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 Post subject: Vietnam - Sa Pa
PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2004 11:13 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
I have received a request for information from a forum member soon to travel to Vietnam:
Quote:
I am going to visit Vietnam on 25th march and will go to Sapa, unfortunately, not on a saturday but a sunday+monday.That`s how i got to your site. After reading long articles about Hmong textiles, I am eager to know from you where I can meet these ``fairy fingers`` ? are they willing to share and show their work ? what could I bring them as small gifts from embroyderers to embroyderers? beads ? threads ? needles? fabrics ?


I responded: If you go to Sa Pa I think that there is a market in Bac Ha on Sunday which you can reach from Sa Pa. Looking on the internet several tour companies seem to offer this. When I visited in 1995 I was so upset because I only got to Sa Pa on the Monday and all the markets were over for the week. I think that the Bac Ha market has very many Flowery (or Variegated) Hmong.

There are a lot of villages within trekking distance of Sa Pa but you will need someone to guide you. There will be many Black Hmong in Sa Pa but I don't think you will see any embroidery in the town but need to go to a village. I did not go into a Black Hmong village but met many on a trek and at a school with lots of Black Hmong. I visited a Red Dao village near Sa Pa and bought a beautiful embroidered coat although I did not see anyone actually sewing. It is not easy to arrange these things on the spur of the moment and it can be difficult to give a guide the idea of exactly what you want to see.

Yes, gifts of needles will be welcomed. I have taken to China with me packets of needles and needle-threaders to help the older ladies whose eyesight has started to deteriorate. For these I have scanned the threading process in a series of shots to make sure that they understand how to use the needle threader to thread the needle.

Do other forum members have any comments to add either specifically about Sa Pa (remember it is a Sunday and Monday visit) or about suitable gifts?

Another, subsequent, thought on gifts is not sewing related. I like to take notebooks and pens because these are always welcomed by the children - and when you visit villages you are going to be an object of interest and amusement for the children. The embroiderers (or weavers) - mothers, grandmothers, siblings - usually welcome these gifts for the children.

thanks for any suggestions.

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Pamela

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 3
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Hi,
I am discovering this site and can not wait for next week !
it seems that I will miss Sapa`s market but will be lead to Cocly and Baonhai instead.
Bearing in mind that i am not a specialist (yet?) could you give me an idea of a fair price to pay for a ``typical`` and true piece of textile ?

I am still looking forward to hear from any member based in Asia !
many thanks
Christine

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Please brighten up my days with colourful textiles.


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 Post subject: fair price
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 10:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
It is impossible to give an idea in the abstract of a 'fair price' of a textile. It will depend on the individual piece and the worth of that to the person selling and the person buying.

You need to get a 'feel' of what the market is for the sort of thing that you are interested in. Also, if you are not going to have many chances to buy to don't want to live with regrets!

It depends on the individual circumstances. If you are in a market situation you will probably have to negotiate quite hard. If you are in a village and it is a piece made by the person you are negotiating with it is so much harder to bargain. If they have been very kind to you and given you time then you may feel that you should pay what they ask and do not negotiate as it is a way of saything thank you with pride equal on both sides. As someone who sews myself and understands the skill and time taken I find it hard to beat down in price something which I know has taken the creator very many hours to make.

Often a very new textile is worth a higher price to the person who has made it recently. an older piece may be more attractive to us and less so to the person selling.

In Sa Pa the Dao and Hmong women who come into the town to trade textiles are pretty tough negotiators.

I don't know what the going price is now for pieces. Top quality pieces that I paid US$50 each for - a wonderful Dao coat which had taken months to make and was hardly if ever worn and an almost new Black Hmong Baby carrier with 3 layers of batik and embroidery were that price. This was in 1995. I would expect both items to probably be twice that now or more but I may be wrong.

Members in Asia. If you go to the members list - see top right of your screen, middle of top line and click. You will see in the profiles the a person's country if they have input this. Although you told me that you wanted to be in contact with members in Asia that was in a private message to me and not in a public message on the forum. We do not have any other members in Taiwan but have members in Thailand, China (PRC), Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam but they will not necessarily be looking at the forum very frequently.

all the best,

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Pamela

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


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 Post subject: Hmong prices
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 6:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2003 4:52 am
Posts: 162
Location: California, USA
Hi,

There are several web sites on EBAY that sell a variety of Hmong textiles; their prices might give one an idea of what to expect in Vietnam. First go to EBAY, and then EBAY STORES. One is WINUN, another RAVENGLASS. I never buy, but get an idea of what is coming up for sale, and some baseline prices.

Another reliable site is not on EBAY, but just go to ETHNIC ART through Google. They are in Berkeley, and I occasionally identify and appraise for them.

I am not suggesting that one shops for textiles on the web, but rather a check on some sites may be useful for market purposes.

The Hmong in SEASIA are the only ethnic group considered as equal to the Chinese in business.

Also, I keep a stash of cosmetic samples from Clinique to hand out. Cosmetics are very expensive, and anything made in the US is greatly appreciated. And small toys for the children will bring many happy smiles.

Sandie


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