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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:20 pm 
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Forum member Ann Goodman shared with Susan Stem and myself a photo of the sleeve of a favourite textile in her collection - see 'A' photo below. Ann is intrigued by the bird motif and linear decoration in the batik. When I saw the photo I noticed that there seemed to be some of the red flannel which Andrew Dudley has shown us in some of his Bailing Miao pieces and which was highly prized when used. (See thread http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... .php?t=381 ). Ann came back to show us photos of the pieces of the outfit which she has. In addition to the jacket - of which Ann says: 'The indigo is thickly textured fabric, maybe ramie, I can't tell but I don't think it is cotton', there is a headcloth (probably) and a pair of hand worked shoes. It also comes with a red wool headband. Ann says that 'Based on the fading patterns, ornamental metal decorations have been removed. The shoes are traditional silk embroidered shoes with the curved pointed tips. There are no cleats on the soles.' - see photo 'B' for the complete set and 'C' for the detail of the headcloth.

When I saw the headcloth I immediately thought of the lovely Ra Jia headcloths which Andrew had shown us, especially the ones worn by older women, (for headcloths see this section of thread http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... =2844#2844 )

Ann purchased the textile pieces as 'Dong Maijing'. She has drawn my attention to a comment from Andrew in the Rao Jia thread that "the Rao Jia, a small group that live in Majiang county in south east Guizhou and who are currently classified as a subgroup of the Yao..."

So, is Ann's jacket 'set' Dong influenced by Rao Jia or might it be Rao Jia. As Susan has pointed out to us, we do not normally think of wax resist in the context of the Dong. Of course, never say never when it comes to influence between groups as we have seen before. Clearly Andrew is the expert here and I apologise for putting him on the spot but we would really value his comments and, of course, understand it if the photos are not clear enough for him to make a sensible determination.

Ann does have a couple of pieces in her collection that she already believes to be Rao Jia, a jacket - photo 'D' - and one of the baby carriers - photo 'E' - similar in style to those shown by Andrew in his Rao Jia thread. http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... .php?t=920 See photos below. I need to hunt out a Rao Jia outfit that I saw at an exhibit of some textiles by Gina Corrigan a year or so ago. I know that had no wax resist at all which surprised me.

So your thoughts please on this lovely 'Dong Maijing' set in Ann's collection.


Attachments:
File comment: Photo A - sleeve detail, Dong Maijing
DongBirdSleeveDetw.jpg
DongBirdSleeveDetw.jpg [ 59.11 KiB | Viewed 11643 times ]
File comment: Photo B - set, Dong Maijing
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File comment: Photo C - Detail of headcloth
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File comment: Photo D - Rao Jia jacket
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06.048aRaoJiaJacketBackw.jpg [ 43.96 KiB | Viewed 11643 times ]
File comment: Photo E - Rao Jia Babycarrier
RaoJiaBCw.jpg
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Last edited by Pamela on Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:30 pm 
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Just a postscript. Ann pointed out to me that in the book 'Minority Textile Techniques: Costumes from South West China' edited by Ruth Smith and with Textiles from the Gina Corrigan Collection on page 128, Fig 2 the clothing is somewhat similar to 'Unidentified group at boat landing on the Duliu River. Xiajiang, Congjiang 1996'. There is some similarity in that the over-jackets are plain with apparently similar facings to the jacket front bottom as Ann's and there are bands of embellishment on the sleeves. However, they are not strikingly similar and there is no wax resist embellishment.

The Duliu River is a very important waterway linking very many minority groups and where influences between groups in dress are frequent.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:36 pm 
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Dear Pamela (and Ann),

Thanks very much for putting me on the spot, especially with this particular query. I have been looking for an opportunity to introduce this group for a while, but never quite got around to it.

This is a very nice example of a “Dong Jia” (I’ve never heard of them being called the Dong Maijing, but who knows…) costume (I don’t believe there is any relationship between the Dong Jia and the Dong). There is very little information about this small group, but what I’ve learned is that they live in Danzhai County (although they could live in neighbouring counties as well), they speak a language that is very similar to the Ge Jia language, and they were assimilated by the local Han Chinese early in the 20th Century (I can’t confirm when, but almost certainly before mid century). Apparently, 60/70 year old women have no knowledge of Dong Jia traditional festivals. These days, they are all but indistinguishable from the Han, except for their spoken language. Despite there being little information about this group, the Dong Jia were supposedly elevated to nationality status about 10 years ago, being reclassified as the “She” zu (but again, I’ve seen no documentation that confirms this).

Like the other “Jia” groups that I’m interested in (along with the Ge Jia and Rao Jia) the Dong Jia are experts at batik, producing very large and fine headcloths like the one shown above. As a thin blue line on a white background is considered to be a sign of the highest batik skills, it could be argued that the Dong Jia were one of the very best batikers producing in Guizhou. Unfortunately, the headcloth above looks to have become dark and faded, as these pieces are usually predominantly white with very fine blue lines. Because much of their culture died out quite some time ago, their batik follows very traditional lines, having never evolved to adopt more modern motifs and styles that other groups have, and so all their headcloths follow exactly the same basic pattern. They also use small pieces of batik on their jacket sleeves that often depict the small birds as seen above, as well as butterflies and flowers.

I have a number of Dong Jia pieces, but unfortunately, my photos are not accessable at present. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some posted soon. In the mean time, if you look at Bonding via Baby Carriers by Christi Lan Lin, page 113, you can see a Dong Jia applique baby carrier that has been repaired using a modern’ish piece of Rao Jia batik headcloth and which has been classified as being a Rao Jia baby carrier.

I have never seen the red head band, so I would be intrigued to have a closer look, if that’s possible. I have also never seen what look to be black and white embroidered shoes, usually they use the bright colours and patterns similar to the embroidery on their jacket sleeves.

Photos D & E are certainly Rao Jia.


Last edited by Andrew Dudley on Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Possibilities
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:59 pm 
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The first thing is that I think the spelling should actually be Majiang NOT Maijing. Majiang forms one of the counties of southest Guizhou adjacent to Leishan, Danzhai and Sandu amongst others. As you point out in this county Dong, Raojia and Miao groups (Bailing Miao included) and other groups (which the government seems to have labelled somewhat inexplicably at times) live in close proximity. It is quite likely that a blending of different techniques and styles has occurred.
The carrier - definitely Raojia - not only Andrew's fantastic examples concur but also the authoritative Baby carrier book has examples with striking similarities. I will upload a couple of these tomorrow.
Regarding photo D - agree Raojia.
Regarding the jacket attributed to the Dong (photo B and detail) - mmmm not sure how correct that is. What struck me first was the similarity of the sleeve detail to a couple of carriers I have in my collection - one of which was collected just south of Majiang itself and another from Sandu, located in Sandu county, and both attributed to the Bailing Miao. The loosely woven red woolen cloth seems to be a particular favorite of this group.
For now, I attach an image of one of these carriers and a detail illustrating the similarity to Ann's sleeve example. A similar style of carrier may also be found in Danzhai examples of which I will also upload tomorrow.


Attachments:
detail.jpg
detail.jpg [ 92.23 KiB | Viewed 11639 times ]
File comment: Bailing Miao carrier
Full carrier.jpg
Full carrier.jpg [ 85.81 KiB | Viewed 11639 times ]
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 10:04 am 
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Andrew, Iain, very many thanks for your contributions.

I am very interested indeed to hear of this new to me group, Dong Jia. If they were assimilated into the Han early to mid 20th Century that would suggest that Ann's textiles would pre-date this and could be late 19th, very early 20th Century - or am I jumping to conclusions 2+2=5?

I wonder if the headcloth was dipped in indigo to overdye it and give it an extended life when it became 'tired' with age? Just a dip and one oxidising would only give a pale colour.

When you get a chance I (and I am sure several forum members) would love to see photos of Dong Jia pieces in your collection. By the way, Ann has mentioned to me that she has several wax resist pieces in her collection so I will not be your only cheer leader for more wax resist even if she might not wax lyrical in print as I do!

Being a simple soul I am quite excited as the emergence of this 'new' group. My thanks to Ann for sharing her textiles and Andrew his knowledge to allow it.

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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 Post subject: headband detail
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:37 pm 
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Ann got back to me today and says that she has been "thrilled with reading all about the Dong Jia on the Forum". Further to Andrew's interest in the Dong Jia headband she has gone into her "grey acid free boxes stacked one upon the other" to find the Dong Jia headband and she has photographed it so, as she says, we can "see the mark left by the metal decorations that have been removed. The red wool cloth is obviously handmade. I do have one central Asian (not Chinese)19th century or earlier garment incorporating red "tabbycloth" from Britain, as identified by Michael Franses. Many of the fine red wool pieces from China resemble tabbycloth, but the yarn is far more irregular and obviously handspun. I wonder if the Chinese groups came upon British tabbycloth and attempted to imitate the British cloth."

I haved looked up Andrew's reference to 'Bonding via Baby Carriers' and the detail close-up of the red wool (page 114) looks very similar to the red wool in the detail of the headband that Ann has sent us today. How interesting that the main part of the babycarrier with the red background is Dong Jia whilst the wax resist 'tail' is Rao Jia. I also find it interesting that, in the baby carrier, the style of embellishment on the straps is similar to the embroidery on the sleeves of Ann's jacket but, on the baby carrier, the embellishments are back-stitched applique rather than embroidery. There is also the folded point trim on both items.

Ann also says "your speculation that my Dong Jia headcloth may have been overdipped once in indigo seems right on. It is almost, but not quite, more beautiful with the shades of blue than it would have been being just white and dark indigo."


Attachments:
File comment: detail of Dong Jia headband
5headband-detw.jpg
5headband-detw.jpg [ 60.12 KiB | Viewed 11594 times ]

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:12 pm 
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Thanks to Google desktop I managed to find from May 2004 the OK from Phylis Lan Lin, Consultant on 'Bonding via Baby Carriers' to post photos from the book as long as we gave full attribution - which I am always very happy to do. I am, therefore, to illustrate my comments above posting two images from page 114 of 'Bonding via Baby Carriers - 1. showing a Phoenix applied on the old wool background and 2. a section of the baby carrier showing the tie where it joins the body of the carrier.

"Bonding via Baby Carriers: The Art & Soul of the Miao and Dong People" by Yu-Chiao Liu Lan, Christi Lan Lin, Brenda Lin published by Les Enphants Co. in 2001 ISBN 957-744-658-2 Published for the 30th anniversary of Les Enphants Co.


Attachments:
File comment: 1. showing a Phoenix applied on the old wool background on page 114 of Bonding via Baby Carriers
detp114.jpg
detp114.jpg [ 63.56 KiB | Viewed 11593 times ]
File comment: 2. a section of the baby carrier showing the tie where it joins the body of the carrier - page 114 of Bonding via Baby Carriers
det-bc-strap.jpg
det-bc-strap.jpg [ 66.03 KiB | Viewed 11593 times ]

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 3:49 am 
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The Rao Jia baby carriers that appear in the Guizhou shaoshu minzu: Beishan book ISBN 7221060174 are all attributed following the governments classification of ths group as belonging to the Yao. I include images of three carriers - all originating in Sandu Co. from the same book where they are attributed to the Miao. Of interest are the folded triangles separating the upper red and lower black fields. One of the baby carriers in the second image has green handwoven cloth in place of the red in the top panel. Although these images do not really adding anything to the new mystery of the Dong Jia they do show a similarity in material combination and design.


Attachments:
File comment: Guizhou shaoshu minzu: Beishan. p.146. ISBN 7221060174
Miao Sandu Co..jpg
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File comment: Guizhou shaoshu minzu: Beishan. p.246. ISBN 7221060174
Sandu Miao green and red.jpg
Sandu Miao green and red.jpg [ 71.79 KiB | Viewed 11575 times ]
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:12 pm 
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Pamela, in reply to your comments above.

Firstly, I think you are being a little over optimistic with your dating. Of the people who have sold me Dong Jia pieces, there seems to be a consensus that 1920 is the cut-off date for all things Dong Jia. Obviously this is nonsense, but it gives the idea that if the young girls stopped learning how to produce their traditional costumes around the 1920s, then perhaps the older generations might have continued producing into the 1940s or 1950s. Ann’s costume set would be one of those dated to the 1920s (or 1920-1950 I suppose).

Yes, I also thought the head-cloth looked as if it could have been over-dyed, but failed to make the suggestion as I’ve not seen any such Dong Jia pieces.

Waxing lyrical cheer leaders at the batik artist’s ball…. Sounds good to me.

If anyone can dig out more information about this shadowy group, I’d love to hear.

I hope you don’t mind looking at a large’ish dose of Dong Jia finery in one sitting, but I quite like their work. I hope you enjoy them Ann.

Jackets: Although the body of the jacket is very plain, it helps to set-off the bright colours and beautiful patterns of the embroidery and the wax resist on the sleeves. Ann’s jacket sleeve has very nice butterfly patterns and fine batik. The sleeve on my Jacket 1 is unusual in that the embroidery is couched with very fine gimp thread, the patterns though are a little more difficult to decipher. Jacket 2 sleeve uses brightly coloured threads and wonderful batik patterns of………. possibly birds or butterflies (similar to the head-cloth patterns coming next).

Head-cloths: These head-cloths are big, about 130/140cm long. They always follow the same basic design, with 9 central circles surrounded by what have been described to me as flying dragons. The end sections are made up of these strange bird, butterfly and/or fish patterns, and are trimmed off with red and green silk ends. Head-cloth 2 is an extra wide example with very fine central patterns.

Baby Carriers: The basic cut is very similar to the Rao Jia baby carriers and yes, the Dong Jia are very enthusiastic users of the red woolen cloth. BC 1 gives the impression of being older than the others and this I believe to be so. The red woolen cloth, although well worn, has been expertly darned/repaired in several places, indicating it has been a prized possession of perhaps several generations of owners. It certainly looks as if it has been used over a long period of time. As for the patterns, if you look closely, they are very similar to the ones on BC 2 (on which the patterns are more easily identifiable), and include butterflies, phoenixes, dragons, peacocks and two men riding on fish. All these patterns must have very definite stories behind them, but whether they are traditional Dong Jia or (more probably) Han Chinese stories, I don’t know. Moving on to BC 2, this really is an awesome piece, there is just soo much going on in it. And it is extra-special in that all the embroidery is edged with chain-stitch. Looking at the patterns, starting in the top panel, there is a sun and a man sitting in a crescent moon, a number of butterflies, two bottles (ping representing peace) floating in water with flowers and a peach (for long life), then two men riding on phoenixes and a sage riding on a crane (long life) etc. The central panel includes two monkeys swinging in the trees, a peacock displaying its tail and a dragon’s head flanked by two men riding on fish. The lower panel (which looks to have been put in upside down) includes two dragons, a long life turtle, butterflies and two phoenixes. The arms have wonderful dragons etc. and a small piece of batik at the very ends. As I said earlier, it is great to have BC1 & 2 together so as to see what an unidentifiable pattern (on BC 1) could/does actually represent, especially as some of these abstract patterns also appear on other group’s baby carriers (compare the central panel of BC 1 to the top red panel of the second, embroidered carrier on Steven Frost’s Maonan carrier thread http://tribaltextiles.info/community/vi ... .php?t=619 ).
The third baby carrier is an appliqué version with pieces of head-cloth batik making up the main body. The batik is also interesting in that it uses two colours of blue on the central bird.

Thanks for the head-band photo, any chance of a photo of the whole thing as well as the detail. Since there are no photos of Dong Jia women wearing their costumes, it’s quite difficult to imagine how such a large head-cloth would have been worn.


Attachments:
File comment: Dong Jia Jacket 1
Dong-Jia-Jacket-1.1.jpg
Dong-Jia-Jacket-1.1.jpg [ 64.5 KiB | Viewed 11548 times ]
File comment: Jacket 1 sleeve
Dong-Jia-Jacket-1.2.jpg
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File comment: Dong Jia Jacket 2
Dong-Jia-Jacket-2.1.jpg
Dong-Jia-Jacket-2.1.jpg [ 66.24 KiB | Viewed 11548 times ]
File comment: Jacket 2 sleeve
Dong-Jia-Jacket-2.2.jpg
Dong-Jia-Jacket-2.2.jpg [ 67.35 KiB | Viewed 11548 times ]
File comment: Dong Jia batik head-cloth 1.1
Dong-Jia-Headcloth-1.1.jpg
Dong-Jia-Headcloth-1.1.jpg [ 74.7 KiB | Viewed 11548 times ]
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:18 pm 
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Location: Bristol, England
More Dong Jia pieces.


Attachments:
File comment: Dong Jia head-cloth 1
Dong-Jia-Headcloth-1.2.jpg
Dong-Jia-Headcloth-1.2.jpg [ 77.32 KiB | Viewed 11549 times ]
File comment: Head-cloth 1
Dong-Jia-Headcloth-1.3.jpg
Dong-Jia-Headcloth-1.3.jpg [ 60.41 KiB | Viewed 11549 times ]
File comment: Head-cloth 2
Dong-Jia-Headcloth-2.1.jpg
Dong-Jia-Headcloth-2.1.jpg [ 66.12 KiB | Viewed 11549 times ]
File comment: Dong Jia Baby Carrier 1.1
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-1.1.jpg
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File comment: Dong Jia Baby Carrier 1.2
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-1.2.jpg
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-1.2.jpg [ 64.94 KiB | Viewed 11549 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:23 pm 
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Location: Bristol, England
More Dong Jia


Attachments:
File comment: Baby Carrier 1
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-1.3.jpg
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-1.3.jpg [ 62.09 KiB | Viewed 11545 times ]
File comment: Baby Carrier 1
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-1.4.jpg
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File comment: Baby Carrier 1
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-1.5.jpg
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File comment: Dong Jia Bab Carrier 2
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-2.1.jpg
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File comment: Baby Carrier 2
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-2.2.jpg
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-2.2.jpg [ 58.65 KiB | Viewed 11545 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:27 pm 
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Location: Bristol, England
Apologies for yet more Dong Jia


Attachments:
File comment: Baby Carrier 2
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-2.3.jpg
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-2.3.jpg [ 69.21 KiB | Viewed 11545 times ]
File comment: Baby Carrier 2
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-2.4.jpg
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-2.4.jpg [ 65.64 KiB | Viewed 11545 times ]
File comment: Baby Carrier 2
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-2.5.jpg
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File comment: Baby Carrier 2
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-2.6.jpg
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File comment: Baby Carrier 2
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-2.7.jpg
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-2.7.jpg [ 63.54 KiB | Viewed 11544 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:32 pm 
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Location: Bristol, England
Last lot, I promise.


Attachments:
File comment: Baby Carrier 2 (continued)
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-2.8.jpg
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-2.8.jpg [ 65.63 KiB | Viewed 11535 times ]
File comment: Dong Jia Baby Carrier 3
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Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-3.1.jpg [ 67.7 KiB | Viewed 11535 times ]
File comment: Baby Carrier 3
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File comment: Baby Carrier 3
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-3.3.jpg
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File comment: Baby Carrier 3
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-3.4.jpg
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-3.4.jpg [ 66.5 KiB | Viewed 11535 times ]
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 Post subject: WOW!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:08 am 
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Andrew
Thank you for sharing these wonderful textiles!!! Am blown away!


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 Post subject: Dong Jia headband
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:57 am 
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Andrew,

Just a wonderful feast of fantastic textiles. I will wax lyrical later but the aim of this post is to add the further photos of the Dong Jia headband which Ann Goodman immediately sent to me. Her initial comment on your posts was: "Wow, what a stunner!! Andrew's pieces are magnificent, especially the baby carriers."

If my computer will allow me I will post 4 photos of the headband, front and back with details. (I am having some problems at the moment after installing some new software and my 'restore' function refuses to recognise that anything has changed! The problem re the forum is that I keep being logged out despite ticking the continue to be logged in box. Woe is me!)


Attachments:
File comment: headband - front
1w.jpg
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File comment: headband - back
3w.jpg
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File comment: detail of back of headband and braid
4w.jpg
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File comment: detail of braid by front of headband showing marks where charms(?) have been removed
2w.jpg
2w.jpg [ 67.12 KiB | Viewed 11488 times ]

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Last edited by Pamela on Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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