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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:33 am
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Location: Beijing
This is a purchase from the weekend. It is made of a lightweight indigo cotton fabric, almost a gauze. There is a little very fine embroidery in a cross at the center and on the sleeves. The lower half is decorated (in fact mostly consists of) two types of glass bead, a small round blue one and long tubes in dark blue. Both have rather irregular shapes that suggest hand-formed glass.

This was described to me as "Dong minority", from Li Ping, though I don't recall seeing anything like this on my one visit to this area, about a decade ago. Has anyone else seen similar jackets, and I am wondering if the attribution is correct.

The only similar thing i can think of is a shawl I bought years ago in Vietnam, plain blue with small red embroidered crosses, finished with opaque blue beads.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:22 pm 
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Chris

How very interesting. It looks to me as if it is twining in the 'rows' with the beads?

Not sure if I have a faint echo of distant memory of something......but not certain!

It must make a very satisfying rattling sound when worn as well as the movement of light on the beads. These look quite old ones?

best

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:35 am 
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here's a close up of the structure between the beads. I'm not sure what to call it.

I was wrong about the tubes, they are not glass but some kind of colored organic material, perhaps feather quills or similar, dyed dark blue. The rounded glass beads seem to have been made by winding a blue glass rod.

Yes, it makes a nice chinking noise. Good for the summer I should think.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:22 pm 
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Chris

Many thanks for the close-up. The threads seem to be knotted - in another setting one might say 'macrame' or akin to knotting on a Victorian shawl. The tubes in the photo almost look like metal. There are almost overtones in the piece of the Miao tin narrow front and back aprons. The glass rod beads are very interesting.

Given that today the markets have lots of beading for aprons and to wear around head coverings it is fascinating to see that the 'fashion' is deep rooted.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:48 pm 
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Chris, on receipt of her copy of a weekly digest of the forum Ann B Goodman has emailed me images of a similarly beaded jacket with the following comments:
Quote:
"Dear Pamela,
I have a jacket similar to Chris Buckley's. When I purchased it in 2006 it was described as Miao Gaoshan, but I, too, think that the underjacket is Dong based on the colors used. I think that some of the rows of my jacket are made from quill feathers. From a brief Google search it appears that Gaoshan are in Taiwan and my jacket is definitely from southwest China. See attached
Ann"


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:41 pm
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Location: Formerly Taipei -Taiwan, now Shanghai - China
When I read 'Taiwan' on a thread in this forum, I have the almost irresistible feeling to add my comment as I considere the island as my second homeland, and overall when you talk about the 'Taiwan gaoshan', the Taiwan aborigines, which I'm passionate about.
So here I am, late - this thread is already nearly two months old -, but I have a good explanation: I left Taiwan (yes, it's possible, after 15 years spent on my dear island) and moved to Shanghai. So I'm now settled down for good in the former 'Paris of the Orient', right in the middle of the former French Concession, and I have to say that I appreciate it very much.
By the way, if there is any member of this forum living in Shanghai, I would be glad to meet him/her to share experience and passion.
One more important point: I loaned all my collections of Taiwan tribal art to a museum in Taiwan.
Well, to come back to the previous post, it is very normal to see the Miao minority of South China and the Taiwan aborigines sharing the same name, ‘gaoshan’, as this word means ‘high mountains’ in Chinese and is attributed in China to all the minority people living in the mountains. The only confusing difference is that ‘gaoshan’ is also the official name in China for the aboriginal tribes of Taiwan.
I have to say that we have a similar confusion in our European languages when we talk about the ‘aborigines’ people in any country, that means the local indigenous people (for the example, the aborigines of Taiwan or in Canada) and the Aborigines that has become the proper name of the Australian indigenous people. So I often had this question asked to me from foreigners visiting Taiwan : ‘How come there are aborigines people living in Taiwan ? Aren’t the Aborigines living in Australia ?’
That’s the reason why the aborigines of Taiwan asked for some change : in Chinese, they want to be called ‘yuanzhumin’ (not gaoshan ren, shandi ren or tongbao that were other terms used before), or in English, ‘austronesian’ as they are in fact austronesians and considere themselves as even more than simple austronesians as they are at the origin of the whole austronesian culture.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:18 am 
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Following receipt of her weekly digest, Ann B Goodman has been in touch with me to:
Quote:
"thank Yuanzhumin for clarifying what "gaoshan" means in Chinese and as far as Taiwanese aboriginies are concerned. As for the quill jacket labeled "gaoshan", the Dong people certainly do live in the higher mountain regions in Southwestern China. Since Yuanzhumin is lucky enough to be living in Shanghai, not to be missed is the Hall of Ethnic Minorities on the topmost floor of the Shanghai Art Museum. It is there that I first saw the minority clothing of Southwest China, which started me on this road of discovery."

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 4:23 am 
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Location: Formerly Taipei -Taiwan, now Shanghai - China
- Pamela :
Thanks for talking to Nick about me. We are now in contact.
- Ann :
Yes, I've been to the last floor of the Shanghai Museum one week after my installation.
As for the Taiwanese pieces exhibited, there were a few beaded jewellery items and two classical beaded tunics from the Atayal, a couple of daily utensils from other tribes, and two nice boats from the Yami tribe.
-For the members of the forum in Shanghai :
I have discovered very close to my place a shop selling South West China minorities textiles. It's located at the crossing of Julu Road and Xiangyang Road.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:20 am 
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I was just looking through the book 'Costumes and Accessories of Chinese Minorities' ISBN 957-02-6406-3 published by the National Museum of History in Taiwan and came across the photos I paste below. The book is excellent, lovely quality photos of fine costume examples. It is based on an exhibition in Taipei in 2000 of the (superb) collection of Tseng Ying Fu, Wong Yuan Shuei and Chen Cheng-Hsiung. There are some stunning pieces of old Dong costume in the book. I was actually looking at skirts when I noticed on pages 86 and 87 beaded and knotted braid jacket(s) with their skirts, similar to the jackets shown by Chris and Ann in posts above. I thought to myself 'I've seen a jacket like that before on the forum' and started to hunt for it. I hope that I am not guilty of too much breach of copyright in sharing with you but I thought that the added Dong confirmation and an idea of the sort of skirt which might have been work with the jacket could be helpful. All I can say is, this is a great book if you can get hold of it!

The jacket seems to be the identical one in both photos but there are two different skirts. The only text is on page 87 under the photo with the 'anchor' shaped hanging pieces ('leaf-style') in the skirt:

Quote:
"Female Festive Attire
Jiachiu Congjiang County Guizhou
32.5x53.5cm
117x37cm
A vest-style jacket with opening on the front and leaf-style screen skirt; this outfit was manufactured by a special process which is rare among the Dong; the screen skirt has bright and attractive colors and feather decoration."


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File comment: photo page 86 'Costumes and Accessories of Chinese Minorities' ISBN 957-02-6406-3 published by the National Museum of History in Taiwan
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File comment: photo page 87 'Costumes and Accessories of Chinese Minorities' ISBN 957-02-6406-3 published by the National Museum of History in Taiwan
dong-skirtp87.jpg
dong-skirtp87.jpg [ 72.85 KiB | Viewed 6048 times ]

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