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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 4:28 pm 
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Location: france
Bonjour à tous

I have seen last year in a gallery in Paris a small jacket that was very special. I have no idea of its origin but I am looking for a precise appellation in order to ask some dealers for getting the same.
This was a jacket for a child. This jacket was made of indigo dyed cotton with a glossy "egg white" finish. No ornamentations neither embroideries.
The only particularity is that it was made of ten layers of material as if it was made of ten jackets sewn into eachothers. The sellers told me that it was a wedding jacket for boys. I would be glad if somebody could give the special name and tribal origin of this kind of jacket.

Merci d'avance

Louis Dubreuil


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:59 pm 
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Louis,

Last year at the Hali exhibition in London there were 2 French dealers in Chinese minority clothing (very expensive) and both of them had these jackets. I too was very attracted and had never seen them before. I have not found such jackets in my books - very frustrating!!

The dealers were Xavier Monnet of 'Objets de Curioste et Textiles Rares d'Asie' and the other was Marie-Noelle Muletier of Minzu Jia ( www.minzujia.com ) I have just had a look on Marie-Noelle's website and on http://www.minzujia.com/dataUk/vetements.htm the bottom right outfit has a jacket as you describe - although, unfortunately, you cannot see the layers in the jacket. The attribution is "Hani woman's costume, Yiche or Kati style, Yunnan province". It says that "the Hani people are part of the Tibetan-Burma ethnolinguistic family. They are better known by the name of Hakka." I would say that they are better known, outside of China, as Akha. The jacket is described as "Five layered cotton jacket, indigo dyed, calendered. The freehand layered formation of the jacket evoking the terraced rice fields."

Thank you for reminding me of these interesting jackets.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:51 am 
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Whilst looking for something else I found the very nice catalogue that Marie-Noelle put together for Hali 2006. It has the garments shown on the web page that I reference above. Here is the Hani costume. Sizes are: Jacket width 94cm; length 54cm, shorts width 44cm; length 54cm. the date given 'Before 1940'. (1940 seems to be a key date throughout the catalogue and I wondered if there was some French tax reason for the date.)


Attachments:
File comment: Hani woman's costume, Yiche or Katu style. Yunnan province from 'Minzu jia: At the crossroads of traditions'.
Hani.jpg
Hani.jpg [ 58.55 KiB | Viewed 11693 times ]

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 Post subject: nine layer jacket
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:53 pm 
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Bonjour à tous

Finally I have fond one of the special jackets I have described in the front post : this one has nine layers of fine indigo dyed cotton with several shade of blue. Very little ornamentation, with a red thread on the back and some blue on blue embroideries. The upper layer has the traditional white egg finish, and the whole jacket has the typical (and delicious) indigo smell. The handle is very pleasant with a certain weight due to the ten layers. A very precious simple cloth. The size is very small, so I suppose it is a boy's jacket. It is from a Miao people from the province of Gizhou. It is supposed to be a wedding jacket, but I do'nt know if it is the husband's one or if it is a type of jacket worn by gest boys .

The following pictures show the finess of the jacket


Attachments:
nine layers jacket back.jpg
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nine layers jacket4.jpg
nine layers jacket4.jpg [ 75.97 KiB | Viewed 11405 times ]
nine layers jacket3.jpg
nine layers jacket3.jpg [ 39.85 KiB | Viewed 11405 times ]
nine layers jacket2.jpg
nine layers jacket2.jpg [ 69.53 KiB | Viewed 11405 times ]
nine layers jacket.jpg
nine layers jacket.jpg [ 24.96 KiB | Viewed 11405 times ]
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 2:13 pm 
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Louis

Thank you very much indeed for sharing these photos of your beautiful new purchase with us. A lovely example and so very, very subtle - which I love! I am so pleased that you finally managed to find the example that you were searching for. I am sure that it must give you much pleasure. It was kind of you to come back to the forum to show it to us and to give us the detail photos so that we can understand the construction so much better.

I suppose originally this style of jacket was created because the Hani group was very poor and perhaps cut off from trading so they could not easily access bright embroidery threads. They chose instead to use indigo dye and the dyeing process, which takes several dippings to create a very deep colour producing a variety of shades of blue along the way. It is a tradition to show wealth by many layers of textiles - either many layers of different jackets or here, many additional layers of one jacket. I like very much that the layers of shades of blue are even and regular - it gives a sense of balance. The jacket is beautifully finished - absolutely essential when there are no bright colours or fine embroidery to distract. A finish which would dignify haute couteur of a leading fashion designer!

Enjoy.................!

PS Re the size. The fact that it is small and yet a wedding jacket probably fits with a group which is not rich - they are not able to eat a lot of protein and therefore are small in size

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 Post subject: Dong
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 11:09 am 
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Bonjour à tous

I have found a documented info about this jacket. There is the same jacket in the TAKIZAWA KUNITO collection now on display in the Museu Textil of the city of Terassa (Spain). This expo will come in Clermont-Ferrand (France) in the Musée des tapis et des arts textiles next year.

I have got the expo catalog (tiltle El sol y los espiritus - Le soleil et des esprits) and the same jacket is described page 35 as children jacket, Guizhou, DONG (mid XX°).

I'll inform the amateurs of the display dates in Clermont Ferrand.

Amicales salutations

Louis Dubreuil


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 12:11 pm 
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Louis, many thanks for this info. For the bookaholics amongst forum members go to http://www.cdmt.es/ENG/MUSEUENG/publica ... eneral.htm and the catalogue that Louis refers to is the (currently) the first one on page one of the CDMT bookshop link The site takes credit cards but you need to 'allow pop-ups' to get the card payment page.

Interesting to see that now the attribution is Dong rather than Hani. This is something I would like to get to grips with. If my life depended on it - thank goodness it does not!!!! - I would pick Hani. The head covering is similar to one I have for U Lo-Akha (currently from Thailand but originally from China, probably Yunnan where the majority of Akha/Hani are thought to have originated from). As you know, Akha are known as Hani in China. The covering is worn on top of the much more elaborate bamboo and metal structure worn close to the head, see page 207 of 'Peoples of the Golden Triangle' by Paul and Elaine Lewis.

Yes, please do give us info on the anticipated exhibition in Clermont Ferrand, that would be great.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:03 pm 
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Louis,

You did not draw my attention to the fact that the Hani jacket I showed earlier in the post was not the same as the one that you had been talking about. Looking carefully at your jacket and the one shown in 'El Sol y los espiritus/Le soleil et des espirits' - which is the same as yours - the jacket I showed you is quite different from yours albeit that both have many layers. I would say that the two styles are quite likely to be from different minority groups although I suppose they might be the same if the one shown as Hani was for a woman - with the curved shape and cross over front - and the one with the straight sides, front and bottom could be for a man.

The catalogue 'El Sol y los espiritus/Le soleil et des espirits' is interesting and clearly Kuniko Takizawa has an excellent collection which many fine older pieces. However, I would take issue with her on several of her attributions most notable of which would be the two babycarriers on pages 53 and 54 which I would attribute to the Shui and not Miao. I know that the Shui and the Bailing Miao live very closely together and, as Andrew has explained to us, the Bailing Miao are basically Miao, but 'because some of them have lived amongst the Shui for generations, they feel more Shui than Miao and now elect to call themselves Shui rather than Miao.' However, there really is a Shui minority and the babycarriers in the catalogue fall squarely in the style usually attributed to Shui. I would say that on page 45 the very, very nice jacket and trouser outfit attributed to Miao in Hainan are, in fact, Lolo (Flower Lolo sub-group) found in Vietnam as shown on page 214 of Michael C. Howard & Kim Be Howard 'Textiles of the Highland Peoples of Northern Vietnam'. Elsewhere there are a Gejia babycarrier and a Gejia skirt attributed to Miao although, of course, the Chinese authorities refuse to agree that the GeJia are a group separate from the Miao. I wonder about some other attributions.

So, your many layered jacket may be Dong but I would still have doubts until I had confirmation from another source.

I would invite the detectives amongst forum members to keep these jackets in mind when they search through their libraries and please give us feedback.

I am going to post on a separate thread a babycarrier which I firmly believe to be Dong. http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... =3200#3200 Why do I mention this here? Because I bought it from a dealer who listed it as Miao and, when I queried the attribution, told me that the Miao dealer from where my dealer bought the carrier said that it was Miao. As you will see from the photos, the carrier is firmly in the style of Dong babycarriers. So, there is a moral here, do not believe everything you are told - although retain the information for reference. Most important, always buy because you love the textile and even better if you can attribute it within your own expertise. Perhaps this should be a New Year resolution for 2008!!!

Oh, and please all continue to contribute to the forum so that we can think, discuss, learn and perhaps agree to differ!!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:27 am 
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Hello All-
I can only weigh in with anecdotal evidence, tho from a very good source: I have recently acquired a couple of the jackets in question, same as the one shown by Louis, and was told that it was a man's jacket from the Hani in Yunnan Province, and goes with the pants as shown in the photo of Pamela's. As I find out more, I'll share it.

Happy hunting and gathering in 2008!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:10 am 
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Susan

Many thanks for your contribution.

Yesterday when I was looking through my books hunting for possible examples of these many-layered jackets I came across the photo I am posting below in a book - all in Chinese - of textiles form Guangxi ("Art of Guangxi Minorities Customs: Colorful Costumes" (2 Volumes) - Guangxi Minzhu Fengsu Yishu: Wucai Yishang (2 Volumes) published in 2001. ISBN 7-80674-112-7. One volume full of excellent photos of various minorities in Guangxi weaving their traditional costume;second volume with photos of the costume. All text is in Chinese. Excellent quality photographs.)

I am absolutely NOT suggesting that the jackets we are talking about are the ones that the couple shown are wearing. However, I found it interesting that the 'cut' of the man's jacket and the 'cut' of the woman's are quite similar to the ones that we are talking about. It was this that made me think that we could be looking at jackets from the same minority group with the 'straight cut' one for a man and the 'curvy cut' one for a woman. I guess that both are really inspired by relevant men's and women's clothing of the Han from an earlier period. We see so little traditional clothing for men as this stopped being worn first as the men dropped their traditional clothing much earlier than women.

The photo also illustrates what interesting 'fashion' can be created from purely indigo dyed fabric. I love the Guangxi woman's skirt and trousers - note the use of fine pleats to give texture, even the 'ridging' in the trousers. If all you could get/afford was indigo and bright colours might not be available you could still create interesting and unique styles for your particular ethnic group.

If any of our Mandarin speaking forum members are looking at this could they please contribute a translation of the page from the text down the left-hand side of the page?


Attachments:
File comment: photo from page 48 of 'Art of Guangxi Minorities Customs: Colorful Costumes' - the volume showing people wearing the costumes.
indigo-couple.jpg
indigo-couple.jpg [ 65.72 KiB | Viewed 10954 times ]

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 Post subject: Hani jackets
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 2:09 pm 
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Brief greetings after an extended silence!
To add a few details regarding Louis' and Susan's jackets (and possibly Pamela's too!): These jackets are definitely not Dong but Hani and oriinate in the Xishuangbanna area of Yunnan Province. There are several examples of these being worn in the published literature I have seen.
I too have several of these delightful pieces and from what I recall of the literature both men and women wear the accompanying short pants. In the images just mentioned these are shown drawn up as illustrated in the image posted from the exhibition/catalogue of Marie-Noelle Muletier. The 'straight-edged' jacket shown by Louis is indeed for a male whilst the 'curved' waistline is indeed worn by females.
From the jackets in my collection, literature and the images posted here, there appears to be no distinction made in the number of layers between male and female jackets - I have three male jackets of 6, 9 and 10 and two female jackets of 8 and 10 layers respectively. Perhaps layer number reflects an individual's economic strength or possile social status?
A further interesting distinction between male and female jackets is that the male jacket has false button ties which, in both my own and Louis' examples, are located on the left, with no accompanying 'catch'/'holdfast' on the opposite side. The jacket opening is consistently vertically placed in the center in contrast to the female jacket opening which crosses over and is held in place with ties corresponding to the number of layers.
Pamela - Regarding your baby carrier mentioned in this post - definitely agree that it is a Dong piece. I was insistently told recently by a dealer here in Taiwan that a similar example was 'definitely Shui'! Ridiculous! There is actually a very similar example to yours in the definitive Beishan:Baby Carrier book on p.272, where, along with several other similar examples, it is attributed to the Dong and broadly located in Conjiang County.
I have not forgotten my pledge to post several examples of Bouyei baby carriers from my collection.... New Years resolution!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:24 pm 
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Iain

You are a star! Many thanks. I think that the number of layers are likely to represent a display of wealth and perhaps the resulting social status this might bring. It is quite usual for minorities - especially at the time of festivals when the young people come together to attract a partner - that extra layers of clothing are worn to demonstrate wealth. Definitely no Western inhibition of appearing fat!

May your life allow your New Year Resolution to be carried out!

best

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:44 pm 
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just a very quick comment
In the book "Ethnic costumes and clothing decoration from China" , (a large volume showing minority costumes in photos and paintings, which both Pamela and I have in our libraries) there is a painting of a Hani woman from the Yeche group wearing a jacket and short pants as discussed above. (plate 398 page 165) It is interesting to see how the costume looks with the accompanying ornaments which are, like those of many Akha groups, quite abundant. Close inspection of the painting appears to show the layers at the edges of the jacket.
I would be interested to know if this particular group is actually part of the people catagorised as Akha or another Hani group lying outside this designation.
If you require more details of the book, I will be happy to provide it. (sadly I am unable to scan images)


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:38 pm 
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Well spotted Siriol!

The layers of the jacket are very much played down here as they are held in by an ornate sash and look more like applied bands. I post a scan below of plate 398 - 'Yeche women's costume and ornaments' from "Ethnic costumes and clothing decoration from China". Also, the woman's jacket shown in Marie-Noelle's catalogue is cut somewhat differently and is very plain without any 'collar' as in the illustration below. The men's jackets look quite different and varied for the various Hani groups illustrated. The text (page 162) talks of 'more than twenty branches and sub-branches, the Hani have a population of 1.05 million, most of them farmers.' It also mentions that 'The Hani wear strikingly different costumes and ornaments before and after marriage.' Certainly the costume shown as worn after marriage is very much plainer.

I think that the term 'Hani' in China and 'Akha' outside is used very much as you find Miao in China and Hmong outside.


Attachments:
File comment: plate 398 - 'Yeche women's costume and ornaments' from "Ethnic costumes and clothing decoration from China"
398-Hani.jpg
398-Hani.jpg [ 69.38 KiB | Viewed 10898 times ]

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:49 pm 
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Pamela,
It may by interesting to note that the couple shown in the photo you posted above from the "Colourful costumes " book may possibly be of the large Zhuang minority, which has many different subgroups and extends into Vietnam. It may be significant to note that they have had extensive contact with the Han and this may be reflected in the cut of costumes as you have pointed out above.


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