui shoes and weaving Ban Miao village, Zhong He township, Sandu county
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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:59 am 
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Hello!

I've seen this skirt, or a very similar one, in a book called "Mongol Costumes" from Henry Harald Hansen. It seems it is a petticoat made of silk and all the motifs have a special meaning. For instance, the dragons suplemented by waves and stripes simbolizing the earth.


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untitled_5_134w.jpg
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:53 am 
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Having been asked by a Forum member for more information about the photograph of the Bailing Miao girl wearing the Bailing jacket and Qing dynasty skirt shown earlier in this thread, I thought I’d post a few more details. My Bailing friend explained that traditionally, the Bailing Miao did not have a skirt culture and women would normally wear baggy trousers made from the same black shiny cloth used to make their jackets. Rich families, however, could afford to buy Han skirts that were sold in local markets by Chinese merchants. These skirts are now quite rare as many were lost during the persecution of the Landlord classes in the early 1950s and again during the destruction of the Cultural Revolution.

My friend said that when his mother was young in the 1950s, batik skirts were beginning to be made and worn by the young Bailing Miao women and they slowly became more popular and fashionable.

At a festival held in Paidiao village, Danzhai county in 2009, the younger women tended to wear batik skirts whilst most of the older women wore the traditional baggy trousers with a plain jacket (see photos below).

I also include a photo of another jacket and skirt set that is shown in a small private Kaili museum.


Attachments:
File comment: Paidiao Festival 2009. Younger women wearing batik skirts
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File comment: Paidiao Festival 2009. Younger women wearing Batik skirts
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File comment: Paidiao Festival 2009. Older women.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:59 am 
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An old Bailing Miao jacket and skirt set from early'ish 20th century displayed in a small private museum in Kaili (July 2015).


Attachments:
File comment: Old Bailing Miao jacket and skirt set from early 20th century
2015 Kaili 1 (2)b.jpg
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File comment: Old 'Bailing Miao' silk skirt detail
2015 Kaili 1 (3)b.jpg
2015 Kaili 1 (3)b.jpg [ 110.06 KiB | Viewed 5024 times ]
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:59 pm 
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Andrew, many thanks!

I am particularly interested to see the batik skirts of which I was not aware. We see around the long coats in batik based on the ones done for the international conference (early in the first decade of the 21st century, I think) and tend to believe that the coats in this style are 'fakes'. To see the similar batik taken up and used in young women's/girls' skirts is fascinating. Clearly this was very much adopted as the height of fashion! A great insight!!! I love festival photos and these certainly come over very powerfully.

Thanks for the further insight into the wearing of Han skirts (and jackets) by the Bailing Miao. As so often we find that the rich can afford (and actively seek) to buy imported cloth and clothing be it from abroad or another associated culture - in this case the Han. It is important to recognise that we are seeing the costume of the elite rather than the bulk of the population/ethnic group. I suppose it is also natural that these clothes were precious because they would have been expensive and therefore saved and also there was not the necessity to wear them until they were threadbare and discarded.

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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