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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:46 pm 
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Location: Kaili, Guizhou, China
Longpo Yi (the dragon's wife costume), the ritual garment of Hualuo People, who the branch of Yi People live in Malipo County, Yunnan, China.

In local ancient folklore, a young girl married the River Dragon's son, when her mother died she wore "Longpo Yi" to her mother's funeral. Afterward the Malipo people wear "Longpo Yi" to commemorate the dead. When an elderly person dies, a female descendant of the deceased wears "Longpo Yi" in the funeral. "Longpo Yi" has been imbued with the symbolic meaning of filial piety.


Attachments:
File comment: Longpo Yi from Yunnan, China
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File comment: Longpo Yi from Yunnan, China
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File comment: Longpo Yi from Yunnan, China
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File comment: Longpo Yi from Yunnan, China
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File comment: Longpo Yi from Yunnan, China
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:51 pm 
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the other examples.


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File comment: Longpo Yi from Yunnan, China
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File comment: Longpo Yi from Yunnan, China
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File comment: Longpo Yi from Yunnan, China
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File comment: Longpo Yi from Yunnan, China
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:53 pm 
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Location: cayman islands
Could you please tell me why there are two ritual garments in such a small Yi group and in such a small area? They seem to be distinctly different. Are they from different periods? Your information seems to come from the book Writing with Thread where there are two similar samples, is this where you got your information? They claim the brown checked ground example is late 19th century and the indigo ground example is early 20th century. Can you or anyone else verify any of the above information for me? I would appreciate any help. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:54 pm 
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Could you please tell me why there are two ritual garments in such a small Yi group and in such a small area? They seem to be distinctly different. Are they from different periods? Your information seems to come from the book Writing with Thread where there are two similar samples, is this where you got your information? They claim the brown checked ground example is late 19th century and the indigo ground example is early 20th century. Can you or anyone else verify any of the above information for me? I would appreciate any help. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:59 pm 
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Hi Rachel

Good to hear from you after a long gap. Hope all is well with you?

I have always had a soft spot for Yi patchwork garments probably because my eye is initially attracted to them as a former patchworker/quilter. I agree with you that there seems to be a big difference in the two styles shown on this thread although the cut of the garments has similarity.

It has been said to me by a dealer friend who travels to Yunnan regularly that, at the moment, several of these ritual style garments have suddenly surfaced on the market (particularly the patchwork style first shown) - somewhat surprising as they have been very rare - causing alarm bells to ring! They seem to be authentic in their general make-up. Genuine old dark indigo cloth, hand stitched, old silk applique patches with sufficient wear and tear apparent. They might well be commissioned in the places they originate from thereby having all the requisite characteristics. The recent ones he has seen have been offered at a fraction of the former market price.

This does not address your question of the difference in styles but I felt that I must pass on the word of warning in case anyone looking at the thread is consumed with a collecting zeal! I am not suggesting that there is anything questionable about those shown on this thread. Indeed, I think they are not part of a sales pitch. If I had found them for sale I would have swiftly moved them to the 'Tribal textile shopping' section of the forum.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:48 am 
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Hi Pamela,

I am still here in Cayman just busier with my jewelry line but still traveling to SE Asia and collecting textiles. Is there anyway you could contact your dealer friend and see if he could shed some light on why the two styles are so different and when exactly they started appearing more regularly. Writing with Threads shows pictures of both examples yet they offer no explanation as to why they are so different. Are both styles used during the same ceremony and express different aspects of the ceremony? I have looked in other literature for other photographs of the checked brown style but so far have had no luck. Do you have any ideas? It seems odd that no one is able to give any concrete information regarding these pieces when they come from such a small area and small Yi sub group. I have tried contacting Gao Xiang and SungYi Wu at the Yunnan Nationalities Museum but have had no luck so far although I am not even sure they are both still at the museum as it has been a couple of years since I was there. Thanks again for all your help. It's good to be back.

Rachel


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:41 am 
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The difficulty with the "Yi" classification used in China is that it includes several groups that are not actually that closely related. Some of these groups are also on the Vietnam side of the border and are classified differently (eg various types of Lolo people). The best source of information that I know of is Michael Howard's book "Textiles of the Highland People of Northern Vietnam" (White Lotus, Bangkok). This accounts (I think) for the very wide range of textiles and other things from "Yi" people that don't seem very closely related. Some of the Yi groups seem to be Tibeto-Burman, with similar clothing, masks and so on to those groups.

I had never seen a brown checked cape before, but curiously someone sent me a photo asking for comments on one of these a couple of weeks ago. It looked very similar to the one in the photo. I have not had the opportunity to see one up close however.

Without making any remarks on the items posted here, I echo Pamela's cautions generally. Good items are in short supply and many pieces are being assembled from fragments, reworked from less saleable items (eg skirts) or made up from scratch.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:59 am 
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Thanks Chris for the suggestion although unfortunately I do not have a copy of that particular book here on Island. Since the only picture and information I have seen so far is in Writing with Threads and they said it was from Yunnan I didn't even consider that it might be from somewhere else. Thanks for your help.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:15 pm 
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Rachel

I must say that I think that Michael C Howard's best set of books are the three, written with his Vietnamese (Tay) wife Kim Be Howard, on ethnic groups in Vietnam of which one is the "Textiles of the Highland People of Northern Vietnam" (White Lotus, Bangkok) which Chris mentions above. Usually when Howard addresses each group he gives figures not only for Vietnam but also adjacent countries where the group may also be found. As I am sure you know, the 'borders' have historically been very porous and Yunnan (see map) in the south borders on Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam. On page 75 Howard says:
Quote:
"Speakers of Chinese languages have been an important presence in lowland Vietnam for some fifteen hundred years..." "There are five Tibetan-Bruman linguistic sub-families, but only one, Burmese-Lolo, is present in Vietnam. The Burmese-Lolo sub-family incudes two branches: Burmese and Lolo.....only speakers of the Lolo branch are found as far east as northern Vietnam.

There are twenty-six languages in the Lolo branch........The Northern Lolo sub-branch includes the Lolo themseleves (who are known as the Yi in China) as well as the Kaduo, Lipo, Lisu, Naxi, Samei, and Phula. The Lolo are the largest group of Lolo-speaking peoples. Their homeland initially was in southwestern Sichuan Province and they are the dominant ethnic group in the Nanchao Kingdom of Yunnan (732-1253 CE)."

"Northern Lolo
Speakers of Northern Lolo languages live primarily in Yunnan and adjaceant areas of southern China. Smaller numbers are also found living in northern Burma, northern Thailand, and the northern border areas near China in Laos and Vietnam. The largest group of Northern Lolo speakers are the Lolo (or Yi), Lisu, and Naxi. Yi (the Chinese name for the Lolo) is an official nationality in China and includes about 6.5 million people. A very small number of Lolo live across the border in Vietnam."

On page 77 of "Textiles of the Highland People of Northern Vietnam" there is a 1907 B&W photo (Fig 6.3) of a Group of White Lolo and their costume looks to me to be very similar to that shown on page 386 in 'Writing with Thread'. I am going to scan the photo in "Textiles of the Highland People of Northern Vietnam" and post it on this thread as Michael Howard has, in the past, given the forum permission to post photos from his books as long as we give full credit. I also got permission to post photos from 'Writing with Thread' so could post both. There are none of the second style (brown weave with striking white designs) of Yi dress in Howard's book which is the basis of your question.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:23 pm 
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Black and white image:
Page 77 Figure 6.3 Group of White Lolo, (From Bonifacy 1907: plate 21, fig.1) from "Textiles of the Highland Peoples of Northern Vietnam: Mon-Khmer, Hmong-Mien, and Tibeto-Burman" by Michael C. Howard & Kim Be Howard published by White Lotus, Bangkok 2002 ISBN 974-4800-13-5. [Bonifacy, Auguste. Les Groupes Ethniques du Bassin de la Rivière Claire (Haute Tonkin & Chine Méridionale. Paris: Extrait des Bulletins et Mémoires de la Société d'Anthropolie de Paris, 1906.]

Colour image from the section on Yi which starts on page 365:
Page 386 Woman's ensemble, Funing County, Yunnan Early-mid 20th century. From "Writing with Thread: Traditional textiles of southwest Chinese minorities" published in 2009 by University of Hawai'i Art Gallery, Department of Art & Art History, ISBN 9780982033210.

On the previous pages 284/5 is shown somewhat similar - but different - Woman's ensemble, Malipo County, Yunnan Early-mid 20th century.


Attachments:
File comment: Page 77 Figure 6.3 Group of White Lolo, (From Bonifacy 1907: plate 21, fig.1) from "Textiles of the Highland Peoples of Northern Vietnam: Mon-Khmer, Hmong-Mien, and Tibeto-Burman" by Michael C. Howard & Kim Be Howard
WhiteLolo.jpg
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File comment: Page 386 Woman's ensemble, Funing County, Yunnan Early-mid 20th century. From "Writing with Thread: Traditional textiles of southwest Chinese minorities"
Yi-FuningCounty.jpg
Yi-FuningCounty.jpg [ 98.3 KiB | Viewed 8677 times ]

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:07 am 
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Thanks Pamela for posting the pictures and text from Howard's book, both have been helpful. Wu-Zhh I was wondering since you originally posted the two types of Yi ritual garments do you have any information which you might have received from the people you purchased them from which might help answer my questions? Since Kali has been the center of the textile trade for awhile now is there any other dealer you know who might be able to help us out? Would Eric Boudot be able to provide us with some insight and answers? Thanks in advance Wu-Zhh for all your help.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:30 am 
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I don't think I am going to shed any light on Rachel's core question of the reason for the differences in style of the ceremonial Yi textiles shown at the beginning of this thread. I did contact my dealer friend (Martin for short!) to see if he could shed any light for us. He has got back to me but, although he has quite an interest in Yi textiles, unfortunately
Quote:
"To be honest I don't have any in depth knowledge of these gowns apart from what I have read, and the few I have seen but never bought".

However, because he is interested he keeps his ears to the ground and his eyes to the internet and has found some links which he shared with me along with some comments on Yi textiles. He has said I can share his comments, links and photos with the forum as I thought it might be worth collating some of the info and building an interesting thread for us all to refer to. [I fear that the links will, in time, not work as items are sold].

Joe Loux's website often has fine examples, well photographed and here are links to three textiles: http://www.joelouxasianandtribalart.com ... leeveless/ Martin comments:
Quote:
"I see a few of these styles, also expensive but quite varied in colours and design, usually fringed with batik patterning. Different townships appear to have their own styles eg. Wenshan and Malipo."
http://www.joelouxasianandtribalart.com ... ging_p_b=2 Related is this style: http://www.joelouxasianandtribalart.com ... ging_p_b=2 Martin notes that a year or so ago he showed me this last style of female top from the same area thought to be Gelao or Yi/Lolo. A related style is pictured in 'Writing with Thread' on the Gelao P. 390-391: I am posting his pics below.

He then goes on to say:
Quote:
"The apparent difficulty in classifying these groups can be further muddied by the skirt style which is very reminiscent of Sichuan (Nuosu) Yi skirt styles. It has 3 sections: waist band, flat central panel, and lower pleated section. This differs from most other minority skirts found in Guizhou, Guangxi and Yunnan which are mainly 2 part in make up: waistband and pleated section...I might have strayed a bit here"
See his example of skirt below.

Quote:
"Of course just to the east of Malipo is the Napo Yi style-which is just a single layer of a multi layered outfit"
See example below. (Just in case you wonder, as administrator of the forum I can add more than 5 photos to a thread!)

I am going to make a separate post of some photos that Martin took of a Malipo Yi ritual robe which he didn't buy about 4 years ago and believed to be genuine. (I gather it was priced then at circa £2,000!!!).


Attachments:
File comment: Gelao or Yi/Lolo female top
Gelao_or_Yi-Lolo-1w.jpg
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File comment: Gelao or Yi/Lolo female top
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File comment: Gelao or Yi/Lolo skirt
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File comment: Napo Yi
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File comment: Napo Yi
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File comment: Napo Yi
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Napo_Yi-5w.jpg
Napo_Yi-5w.jpg [ 85.63 KiB | Viewed 8618 times ]

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Last edited by Pamela on Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:42 am 
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I promised in the post above to add to this thread photos of a Malipo Yi ritual robe which my dealer friend didn't buy about 4 years ago and believed to be genuine. (I gather it was priced then at circa £2,000!!! - unfortunately he knows that his customers, whilst appreciating his 'eye' for the finest textiles, don't usually have the bank balances to match!!!)

Last but not least he found a link to a lovely example of a Yi ritual robe on Joss Graham's Oriental Textiles' website http://www.jossgraham.com/pieces/view/4 ... category:8
Just as an aside I note that the details are:
Quote:
SHAMAN'S ROBE
Patchwork on indigo-dyed cotton shaman's 'butterfly' robe
Yi people, Malipo, Yunnan Province South West China c.1940
You may have noticed that the three links on Joe Loux's website in the post above were estimating the textiles as being late 19th century.


Attachments:
File comment: Malipo Yi ritual robe
Yi-robe-1w.jpg
Yi-robe-1w.jpg [ 69.26 KiB | Viewed 8607 times ]
File comment: Malipo Yi ritual robe
Yi-robe-2w.jpg
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File comment: Malipo Yi ritual robe
Yi-robe-3w.jpg
Yi-robe-3w.jpg [ 75.81 KiB | Viewed 8607 times ]

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:08 pm 
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Here is a skirt and jacket set that I had at one time (no longer in my possession). It seems similar to the one Pamela posted from "Writing in Thread" so it is presumably from the Yi who are called "White Lolo" in Vietnam, from Funing county.

This includes batik, Chinese silk (the pale green trim) used as applique, and banded silk trim (at the edges) that appears to have been traded from Dai people living nearby. The buttons are aluminium. The cut of the jacket and the skirt suggest that both were based originally on Chinese styles, though with quite different decoration versus the Chinese originals.

The Joss Graham "shaman's coat" is very attractive. I too saw a few of those with China dealers a few years ago, also a long narrow coat with a similar cut to the batik one posted above, but with squares and triangles of applique silk like the "shaman's coats". I didn't buy since they too seemed to be at "New York prices"!! I am also very wary of highly-priced items with old Chinese silk applique since the raw materials (19thC Chinese silk fragments and old indigo cotton fabric) can be bought cheaply here. Especially beware of items with strange or unusual colors (pseudo-faded/ yellowed etc).


Attachments:
File comment: White Lolo jacket with indigo batik, silk applique and embroidery
CET51-04S.jpg
CET51-04S.jpg [ 96.73 KiB | Viewed 8597 times ]
File comment: White Lolo skirt with silk applique and embroidery
CET51-01S.jpg
CET51-01S.jpg [ 123.64 KiB | Viewed 8597 times ]

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Last edited by Chris Buckley on Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:26 pm 
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Here is another jacket that is said to be from "Malipo Yi" people, that looks similar (in terms of cut, at least) to Martin's jacket above. This type is identified as "Flowery Lolo" in Howard's book, and they are paired with skirts which are simple rectangles with applique or embroidered designs on. They do not seem to be closely related (in terms of style at least) to the example in my last post. Joe Loux's website has a jacket with this cut with silk applique squares on it, however.

Stylistically, this a development of a Southeast Asian style made up of 3 tubes (body + 2 sleeves), with the addition of gussets under the sleeves to make it more comfortable to wear. The button-and-eye fastenings are a feature borrowed from Chinese jackets however.


Attachments:
File comment: "Malipo Yi" jacket, with embroidered designs on the sleeves and decoration at the center that is either supplementary weft or counted stitch embroidery (I am not sure which). Brass buttons and round seeds (along the edges)
CET38-1.jpg
CET38-1.jpg [ 85.76 KiB | Viewed 8590 times ]
File comment: back of the jacket
CET38-3.jpg
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File comment: detail of the front and center of the jacket
CET38-2.jpg
CET38-2.jpg [ 144.63 KiB | Viewed 8590 times ]
File comment: detail of silk decoration and fastening, with brass button in the center
CET38-2det.jpg
CET38-2det.jpg [ 122.6 KiB | Viewed 8590 times ]

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