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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 8:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 7:27 pm
Posts: 53
Location: USA
Another from the Depths of my closet. Mid 20th Century, fine silk, indigo background, 44 cm x 44cm.


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Richard
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 Post subject: Surely Dong not Miao?
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
Richard

I strongly feel that this apron is Dong and not Miao. The embroidery is a classic Dong design - and I have, only this evening, been photographing my Dong jacket (probably for a child) which has the same design and also very, very similar embroidery in the braid framing the central design. I assume that the indigo cloth itself is cotton and not silk but that the embroidery, braid and possibly an edging is silk, although that may be cotton. It is difficult to tell from the photos, but has the indigo cotton cloth been calendered - i.e. the indigo cloth 'polished'. I think that it may be from the bottom photo as I think this is quite usual.

I need to 'process' my photos but I will be posting my piece to the forum.

regards (and welcome back!)

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 9:58 pm 
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Location: USA
Pamela,

You are absolutely correct, it is indigo cotton cloth that has been calendered. I was reviewing my notes and I had a ? by my silk comment. I just looked at a fibre though the microscope and alas, cotton. The borders are also cotton with some sik thread mixed in. I will also yield to your attribution of it being Dong not Miao. Minority textiles are not my forte but could not resist them.

Best, Richard


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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 10:08 pm 
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Richard

Thanks!

I have the latest ACDSee image viewing programme (what a HUGE download!) and I have been amazed how helpful it has been looking at the textile photos via the easy magnification option. It is almost like looking through a low magnification microscope. I have been amazed at how I can spot and distinguish techniques this way that I cannot see with the naked eye nor with a hand held magnigying class.

I have just been looking at the photos of my Dong jacket and have already learnt a lot about it that I did not realise before. I also have a fairly 'mature' woven bag which I bought as Dong at the same time as the jacket but don't know if it is. I have realised that some lighter, silk threads must be embroidered on top of the weaving. I will also share that - but I must sign off now.

all the best,

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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 Post subject: ...and I have one too!
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2004 1:36 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2003 4:52 am
Posts: 162
Location: California, USA
Richard,

My piece is almost exactly like yours, in treated cotton, although the edging and guls are slightly different. What a coincidence! In all the postings, except for the T'ai Daeng blankets, this is the first time anyone has had anything so closely related to one of my textiles.

I'm preparing a number of postings for my web page (courtesy of Pamela), and intend to include my Dong piece as well.

I'll be posting some Miao aprons, which are embroidered with beautiful birds and flowers, and not at all abstract.

Enjoy!

Sandie


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2004 7:17 am 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:12 am
Posts: 143
Location: Bristol, England
I too have a piece very similar to Richard's (photos attached). According to what I was told when I bought it and from the "Bonding Via Baby Carriers" book pages 56-58, this is the upper part of a baby carrier. The book says that the pattern in the middle is the Chinese character (jing) for a 'well' (the well of life), but I doubt whether the Dong would have used Chinese characters on their traditional embroidery.

The old lady who sold me this piece said the edging designs (all 3 are different) were butterflies and frogs, can anyone spot a frog? What about the repeated animal motif making up the lines of the central pattern?


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 1:30 am 
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Joined: Sun May 09, 2004 7:24 pm
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I have another reference with photographs of a similar piece. In the collection I referenced in earlier posts published by the Guangxi Arts Publishing house there is an illustration of a similar piece on p. 110. The piece is housed in the Guangxi Provincial Museum.

The caption labels the piece as coming form Sanjiang County and also mentions the use of the "jing" or well character. In addition it calls attention to the "horse pattern" which is used in the interior of the the well character. (The well character looks like a #). The provenance is very different from that in Bonding via Baby Carriers, and I don't know exactly what to make of that.

As to the use of Chinese characters in Dong works, I have found that many pieces from northern Guangxi incorporate chinese characters as design elements. Headscarves from the region often have woven bands of auspicious Chinese characters like those for longevity, fortune or double happiness. The aprons worn under adult women's jackets also often incorporate Chinese idioms or mottos in their embroidery. I have seen similar inclusions amongst other minority groups in northern Guangxi and would suggest that the close proximity of Han Chinese people to these areas had led to a continued influence on Dong arts. Unlike other groups, the Dong live primarily in river valleys and would be more easily accessible than other groups to Chinese influences.

That being said, I have never found corroboration for the explanation of the use of the "well" character on these backpacks and am a little skeptical of any such explanation.

-James

PS: Pamela- Isn't that your fragment from a couple of posts ago peeking out from under this piece on p. 57 of the Bonding via Baby Carriers book? It seems to have the same trim and everything. I found mine on the following page.


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