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 Post subject: Help identifying textile
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:52 pm 
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Location: Santa Cruz Bolivia
A gentleman emailed these pictures of a textile that he is trying to identify. He saw the Montagnard textiles on my blog which have been decorated with Job's tears beads and thought that there might be a connection.

Any help would be appreciated.

Laverne


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Anteroir Exterior Central Panel 1 dsz.jpg
Anteroir Exterior Central Panel 1 dsz.jpg [ 95.74 KiB | Viewed 5612 times ]
Anterior Exterior dsz.jpg
Anterior Exterior dsz.jpg [ 114.21 KiB | Viewed 5612 times ]

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:14 am 
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Hi Laverne

An interesting piece! However, we are not getting to see much of it! Could you get the person who sent you the photos to give us a full shot of the whole textile and also the measurements of it.

It might be a loincloth or perhaps a head cloth but, impossible to know from the information supplied.

It does have a 'look' of south east Asia and perhaps Burma/Indian border.

I can't work out what is going on in the left hand panel (as seen facing the camera). In fact, have the sides of the textile been folded over and attached at the bottom border (with a bit of a mis-match on the left) but not sewn down higher up - I think I see some shadow. Anyway, very frustrating without better photos.

Many thanks,

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:33 am 
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Thanks Pam. I will ask for better photos. It is a bag and so has been sewn together.

Laverne

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:56 pm 
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Laverne
It is possible that this bag comes from Nagaland. I have studied many of the Naga textiles in India, where there was a great use of job' tears to decorates textiles. Their use on textiles was deemed a mark of a 'headhunter' and one who had completed a 'Feast of Merit' this was relevent in Pre- christian days. Since then jobs tears are hard to come by as the crop has declined and plastic replicas are often used instead.
It is possible without seeing the original bag that this could have come from the Burma Nagas or indeed from the Chin of Burma.
Can you give us a close up picture and perhaps some more detail as to what the bag is made of, for example is it made from nettle fibre? which is quite possible. The giant nettle grows well in all the lower regions of the Himalayas and was used extensively instead of cotton by the Naga.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:36 pm 
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Thank you Lesley,

I am passing all this on while waiting for better pictures and more information.

Best wishes,

Laverne

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:04 am 
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You are all getting warm... as we say with seeking games. But I think I have found an example of the same bag, albeit collected in 1905 and now in the Field Museum, and in red: Michael Howard shows it on p.332, #227 of his book Textiles of the Highland Peoples of Burma. It is constructed in the same, typical tri-part fashion with a narrow single panel forming the middle, flanked with another, longer panel of the same width, but folded to form the sides and shoulder strap. The Job's Tears are arranged the same and there are also horizontal bands of different weaving in the same arrangement as on Laverne's friend's example. This bag is identified as from the Jingpho in the Mogok area, which is north and a bit east of Mandalay, in the center of Burma. Howard goes on to say, however, in his text about bag typology that bags of this design are also identified with Tai people in the Mogok area and southern Shan State. Another was identified in 1922 as being from the Inle Lake area, well south of the Jingpho. He says that "these shoulder bags were probably produced by the Tai and traded to other groups, but more research is needed to establish their origin and distribution."

This bag does not look like most Jingpho bags, nor does it look particularly Tai (to me at least). Just to confuse things, the Karen also use this basic style of bag, as well as Job's Tears for ornament. I find the use of the thick lines of 'herringbone' weaving unusual and cannot recall seeing it before, except maybe in flatwoven rugs (not from this part of the world).

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:27 pm 
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Exciting! Thank you so much Susan. I will pass all this on to Brandon and I know that he will be very grateful. I am in the US now and hope to find the Howard book in one of the libraries of the guilds I visit so I can look at the page your reference. If not, I will be at the Textile Museum in DC in mid November and they are bound to have the book there.

Thanks again and best wishes,

Laverne

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:37 pm 
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The book (Textiles of the Highland Peoples of Burma) that Susan refers to is actually in two volumes and the info she refers to is in Volume I: The Naga, Chin, Jingpho, and Other Baric-speaking Groups (page 332, fig 227) and is published by While Lotus (Bangkok) ISBN974-4800-66-6. I hope we might be able to post the image here. Michael Howard has kindly given us permission in the past to post images from his books as long as we give full attribution. The image is only quite small. I have scanned it at a high resolution and then saved for the web and it is enough to show similar seed decoration although not fine detail. What is missing are the bands of weaving - the white bands with a sort of diamond dark thread pattern - in Brandon's which made me think of the Burmese border and Khami, Khumi or Mru.

Following on from Susan's work above I looked up on Wiki where Mogok is located and it immediately linked to Howard's ‘Tai’ as ‘Shan’ was mentioned and Shan is linked linguistically to Tai. Wiki say that:
Quote:
"Mogok (Burmese: မိုးကုတ်, pronounced [móɡouʔ]; Shan: မိူင်းၵုတ်ႈ) is a city in the Pyin Oo Lwin District of the Mandalay Region of Burma (Myanmar), located 200 km north of Mandalay and 148 km northeast of Shwebo."

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:28 pm 
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I have had a 'virtual' chat with Susan and we both feel that Michael Howard has given us permission to use photos from his publications on the forum. I am, therefore attaching fig 227 from page 332 of 'Textiles of the Highland Peoples of Burma Volume I: The Naga, Chin, Jingpho, and Other Baric-speaking Groups' by Michael C Howard, published by While Lotus Press (Bangkok) in 2005 ISBN974-4800-66-6. The detail from fig 227, as Susan has already mentioned is: 'Jingpho, from the Mogok area, shoulder-bag (body 11.5 x 30.5 cm). (FM 872435)'. FM is Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago.

It is quite a small image in the book so I have blown it up but the detail is not as I would like.


Attachments:
File comment: fig 227, page 332 of 'Textiles of the Highland Peoples of Burma' Volume I. Jingpho, from the Mogok area, shoulder-bag (body 11.5 x 30.5 cm). (FM 872435)
Howard-Jingpho-Mogok-bag.jpg
Howard-Jingpho-Mogok-bag.jpg [ 120.33 KiB | Viewed 5480 times ]

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:36 pm 
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Susan and Pamela, you are both so very kind. Thank you and many thanks of course to Michael Howard. Seeing this picture is very exciting!

Laverne

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:58 am 
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Thank you Pamela for doing such a good job of increasing the size on this image. I couldn't see much from the one in the book, other than the general arrangement of the design elements. It's really amazing how similar the two bags are, tho the wide horizontal bands on the red one are quite unusual in their patterning. It would be very interesting to see the weaving up close.

To clarify a bit: the Shan are also known as Tai Yai. In the 13thc. a Shan prince named Mengrai moved south and founded the Kingdom of a Million Rice Fields ( Lan Na), and established Chiang Mai as its capital. At the height of power, in the 16thc. Lan Na extended deep into what is now Shan State in Burma, as well as into Sipsongpanna/Xishuangbanna in China. I only mention all this, as I find it helpful in understanding cultures and their influences to 'go beyond' contemporary national boundaries and be aware of the evolution of ethnic groups, their territorial boundaries and loyalties.

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