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 Post subject: Rao Jia batik bed cover.
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 3:10 pm 

Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:12 am
Posts: 143
Location: Bristol, England
I joined Tribaltextiles because I came across Bill's Ge Jia baby carrier and I just happen to like batik. So, here is a Rao Jia batik bed cover. The Rao Jia are a very small group/tribe living in Majiang county, South East Guizhou. They used to make superb batik using oil from maple trees mixed with pig or ox fat oil and simple bamboo tools. Some batik is still made.

I'd like to ask whether anyone has any ideas about the pattern around the edges?

From what I understand, the circular patterns are made up of 4 dragons (possibly bird dragons) surrounded by cloud dragons. As the patterns on bed covers often relate to fertility and reproduction, the dots are probably stars representing many children.

If anyone has any comments or can relate this pattern to other Chinese patterns, I'd be very interested.


batik-rao-jia-bei-mian-200-1.jpg [ 61.7 KiB | Viewed 3959 times ]
batik-rao-jia-bei-mian-200-2.jpg [ 56.03 KiB | Viewed 3959 times ]
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 9:49 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1992
Location: Canterbury, UK

Hope you don't mind but I have switched your images in .zip format for .jpeg ones. (I downloaded the zip and opened in Photoshop 7 and then saved in Image Ready for the web). I hope that you do not feel that the quality of the image is too much reduced. However, I wanted forum members to be able, easily, to see this absolutely stunning textile.

Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I have never seen anything like this. I was amazed that the detail (which I downloaded first) came from such a tour de force of an overall design with such strong detail. I love the border which just 'dances'. This is not just very well executed wax resist but the overall design elements and control of the whole design is superb.

I was not aware of the Rao Jia. In 2001 I went to Guizhou on a tour with Gina Corrigan on which the focus was batik. We visited a Miao village - Gan He village in Ya Rong township, Huishui county which is in southern Guizhou province (slightly south, south-east) where the village did wax resist using various 'mixtures'. One of these was mixing bees wax, buffalo fat and the resin from what was referred to as the 'god tree' - a maple or 'umber' tree. See I wonder if your textile has any bees wax in the mixture? I suggest that it may well have done to enable the resist mixture to actually 'set' to allow the dyeing.

A both beautiful and interesting piece - and, I think, something which may 'convert' those who may not (yet) be batik devotees!

on-line tribal textiles resource

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