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 Post subject: Ornate panel
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 2:40 am 
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Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 6:31 pm
Posts: 31
Location: NY
I keep looking at pictures but can't imagine what the function of this could be. It's very ornate. Does the foil mean that it is newer? I'm pretty sure that I have some newer things and some older.


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 Post subject: closer pic
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 2:42 am 
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Location: NY
a closer pic


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 Post subject: the inside
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 2:45 am 
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Location: NY
On the inside I found a pocket that had thread wound on some sticks, a second sown-up pocket with (beans?) rattling inside, and a sown in bean pod of some sort.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 9:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Location: Canterbury, UK
I think this is probably Dong and looks like a very minimal babycarrier. Not sure that it is that new. Difficult to tell from the photos but I think that the ribbons look hand woven rather than machine - but I could be wrong.

best wishes,

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 4:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:34 pm
Posts: 393
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
I think that Pamela's correct- it is Dong, from Li-Ping County in Guizhou Province. I have a somewhat similar one, tho with more panels, at http://www.tribaltrappings.com/TACH_3.html, TACH229. There is also one in the book Bonding Via Baby Carriers, p.116-18. Yours is, as Pamela said, a simpler version, but very nice nonetheless, and not new!

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Susan Stem

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http://tribaltrappings.blogspot.com/


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 Post subject: baby carrier design
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 11:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:30 am
Posts: 315
Greetings Andrea
Your initial photo looked like several components were missing from this piece. Although the lower straps which would secure the bottom of the carrier - securing the legs and bottom of the baby - appear to be missing (something that is not unusal and I'm sure having no affect on the worth of this carrier) your last photo posted shows the attached head cover folded out. There are several ways that these carriers are worn and no apparent "norm/standard". Is there any other design on this part, or is it simply indigo dyed? I shall try to put the variations together and post.
Fascinating to see the seed pod - could it simply be a child's rattle or could there be a talismatic purpose? In some of the African textiles in my collection various plant parts have been incorporated for their ritual ability to ward off unwanted spirits and sometimes to imbue the wearer with the plant's attributed power. However, I have not read of a similar use in Minority tribe literature available to me. I love these secret finds - in a bib I recently acquired there were a couple of old coins inside a small pocket.
I shall post a similarly designed carrier and another baby head cover (separate from the carrier) shortly. Also is that a collar piece (Loudian county?) appearing in the bottom left hand corner of your first photograph? I love these for their absolutely miniscule stitches - as others have previously said on this forum: "people must have gone blind doing this embroidery!" What an incredible find!
Regards
Iain


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 11:15 pm 
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Posts: 142
The seed pod and sticks are almost surely a protective talisman for the baby.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 1:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 6:31 pm
Posts: 31
Location: NY
Hi Ian,

Thanks for adding that the folded out piece is a head cover- I hadn't thought of that. The piece would be very plain with the decorations next to baby's head if it was folded up (there isn't any decoration on any of the inside).

As for the seed pod being a taslisman or a rattle- I was guessing it was a rattle b/c I found one other baby carrier, which I didn't take (kick myself) with a handmade metal rattle inside a pocket. The carrier had fixed straps like a western one but was highly decorated. In a zipper pouch there was the rattle in the shape of a donut with the outer edges cut out and a metal ball inside that round, cut out tube part.

I don't have a good picture of the piece in the corner but it's a square panel- I'll post a pic that gives the basic idea. I have no idea what it is or where it's from but it does have a lot of tiny tiny stitching. I looked at Loudian county and I do see some similar elements.


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livingroom507.JPG
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 Post subject: baby carrier photo
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 5:57 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:30 am
Posts: 315
Greetings Andrea
This image shown in the correct orientation shows a baby carrier with decorated head cover extended (top part of the photo). The head cover ties are only just visible in this image and are hand woven. You will see that the main strap holding the carrier is embroidered whilst the lower leg straps are plain.
The applied panels appear to vary in age - note the inconsistency in the head cover where one of the corner pieces appears out of place. The upper corner pieces have first been embroidered (using a rather loose two needle stitch) whilst the other two corner pieces are done using a basic satin stitch (or plain embroidery) with floss silk over a paper stencil. The coins are all Ching dynasty from four different emperors. The shiny nature of the cloth is achieved by taking the indigo dyed cloth and then subjecting it to calendaring (a process involving pounding with wooden mallets amongst others) and then being soaked in a variety of possible solutions namely water buffalo skin extract, pig's blood or egg white or indeed a combination of the above. The material becomes quite stiff in the process.
There are definite similarities to both a carrier Steven Frost photographed in Kapu, as well as other Bailing Miao and Zhuang pieces. This piece was said to have been made by a Dong woman. If you need any close ups of this piece to help the explanation just let me know.
Regards
Iain


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 Post subject: Full image explanation
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2007 2:30 pm 
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Posts: 315
After trying out this carrier with an unwilling child - and for the sake of clarity I attach two photos of this baby carrier with straps visible and with the head cover hidden and then fully extended. (minus unwilling child!)
The lower straps are first passed under the baby's legs, then around the sides and are then secured at the front of the person carrying the infant.
The side straps are first passed across the shoulders, then crossed at the front (in an 'X'), then passed to the back of the person carrying the infant and tied - usually beneath where the baby's bottom would be located.
The long pink straps at the top of the head cover would be used to first pull the head cover up and over the baby's head, then passed over the shoulders before finally being secured in front of the person carrying the infant.
I doubt that this head cover would have ever been worn fully tucked inside the baby carrying portion of the carrier - it would appear just too ornate to be hidden! This said the crumpling and creasing evident on the head cover may indicate that it was at least 'partially tucked behind the main carrier. It may just also reflect bad storage prior to purchase!
Hope this helps
Regards
Iain


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File comment: baby carrier with head cover hidden behind actual carrying section
Liping Dong Matt.jpg
Liping Dong Matt.jpg [ 42.88 KiB | Viewed 10341 times ]
File comment: Baby carrier with head cover extended
Liping Dong Matt with headcover.jpg
Liping Dong Matt with headcover.jpg [ 45.81 KiB | Viewed 10341 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 12:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:30 am
Posts: 315
Greetings Andrea
I am wondering whether this piece displayed on your occasional table is actually a baby wrap from Loudian County. There is a similar sized piece on an earlier post
http://www.tribaltextiles.info/community/viewtopic.php?t=957
related to a Miao skirt of mine. As you page down you will see a collar piece and it is this that reminded me of a piece from Anshun County, Guizhou and described as a Miao baby wrap on Marla Mallet's website
http://www.marlamallett.com/e-4481.htm
Regards
Iain


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 10:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 6:31 pm
Posts: 31
Location: NY
Hi Iain,

Thank you for all the information and for showing that beautiful carrier. I'd been wondering about how the shiny material was made... wow, or yikes.

I've been looking at the various pieces from Loudian County, including those that you and Pamela have posted here: http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... .php?t=957 and see similar elements, though nothing I've seen shows the particular style of those pieces on the table just on its own so the mystery still feels a bit unsolved. My initial idea, partially because they look so new, was that my panels were made for sale rather than use- like maybe they were just intended to demonstrate a technique, but maybe they are baby blankets or wraps... When these elements are in use on the Loudian County pieces they seem- for lack of a better word- more rustic.

I'm attaching better pics of the pieces I have. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and information.


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greenpanel.JPG
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redpanel.JPG
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 Post subject: Another possible origin
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:02 am 
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Greetings Andrea
I have been reading through the catalogue "Richly Woven Traditions: Costumes of the Miao of Southwest China and Beyond" published to accompany an exhibition by the China House Gallery and China Institute in America. Appearing on page 52 are two examples - (#31) a burial bib (neckpiece) and (#32) a burial jacket belonging to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (donated by Ellen and Sheldon Sturgis). Unfortunately the photos are in black and white and a search through the Institutes collection online for color images came up empty - in fact these pieces do not appear to be in their inventory either. This aside the design is very similar (dare I venture 'identical'?) to the two pieces that you have. Furthermore, the description of the bib indicates that the design is made up:
Quote:
of red, yellow and white cotton fold applique panels, and is lined with green cotton. Reilly, T. (1987). Richly Woven Traditions. Costumes of the Miao of Southwest China and Beyond. New York: China Institute in America.
The origin of these two pieces is given as 'Laos'. Perhaps one of the more inclusive descriptions I have encountered.... It may explain the absence of simlar pieces being directly attributed to the Miao in Guizhou, China.
I realise this has represents quite a leap - from possible baby wrap to funerary piece! The mystery continues...
Iain


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
Iain, Andrea

Look in 'Richly Woven Traditions' on the page 51 and there is a b&w photo of a 'Burial Pillow' which has similarities to Andrea's although it does not have the strips of red applied, rather everything is based on squares. It is 17 1/2 x 17 1/4, Laos, 20th Century, Laos. (I will try and scan but it is very pale).

Quote:
"The funeral pillow, called noob ncoos in Miao, usually employs applique and embroidery techniques. This pillow is made from polyester with a layered border in fold and tuck applique. The colors used are pink, blue, green, and yellow. Yellow squares represent vegetable blossoms. The applique designs form a grid which symbolizes the interlocking arms and legs of deceased ancestors and present-day relatives. The pattern is also said to represent the personal possessions of the deceased, such as his home, land, and animals that were acquired during his lifetime. One or more pillows are placed under the head of the corpse. This is to ensure that the deceased will have his material possessions in his new life."


If anyone is desperate for a copy of this book I happen to have 2 copies - usual 'disease' of not being sure if you have a copy already or not when trawling the bookshops!


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File comment: Miao funeral pillow from Laos in collection of Minneapolis Institute of Arts from page 51 of Richly Woven Traditions: Costumes of the Miao of Southwest China and Beyond.
funeral-pillow.jpg
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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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 Post subject: Yup this is it!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:30 am
Posts: 315
hehehe Pamela
Beat me to it - was about to post this after trawling the Minneapolis site again. :D Allowing for individual variations in design I think this is a pretty convincing fix on this textile. It may also explain why the piece looks so new - it being used but briefly. It is interesting to see similarities in funerary customs as the practice of placing a piece of material beneath the head of the deceased is also found in some Central African tribes.
Iain


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