tribaltextiles.info

It is currently Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:52 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 30 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Dong baby carrier???
PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 8:58 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
I am attaching photos of what I think is an incredible textile. It may be a Dong baby carrier. It was sold to me as 'a Yao girl's baby carrier' when I bought it in October 2000 in one of the small textile shops across the road from the east end of Green Lake in Kunming, Yunnan. There were clearly pieces for sale from all over south west China so the piece could well be from another province such as Guizhou. (I did not realise when I bought it that the piece was basically woven and not embroidered. It is the fact that it is not (mainly) embroidery that makes me think that it is not Yao.) The textile is basically woven but I think that some of the silk coloured thread may be added by embroidery. The reason that I think this is that, when the photos were enlarged, some of the threads look very twisted and also, when I have felt the reverse of the main piece of weaving, there were tiny knots! The indigo background is, I think, hand spun cotton. The white thread is also cotton.

What I have is the main back piece of the baby carrier - 14.5" x 17.5" (37 cm x 50 cm) with a band made up of 3 woven pieces 16" x 2.5" (41 cm x 6 cm) joined together and separating the main back piece from a hanging, ‘tail’, lined and bound 15" x 6" (38.5 cm x 16.5 cm). There is a piece of hand spun and woven indigo lining the centre piece of the band. The main back of the baby carrier has not retained its lining and I have shown part of this in one photo. I have based my attribution on photos in one of the books in the China bibliography 'Ethnic costume from Guizhou: Clothing Designs and Decorations from Minority Ethnic Groups in Southwest China'. Unusually the book has quite a bit of helpful English text. There is a section on weaving. It is the 'lozenge' weaving in the 'tail' piece that makes me think it may be Dong (Page 52 image 72) although some a bit similar has been attributed to Bouyei. Page 56, image 79 has similarities to the central design on the main part of the carrier.


Attachments:
dong-baby-carrier-_2_.jpg
dong-baby-carrier-_2_.jpg [ 47.26 KiB | Viewed 14066 times ]
dong-baby-carrier-_8_.jpg
dong-baby-carrier-_8_.jpg [ 52.72 KiB | Viewed 14066 times ]
dong-baby-carrier-_9_.jpg
dong-baby-carrier-_9_.jpg [ 46.39 KiB | Viewed 14066 times ]
dong-baby-carrier-_10_.jpg
dong-baby-carrier-_10_.jpg [ 46.31 KiB | Viewed 14066 times ]
dong-baby-carrier-_13_.jpg
dong-baby-carrier-_13_.jpg [ 45.5 KiB | Viewed 14066 times ]
dong-baby-carrier-_12_.jpg
dong-baby-carrier-_12_.jpg [ 44.69 KiB | Viewed 14066 times ]

_________________
Pamela

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


Last edited by Pamela on Sun Jan 02, 2005 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: is it Yao?
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 5:17 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2003 4:52 am
Posts: 162
Location: California, USA
Pamela,

I just showed this piece to Chris, having not read the accompanying text; his response was immediate: it must be Mien.

I'm not so sure; this textile shows the same play of light and dark as your other post. The facing birds are an old T'ai motif for royalty, and I've never seen a Yao textile with figures (in this case girls) also in supplementary weft. Is it possible these motifs were embroidered?

When the late lamented Lation Handicraft Center was going, I saw a lot of Mien textiles, but none were from China. And we know how enriched the Miao/Hmong repertoire is in China, compared to Laos. Ann Goldman's book on Mien embroidery doesn't dwell on woven textiles.

The rest of the geometric motifs are straight out of the T'ai weaving vocabulary. As I've said in my response to your earlier posting-it may be time to start looking at shared traits across SEAsian textiles.

This piece is structurely different from the Miao, and as we've seen recently, it doesn't look Han. Dong? Maybe, but I think Susan pointed out that the Dong weave in silk.

The use of stick figures in supplementary weft is found in some areas in Thailand next to Cambodia. I have an antique tung from that area which makes use of similar figures. I'll try and dig it up.

Is it Yao? Very likely. But once again, let's see other people's opinion.

It is stunning.

All the best,

Sandie


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Is it Yao/Mien?
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 9:48 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
Sandie

A few responses to your post:

1. Yes, I agree with Chris that the 'look' of the textile at first sight is Mien - especially as it is covered in pattern very like Mien. The first reference I sought was 'The Yao: The Mien and Mun Yao in China, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand' by Jess G Pourret - see my bibliographies. However, there seem to be NO patterned woven baby carriers and there are many photos of Mien/Yao in China. Also there was little in embroidered design which really chimed with this textile.

2. Are the people on the textile woven? Well, I think that the white threads in the two sets of people are woven but I think it highly likely that the coloured in-fill threads may have been added by embroidery. The back of the textile looks SO much like continuous supplementary weft. There are some knots in the ends of the coloured threads and they don't seem to be twisted in the way you would expect for discontinuous supplementary weft. Have a look at the two detail photos of the people and I think you will gain an impression of the regularity of the weave on the white but less so on the colour.

3. The Dong and silk v cotton. Susan did give a postscript that she had remembered a baby carrier in cotton. This textile is not all cotton. The coloured threads are, I think, silk.

4. Dong designs. I will scan a couple of photos from the 'Ethnic costume from Guizhou: Clothing Designs and Decorations from Minority Ethnic Groups in Southwest China' book. This goes rather goes against the idea of copyright but I think that it is very unlikely that the book is currently available. I bought it ages ago and can't even remember where. Fig 72 is rather like the 'tail' of the baby carrier and the larger photo 79 immediately below this post has many design similarities and 'feel' to my textile.

Thanks, Sandie, for your comments which helped to focus on key points.


Attachments:
79.jpg
79.jpg [ 76.33 KiB | Viewed 14075 times ]
72_73.jpg
72_73.jpg [ 73.78 KiB | Viewed 14074 times ]

_________________
Pamela

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


Last edited by Pamela on Sun Jan 02, 2005 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 11:51 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
Seeking further clarification (and hoping for sight of some Dong baby carriers) I have been looking in 'Bonding via Baby Carriers: The Art & Soul of the Miao and Dong people' published by Les Enphants Co in 2001 and referred to previously on this forum.

Page 90, #25 shows a babycarrier with 3 large squares of textile which have been applied to the background fabric of the baby carrier. There is a detail on Page 91 (see shot below - I contacted an email address in the back of the book and have very kindly been given permission for use of the photo in this thread) which shows woven people - this time boys! The attribution of the carrier given on page 261 is that it is Miao from Cong-jiang county, Guei-zhou (Guizhou) province. Material are cotton, silk and silver thread and techniques cross-stitch (a term often used to cover various embroidery stitiches) and brocade (i.e. weaving).

There is, however, on page 155 a comment on Dong baby carriers:
Quote:
'The typical layout of a Dong baby carrier is comprised of two pieces. The smaller and more slender piece is used to hold the baby's buttocks (the 'tail' I refer to?) while the larger, broader piece is used the cover the body and head.'
Baby carriers #6 and #16 in the same book have this structure (like my textile).

In a province where different ethnic groups live side by side it must be likely that designs are copied when they attract - surely this is what happens all the time? It could even be that the Miao baby carrier incorporates some squares of Dong weaving which might have been bought in the market place. There is a very interesting article I have been reading in 'Textiles of Asia: A common Heritage' which stresses that textiles - and constituent parts of them - have commonly been traded. The article 'Trade and Textiles in Northern Thailand: A Historical Perspective' by Katherine A Bovie of the Anthropology Dept of University of Wisconsin, Madison argues that trade was a major factor in all phases of textile production in Northern Thailand. Having read the article with great interest I feel that this point has a much wider application. Devotees of Dr Michael Howard and Kim Be Howard will also be familiar with references to ethnic groups in Vietnam absorbing influences and, indeed, using textiles produced by neighbouring groups, in their own clothing.

This viewpoint provides hugely increased challenges for those of us seeking to attribute textiles collected via dealers. Even when you collect a textile directly in a village there is no saying that all parts were created locally.

So, Yao/Mien, Dong or Miao? I think I am currently still favouring Dong.


Attachments:
File comment: Photo on page 91 showing a detail of a baby carrier on page 90 #25 from 'Bonding via Baby Carriers: The Art & Soul of the Miao and Dong people' published by Les Enphants Co in 2001
miao-25.jpg
miao-25.jpg [ 59.58 KiB | Viewed 14076 times ]

_________________
Pamela

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


Last edited by Pamela on Sun Jan 02, 2005 4:06 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 3:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2003 8:50 pm
Posts: 101
Location: Cheam, UK
Pamela, the baby carrier textile is quite wonderful! I love the combination of colours and patterns. I have just consulted "The Dong People of China: A Hidden Civilization" by Gail Rossi and this has a few details of textiles which I think may be of interest, especially those on page 60/61. The examples which drew my attention are all part of larger pieces and are made up of diamond designs in pastel like greens, light pinks, magenta and light blue. On page 60 is a detail of clothing from Tongle described as a combination of weaving and satin stiitch embroidery and on page 61 is detail of a woven and embroidered jacket sleeve. It is interesting that the Dong, at least in the examples given here, combine patterns of very different kinds and techniques side by side in the same garment, which almost give the feel of having very different origins: - an observation which, I feel is worthy of further research.
It may be worth noting that the Dong are a Tai speaking people with a language of the Zhuang-Dong branch, which is similar to Dai, Zhuang, Shui etc but appear to share many costume traits with some Miao groups eg certain textile designs. Also, to complicate the picture, some Miao dress very much like Dong (or visa versa?) see illus in "A Picture Album of China's Miao Costume and Ornaments" I don't have the book to hand at the moment of writing this, but these Miao may be in close proximity to the Dong. All this serves to illustrate the complex mosaic of costumes and textiles across China and Southeast Asia often rendering identification difficult, Also the role of traded items, as Pamela mentioned above, will serve to blur the picture. Are the differences in patterns and techiques employed in the same Dong garment the result of influence from neighbouring non Tai peoples on to a basicaly Tai "substratum"?


Last edited by siriol richards on Sun May 09, 2004 6:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 5:56 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2003 8:50 pm
Posts: 101
Location: Cheam, UK
A further interesting point: -On looking through "Art of Guangxi Minorities - Colourful costumes" I came across some photographs of textile details (vol 2) which incorporate both human figures and facing bird motifs not unlike those in the baby carrier and the Dong textile above. The colours overall don't appear bright but are rather subdued. I am fustrated that the book has no English text whatsoever, thus I am unable to make a positive identification of these pieces. (It is however a fantastic photo resource).
Guangxi is inhabited by Miao, Yao, Zhuang, various other groups and also the Dong who may be responsible for these textiles. In vol 1, Dong people are clearly shown, but I can't make out any of the above motifs in their dress which is itself fairly plain, but complemented by heavy silver jewellery and flower motif head pieces. Unfortunatly none of them are illustrated with a baby carrier.
None of this is very helpful other than to point out that these human and bird motifs are clearly present in Guangxi textiles. Guangxi being an area inhabited by a number of Tai peoples in close proximity to both Miao and Yao.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 8:42 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun May 09, 2004 7:24 pm
Posts: 21
Two Dong pieces popping up on the forum all of a sudden caused me to jump into the fray and throw in my two cents.

I think you're right on with the Dong attribution. Especially based on the weaving patterns.

Everyday costume for the Dong is rather plain except for decroated trims. Festival clothes show a little more decoration, particularly for men - which often have bold designs (woven and embroidered) and a liberal use of chicken feathers. The best place to see weavings though is on blankets and children's clothes.

The two patterns of ducks and women shown here are especially prominent in childrens clothes from Guangxi Province. I have seen them directly woven onto childrens jackets and aprons. I have been told by weavers in the Chengyang region that the use of the human figures is for protective purposes as they are supposed to keep an eye out for the child. I am currently looking at an older children's jacket hanging on the wall with almost the exact same patterns woven into the lower front of the jacket and diamond lozenges in the same proportions and colors as the shown piece. The overall shape of the backpack is very consistent with Dong pieces from Guangxi with the long thin panel shown in the lower part of the first image.

-James


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: what is Dong?
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 8:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2003 4:52 am
Posts: 162
Location: California, USA
The elucidation of this textile's origin is extremely interesting; Dong is probably correct. Borrowing and similar motifs from a single source are always "spoilers" in accrate identification of a textile.

My question now is: where does the motif of girls in skirts come from? I realize some differentiation between girls and boys in baby carriers is probably culturely significant, but this textile comes from an area where pants are usually also worn by women.

The skirt itself mimics the skirts worn by the Miao. Is this a clue? I don't know enough about Chinese textiles to confirm this. Does anyone have any more information?

I have a cotton textile on commercial dark blue cloth, with fringe, in something called the "four birds" pattern, supposedly by the Miao. It is in white cross-stich, and was cut at both top and sides from what must have been a much larger textile. It is very geometic, and the four birds are quite detailed, despite looking like animals with horns, and the design is dense, and very well integrated, in a way I associate with textiles of the T'ai world.

I have always considered this to be Dong, despite it being cotton. Does anyone know of this pattern? I'ii post a photo as soon as I can.

It's great to have a new member who has a deep understanding of minority textiles in China, and can read Chinese characters. Welcome!

Sandie


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Many thanks!
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 9:04 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
James

Thanks for sharing your knowledge on Chinese minority textiles! Very much appreciated. We really need some contributions in this area as current forum members tend to be interested and keen to learn but generally without too much experience on Chinese textiles.

Oh! Are the birds ducks? I am afraid that I thought they were chickens - what an insult!

I am pleased that you feel this is a Dong piece.

I was rooting through some of my textiles and think I have a nice Dong embroidered jacket - probably a child's. As it is not too large I will try and photograph and perhaps share with the forum in the near future.

Thanks for joining us....and sharing

_________________
Pamela

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: pants v skirts
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 9:10 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
Sandie

Pants - or trousers as I would call them - are a more recent trend in women's clothing. Women of many groups use to wear skirts but have moved to trousers for convenience although many Miao groups have hung onto theirs. Today you will see women wearing trousers and then putting on their skirts over the top for festival attire. Of course, many used to (and some still do) bind their legs and trousers can be a convenient way of providing this same protection.

_________________
Pamela

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Ding Dong!
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 8:40 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:34 pm
Posts: 393
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Pamela-
If my sources here are correct, as already stated, you have a Dong baby carrier. The only reason I'm adding to the roster is to include some photos of one I have on my site which is very similar. Mine is woven in silk and cotton, and also has knots on the back, probably from added embroidery. The indigo and white background are cotton, whereas the pink and cream motifs are in silk. I also think that mine is comprised of some 'recycled' pieces such as the center band which is cleaner and fresher in appearance than the other two. The upper, larger panel has been cut and then added to the center band; I suspect that this was a repair, with the panel worn at the top and then cut, turned around and attached to the band, thereby making the figures upside down. The center band appears to have birds as seen from below flying from left to right . I have another, more elaborate Dong carrier with straps which I'll try to photograph to add later. I'm really attracted to these as the weaving is so fine and the designs so graphic.


Attachments:
mail-tach132_dong-baby-carr.jpg
mail-tach132_dong-baby-carr.jpg [ 51.76 KiB | Viewed 14119 times ]
mail-tach132_detail_2.jpg
mail-tach132_detail_2.jpg [ 41.95 KiB | Viewed 14119 times ]
mail-tach132_detail_1.jpg
mail-tach132_detail_1.jpg [ 43.12 KiB | Viewed 14119 times ]

_________________
Susan Stem

http://www.tribaltrappings.com
http://tribaltrappings.blogspot.com/
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 1:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:30 am
Posts: 315
A follow up to an old posting here! I have been looking for a firmer location attribution for several carriers I have and to this end recently obtained a wonderful book entitled Minjian Zhijing (loosely Chinese Woven Textiles) published in 1994 by Hunan Fine Arts Publishing House. Paging through I came across several examples in the section dedicated to the Dong more specifically pp109-120. Here are incredibly similar images of baby carriers to those posted here. In the book "Bonding via Baby Carriers" which seems to be a touchstone for many on the forum this type of carrier is stated to be unique to Hunan Province, Tongdau County. In particular, the Dong "moon flower" design mentioned is stated to be uniquely located in Tongdau County. In the book "CTW" a "Moonflower" carrier is to be found on p.114 (Figure 20. Dong group woven carrier. Moonflower baby carrier) and is specifically attributed in the notes as coming from Dupo Town, Tongdau County, Hunan Province.
James pointed out that there are similarities to be found between the Dong carriers posted by Pamela and Susan and those coming out of Guanxi and this is borne out in the literature specifically the Guanxi volumes dealing with baby carriers. That said: there are several wonderful examples in the 'CTW' book incorporating the striking 'double crane' and women images. These carriers, also from Tongdau County, are located in the town of Boyitang and Diyangping (the latter more specifically in Zizhi Village). I post one carrier here which bears the greatest similarity to Pamela's carrier namely Figure 15 (p.110) from the Dong section of the book Minjian Zhijing ISBN 7535607039.


Attachments:
File comment: Figure 15.
Dong group.
Infant Baby Carrier.
Hunan Province, Tongdau Couny, Diyangping Town, Zizhi Village.
Minjian Zijing. Hunan Fine Arts Publishing House (1994). p.110

Figure 15 CTW.jpg
Figure 15 CTW.jpg [ 101.42 KiB | Viewed 12097 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: similar bib and du dou
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu May 13, 2004 4:55 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Netherlands
I have some bibs and one bib with attached ‘du dou’, that look very similar to the carrier you have posted Pamela. Iain informed me that it was from the Dong people.
I also have the idea that there is a combination from weaving and embroidery when I have a close look at the bibs.


Attachments:
kraagje.JPG
kraagje.JPG [ 93.77 KiB | Viewed 12084 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Fantastic!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:13 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
Iain

You are a star!!

This is really excellent and, as you can imagine, I am very pleased indeed! It so justifies for me (if I need justification) what the forum is all about. I tell people to post items and, although they may not get an answer straight away, it is possible they will get one in due course. Mind you, it may depend on someone of your research mind and persistence going though the forum very carefully! A post from May 2004 on a 'mystery textile' collected in October 2000 (from a dealer in Kunming, Yunnan) with an answer and photo of lovely cousin (or even sister/brother) in January 2008!

For me - and I know for you - this is what collecting textiles is all about. Falling for the beauty and incredible technical skill of a particular textile and then the buzz of the hunt to solve the mystery.

Thank you very much for sharing the results of your search with us (especially me).

Always buy from the heart even if it then informed by the head.

_________________
Pamela

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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:14 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:30 am
Posts: 315
For continuity here is one of several Dong "Moonflower" baby carriers in my collection.
For a better understanding of this Moonflower design quote from Bonding via Baby Carriers p. 61.
Quote:
"The moonflower pattern is an auspicious sign which is found exclusively in Tong-dau County in Hu-nan Province.... The big circle in the center of the carrier represents the moon, while the four eight-petalled, flower-like patterns each represent the sun (in the center), the stars, and the universe at large. Note how the suns at the centers of these "mini-universes" always have eight sun rays."


A note on how the baby is actually held in this carrier:
The most significant working portions of this type of baby carrier are the long straps with appliqued woven 'tapes'.
First, the child is placed on the mother's back. The thin portion of the carrier is then laid vertically over the baby's back and the long straps then brought to the front, crossed over and then returned to the mother's back.
A number of possbilities now exist as to how these are then used to secure the lower end of the infant. Commonly the straps are twisted around each other before being returned to the mother's front where they are then tied off.
It seems quite incredible that such a mall piece of material is used almost decoratively to secure the child but is obviously successful! I will try to scan an image of a baby carrier actually in use to better illustrate this next week. For those who already have this CTW book - a baby carrier being used as so described may be found on p.21.


Attachments:
File comment: Dong Moonflower Baby Carrier.
Hunan Province, Tongdau County.

Dong Moonflower carrier.jpg
Dong Moonflower carrier.jpg [ 235.96 KiB | Viewed 12091 times ]
File comment: Baby Holding portion of carrier.
Dong Baby Carrier.
Hunan Province, Tongdau County.

Baby Holding portion.jpg
Baby Holding portion.jpg [ 221.37 KiB | Viewed 12091 times ]
File comment: Head Cover.
Dong Baby Carrier.
Hunan Province, Tongdau County.

Head cover portion.jpg
Head cover portion.jpg [ 154.79 KiB | Viewed 12091 times ]
File comment: Detail. Eight-petalled, Flower-like design 'mini-universe'.
Dong Baby Carrier Head Cover (lower right).
Hunan Province, Tongdau County.

Moonflower detail.jpg
Moonflower detail.jpg [ 125.43 KiB | Viewed 12091 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 30 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group