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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:15 am 
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Location: Kaili, Guizhou, China
I am confused about this post and do not think that it is correctly posted on the 'Museums, Exhibitions, Events, Galleries and Websites' sub-forum. Having checked on your website I note that recent arrivals are a group of Maonan textiles. This would then point to the post being on the 'Tribal textile shopping' forum. Selling is NOT allowed on the rest of the forum. If it is relevant as part of a discussion on the rest of the forum to link to a photo of a textile which is part of stock this can, occasionally, be permitted. I am going to move this post to the shopping section of the forum. Subsequently moved to 'General' when Iain added in more textiles and started an interesting discussion!!!!

Also please note the request/forum restriction to keep the width of photos to 600 px to aid people viewing the thread easily. Thank you, Pamela (forum administrator)


Maonan, minority group of China, language and culture consuetude resemble with Dong, Shui, Zhuang, Dai, etc. There are some their old silk textiles, may be some bedcover?


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Hmong Home In China

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Email to me: wu-zhh@hotmail.com
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:23 pm 
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Dear Wu-zhh
I too have a number of these silk blankets - several incorporating three panels with the same striking supplementary silk weft designs. When I first purchased these I was also told that they were Maonan and that they originated in Guangxi Province. However, after researching the available literature I now believe these to actually be Zhuang. Of particular interest are the Guangxi Baby Carrier Volumes: Guangxi Minzhu Fengsu Yishu: Wazai Bedai (2001) ISBN 7806741119, where a similar woven silk piece (with accompanying supplementary silk weft designs) is incorporated into a baby carrier (see pp.37, 62, 63.). Here this piece is firmly attributed to the Zhuang.
I think that the 'Maonan' attribution may possibly come from the fact that this particular branch of the Zhuang resides in Huanjiang Maonan Autonomous County (环江毛南族自治县).
Looking at the section dealing with the Maonan in the same volume (pp.152-165) the Huanjiang Maonan designs are significantly different.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:49 pm 
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I show this carrier(sorry this should have read blanket NOT carrier) as it not only has the three panels I spoke of but also incorporates different suplementary weft designs to those shown by Wu-zhh. These include what appear to be a variety of birds (crane and phoenix), bat, butterfly?, turtle?tortoise?, vase with flowers and other abstract designs (to me that is). I also show a close up of the back of the textile to show the supplementary weft floating on the beautiful brown silk.

Iain, as you have now provided interesting information and raised the question of whether the blankets are Maonan or Zhuang I have now moved this topic to 'General' from '....shopping'! Pamela


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Last edited by iain on Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 2:25 am 
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Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Iain- I'm curious as to how you know your piece is a baby carrier; I don't have the volume you reference, so have not seen any Maonan baby carriers, only blankets. Might there be a photo available of one in use?

Also, this discussion reminds me of an article called 'Bridal Blankets of the Maonan People' by Lee Chinalai in a 2003 Caskey Lees catalog for their Arts of Pacific Asia show in NYC: she makes the point that the Maonan population is quite small now (74,000) and if considered in the past, would have been much smaller, yet produced such rich, exquisite textiles, thus implying a certain rarity.

Quote:
"One can only imagine, therefore, how small the Maonan minority was during the Qing dynasty. From this community among the Maonan women only a small number would have had the skill and resources to produce densely embroidered bridal blankets that rival in elegance almost any textile creation of larger and more sophisticated Chinese groups."


I have seen, and handled, quite a few of these blankets and am now wondering if perhaps these could have been woven for them by nearby Zhuang people, which could perhaps help explain the Zhuang attribution in your book. Just a wild guess on my part, but it is not unheard of for some groups to commission textiles from others (the Khmu in Laos come to mind).

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


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:39 am 
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The Maonan have been deeply influenced by the neighboring Zhuang. The Zhuang and Maonan both weave and their designs are similar. For in situ images of Maonan baby carriers and more take a look here:

http://stevenqfrost.net/photoarchive/sh ... iang44.jpg

Scrolling forward you can see more Maonan textile images.

Steven

www.stevenqfrost.net


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 Post subject: Correction
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:43 am 
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Sorry Susan! That was a typo error on my part - the images I posted are not a carrier but indeed a blanket. Apologies!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:05 am 
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Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Steven and Iain-
Many thanks for the interesting replies! And I'm a bit relieved that Iain's photo is actually a blanket, rather than a baby carrier, as I just couldn't figure out how it would have been used without any form of straps etc. Steven's image is interesting in that it has the two borders of bright red and blue trade cloth that we've been seeing on a lot of these blankets here recently. Unfortunately, it does not complement the center panels very well. It is always nice to see how baby carriers are used, and Steven's photo is wonderful- young mum literally with her hands, and back full! The rest of your photos are also fascinating and give one a 'feel' for the area and people. If you will post the shot of the next baby carrier in the series, I'll follow up with some interesting Zhuang blankets that are somewhat similar.

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


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 Post subject: Zhuang and Maonan images
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:49 am 
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Just to show just how identical the baby carriers used by the Maonan as shown in Steven's link http://stevenqfrost.net/photoarchive/showimage.php?dir=huanjiang&image=huanjiang44.jpg and the the baby carriers identified as Zhuang in the Guangxi Baby Carrier Volumes: Guangxi Minzhu Fengsu Yishu: Wazai Bedai (2001) ISBN 7806741119 I post the relevant images below.


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File comment: Zhuang baby carrier.
Silk ground with discontinuous supplementary silk thread weft.
Guangxi Minzhu Fengsu Yishu: Wazai Bedai (2001) ISBN 7806741119.
p.37

Zhuang baby carrier.jpg
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File comment: Zhuang carrier detail. Flowers in vase and Phoenix.
Discontinuous supplementary silk thread weft on silk ground
Guangxi Minzhu Fengsu Yishu: Wazai Bedai (2001) ISBN 7806741119.
p.62

Zhuang detail.jpg
Zhuang detail.jpg [ 108.39 KiB | Viewed 8515 times ]
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:58 am 
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I also link to an image on Steven's website of a new Maonan baby carrier with flower motif, also from Huanjiang County, which is strikingly similar to one appearing on pp. 152-3 of the Guangxi Baby Carrier Volume: Guangxi Minzhu Fengsu Yishu: Wazai Bedai (2001) ISBN 7806741119. (I hope this is OK with you Steven) http://stevenqfrost.net/photoarchive/showimage.php?dir=huanjiang&image=huanjiang47.jpg


Attachments:
File comment: Maonan baby carrier.
Guangxi Minzhu Fengsu Yishu: Wazai Bedai (2001) ISBN 7806741119.
pp. 152-3.

Maonan baby carrier.jpg
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File comment: Maonan baby carrier detail.
Guangxi Minzhu Fengsu Yishu: Wazai Bedai (2001) ISBN 7806741119.
pp. 162-3.

Maonan detail.jpg
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:47 am 
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Excellent material (sorry, I used the word before I realised it was also literal!) from Steven and Iain.

I am so pleased to see images of babycarriers being worn, especially today, as well as the carrier by itself.

Something that always fascinates me is the 'challenging' question of whether it is embroidery or weaving and that today, it seems, it is more likely to be embroidery. Looking at Steven's images - especially the close-up http://stevenqfrost.net/photoarchive/sh ... iang49.jpg it is clear that this is embroidery but based on a design that was probably originally woven.

Very much a common thread, I think, across our posting topics - as picked up by Susan and covered more by Steven - is this question of 'influence' from and between neighbouring groups. It certainly keeps us on our toes! Influence and, as Susan mentions, one group weaving specifically for other groups. This resonates very much with me and Sandra Niessen's research amongst the Batak in N Sumatra where, for example, the Toba Batak, weave ulos specifically for the Karo Batak.

I am glad that this thread has generated such interesting material and clearly linked several forum members' interests. My thanks to Wu-zhh for originally posting his images and I admit to feeling guilty at being a heavy handed administrator and summarily moving it to tribal textile shopping originally!

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


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