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 Post subject: Possible ornamentation
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 7:16 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:30 am
Posts: 315
Looking at the markings that appear on the headband edge I wonder whether these would have been by similar ornaments to those adorning one of a number of children's hats I have. On this little hat the silver metallic circles are joined together by a silver metallic strand running through them (just visible in the attached image) which may account for the horizontal line marking appearing on Ann's headband between the circular impressions. Hehehe details...
I am still feasting my eyes on the treasures you keep hauling out Andrew! Definitely voting for a book to be written!!
Regards
Iain


Attachments:
File comment: Silver ornamentation appearing on the front of a Miao child's padded hat.
Silver ornament detail.jpg
Silver ornament detail.jpg [ 41.67 KiB | Viewed 10172 times ]
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 Post subject: Dong Jia shoes
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 4:23 pm 
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Location: Canterbury, UK
Ann has sent me photos of the embroidered Dong Jia shoes which came with her outfit.


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File comment: Dong Jia embroidered shoes
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File comment: Detail of Dong Jia embroidered shoes
DongJiaShoesdetw.jpg
DongJiaShoesdetw.jpg [ 64.15 KiB | Viewed 10149 times ]

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 Post subject: Baby carrier
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 4:51 pm 
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Ann has sent me a photo of a babycarrier which has embroidery with a similar 'feel' to the shoes and has again used the coveted red fabric. She is wondering who the forum thinks might have created it...Bailing Miao, Dong Jia, Rao Jia or???

I am attaching 2 photos, the one Ann sent me of the whole babycarrier and one where I tried to blow up the embroidery but this is really pushing the photo too far - my apologies!


Attachments:
File comment: babycarrier
chrysanthmumBCw.jpg
chrysanthmumBCw.jpg [ 65.53 KiB | Viewed 10138 times ]
File comment: detail of babycarrier
chrysanthmumdetw.jpg
chrysanthmumdetw.jpg [ 67.58 KiB | Viewed 10138 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:56 am 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:12 am
Posts: 143
Location: Bristol, England
Hello Pamela and Ann

Thanks for the headband photos. I presume the head-cloth would have been doubled over with the (usually tasseled and beaded ends) hanging down the back, all held in place by the head band.

What lovely shoes. I assume the subdued colouring is due to them having been washed. The pair I have (and others I’ve seen) all use the bright colours as seen on the jacket sleeves.

As for the baby carrier above, again, I immediately thought of the embroidered one on Steven Frost’s Maonan carrier thread: http://tribaltextiles.info/community/vi ... .php?t=619 . Yes, there are many similarities between Bailing Miao (Shui Miao), Dong Jia and this style of Maonan. I would say that the Rao Jia have suffered less from Han Chinese contact and so their motifs seem to be far less influenced by traditional Han decorative styles and patterns.

Thanks Iain, I’ll get my pen out and start scribbling! I had started putting some ideas down for a book some time ago, but one has to earn ones daily bread, and at present, work must come first. Very boring!


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 Post subject: Buyi not Maonan
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 4:10 pm 
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Within the mails between Steven and myself and now with reference books in hand baby carriers that we referred to Andrew and to which you have linked are actually not Maonan pieces but Buyi. (Have rapidly learnt to question attributions from willingly sellers). There appears to be two very different Buyi baby carriers styles and, for the want of a better description, these are to be found broadly in Zhenning Co. and those and Libo Co. respectively. I think that Ann’s carrier is actually a Buyi piece from Libo Co.. I will attach examples of the Zhenning Buyi style from my collection tomorrow as well as examples similar to Ann’s once I finish photographing these here (noted the comment on having to work…).
The Libo examples use a variety of materials including the red hand-woven cloth, hand-woven and dyed baste fibres and in a couple of examples I have a beautiful velvet. But perhaps the most significant difference between the two styles is that Buyi carriers from Zhenning Co. have a preponderance of woven material - both the main panel and ties are woven - whilst those from Libo Co. are predominantly embroidered.
On Ann's carrier the embroidery found on the uppermost embroidered strip and that appearing in the top right and bottom left quadrants appears as a common motif in the Libo Co. Buyi carriers - although not in every one I have seen. I am reminded of abstract peacock tail feathers (I had wanted to say phoenix but haven't seen one yet!) or indeed abstract peonies/chrysanthemums....
The Libo carriers are generally quite heavy as the upper section is usually padded with what appears to be coir but which is more likely to be the hard outer layer of hemp/ramie stems.
Images tomorrow...
Iain


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 5:19 pm 
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Probably to confuse(!!!) I am attaching three photos of Buyi babycarriers in 2000 from Bi Ke village in Min Gu township, 10 miles east of Zhenfeng, Guizhou. These have embroidery but are in quite a different construction style from the one that Ann has shown us and I presume that Iain will show us. For a photogallery of the village see http://www.tribaltextiles.info/Galleries/Bi_Ke.htm I suppose the central flower might almost be a stylised crysanthemum? I didn't buy any of them but was attracted to all.

I look forward to Iain's pics tomorrow (sorry about the work getting in the way...!)


Attachments:
File comment: Buyi babycarrier from Bi Ke village, Min Gu township, 10 miles east of Zhenfeng, Guizhou
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File comment: Buyi babycarrier from Bi Ke village, Min Gu township, 10 miles east of Zhenfeng, Guizhou
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File comment: Buyi babycarrier from Bi Ke village, Min Gu township, 10 miles east of Zhenfeng, Guizhou
0010s26E.jpg
0010s26E.jpg [ 44.67 KiB | Viewed 10099 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 6:09 pm 
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I promised Andrew some comments on his beautiful Dong Jia textiles which he so very kindly shared with us all. It has been such a hectic week that this is the first time I seem to have had a moment to sit down and try and focus my thoughts. I know Andrew has been away so hope he will forgive me for the delay.

I don’t think that my comments will be very inciteful, more of a testatment to the skill of the makers and the way that their heritage has led them to create such attractive textiles. Sad to think that this group is no longer creating such beautiful work.

Initially I think that I am most attracted to the very graphic wax resist especially on the headcloths (and babycarrier using headcloth pieces). For me the swirling movement is wonderful. The central patterns definitely seem to be dancing around as you look at them. I suppose the irony is that when the headcloths would have been worn they were probably folded and this effect would not be created. When Ann Goodman first spoke to me about her group of Dong Jia (as we now know) textiles she was also very struck by these designs : ‘What do you think about the patterning of the indigo batik headscarf? It is a most marvelous pattern. When I first saw it I thought "Art Nouveau".’ The style of all the wax resist seems to me quite different from that produced by other groups. Interesting that there is the more regulated (yet curvy) bands on the jacket sleeves and on the ends of the headcloth which is more formal that the swirlly centres of the headcloths.

Looking at the embroidery on the carriers the designs are pretty intricate – BC2 is just amazing. As Andrew says, so much going on. It has echoes of an illuminated manuscript with the figures peeping out and squeezed in on the birds and animals. A pity that a baby in it would not be able to see all that was going on. I would think that it would fascinate a child to follow all the intricacies of the embroidered designs. I would like it hanging near my own bed to use it as an aid to beating insomnia! Seeing a piece like this makes me so very much want to know the who, what and when of its background. We will be seeing it more softly shaded than it would have been when the precious red cloth was new. However, it still would have had a relatively limited colour palate yet with shades of the two main colours to give it texture and dimension and the light thread to outline.

I am interested to see that the beige edging looks as if it might have been added later and the stitch applying it looks like machine with the other white stitches around the edge being – I think – backstitch. BC1, on the other hand, looks as if it has lost the textile that it was mounted on and perhaps binding was removed. Is it a case with both, I wonder, of the precious top layer with all its embellishments, having been saved when the backing has been worn and perhaps soiled?

I am drawn to BC3 – I think because its bolder designs lend themselves to being reproduced on the web/computer screen. Some nice applied braids and appliqué. It also has a sense of re-using pieces of textiles and, perhaps, using appliqué when coloured silks were not available or too expensive.

All in all a tour de force and I am so grateful for having this opportunity to enjoy such fascinating, fine and beautiful textiles. Seeing several textiles from a group – great to have Ann’s with yours – gives such an added dimension. A big 'thank you'!

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 1:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:12 am
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Location: Bristol, England
Thanks Pamela, your way with words has the ability to make old textiles come to life (an ability I hope I can learn).

Yes, I find their wax resist very interesting and have spent many hours trying to get some idea of the possible meanings behind their patterns, a task made a little easier by having several head-cloths to compare. As well as the head-cloths and baby carrier, I also have 3 wax-resist baby blankets, which are also quite special in their design (unfortunately, I don’t have photos of these other pieces that I can post as my scanner is no more).

As I said earlier, the quality of their waxing is of the highest order, especially when considering the amount of wax that would have had to be applied to create the perfectly white background to the fine blue lines, and the fact that there are no “ice lines” caused by cracking of all that wax during the dyeing process.

You might be right about the beige edging on BC2 being newer, although I do have two other baby carriers that have this beige edging, one of which is certainly original as it is used in other parts of the carrier. Actually, if you look at BC3, it also has beige edging to the middle and lower parts, although the arms and top are edged with a pink/red cloth. When I have time, I’ll dig these pieces out and have a closer look. As for machine stitching, I really think it is just very good hand stitched work, but again, I’ll have a closer look. I can certainly confirm that all three carriers still have their original backing cloth. BC1 uses the red wool cloth around its edges, which obviously frayed very easily with use and now looks a little worn!

I’ll keep you posted.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:11 am 
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Hello Pamela and Ann

A few more photos. Firstly, photos of Baby Carrier 1 (1.7 & 1.8 ), which show the edging of the carrier being made of the red woolen cloth and using the same off-white stitching as that attaching the beige pieces of cloth on the ends of the “arms” (and also throughout the baby carrier). The use of this beige cloth on the older baby carrier 1 indicates that it is a traditional cloth used on baby carriers (as well as jacket sleeves) and is not necessarily a new addition to carrier 2. In the photos of BC 2 (2.9 & 2.10), you can see the beige edging cloth is also attached using the same off-white thread as that used on all the stitching throughout the baby carrier, including the chain-stitch around most of the embroidered patterns. These photos, together with photos 1.9 & 1.10 also help to show that the stitching has all been done by hand.

I’ve also added a couple of photos of one of the batik baby blankets by the Dong Jia in my collection. The patterns include two obvious butterflies and various other winged creatures, which could be exotic butterflies, bats or various types of bird (suggestions are welcome). Also, at the ends of these creatures wings are small fish, similar to the one shown on Ann’s original jacket sleeve photo.


Attachments:
File comment: Dong Jia Baby Carrier 1.7
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File comment: Dong Jia Baby Carrier 1.8
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File comment: Baby Carrier 2.9
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-2.9.jpg
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File comment: Baby Carrier 2.10
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-2.10.jpg
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-2.10.jpg [ 78.34 KiB | Viewed 9788 times ]


Last edited by Andrew Dudley on Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:17 am 
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Location: Bristol, England
More photos


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File comment: Baby Carrier 1.9 (front)
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-1.9.jpg
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-1.9.jpg [ 74.03 KiB | Viewed 9778 times ]
File comment: Baby Carrier 1.10 (back)
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-1.10.jpg
Dong-Jia-Baby-Carrier-1.10.jpg [ 72.37 KiB | Viewed 9778 times ]
File comment: Baby Blanket 1.1
Dong-Jia-Baby-Blanket-1.1.jpg
Dong-Jia-Baby-Blanket-1.1.jpg [ 70.19 KiB | Viewed 9778 times ]
File comment: Baby Blanket 1.2
Dong-Jia-Baby-Blanket-1.2.jpg
Dong-Jia-Baby-Blanket-1.2.jpg [ 67.92 KiB | Viewed 9778 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 10:56 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Andrew

Very many thanks for your latest posts.

1. Details of babycarriers. These are excellent as they highlight several things which were there in the earlier photos but, because of their fineness, did not catch the eye. The Dong Jia clearly like to outline things in a beige/fawn colour be it the edge of baby carriers or as a very subtle fold of fabric under a row of folded points. This latter is amazing and beautifully executed. It made me notice that much of the embroidery is outlined in beige. Photos 2.9 and 2.10 really show very well the chain stitch outlining in this tone, perhaps slightly lighter. However, a similar use of colour is shown in the 1.9 photo but in satin stitch. The reverse of the light coloured backstitch really does prove it is hand stitched and not done by machine - which the closeness and evenness would suggest. I am so pleased to be proved wrong in my guess that the beige binding might have been added later especially as it seems to almost provide a 'signature' of the Dong Jia in their embroidery and applied work.

2. The wax resist baby cover/blanket. Very nice indeed! There are echoes of the style of headcloth in that the curves are beautifully flowing but yet in many ways quite different. I like the fact that it is more figurative for a baby, probably protective but also, I think, it would stimulate the baby as well. Can you tell me how thick the cotton(?) fabric is? I get the sense that it is not a light, fine cloth but a heavier one and that the wax resist (or mixed substance) must have been pretty hot when applied to penetrate and give such sharp edges to the white resist 'lines'. I love it for itself but also as a wonderful example of the waxer and dyer's art and craft. Like the backstitch in the babycarriers to our eyes it seems amazing that it was done by hand as it is so very perfect. Look at the inner blue lines in the 'butterflies'. Remember that they are created by leaving a fine space in the wax which is covering the white areas.

Andrew, before I saw all your wonderful wax resist pieces I knew that I liked batik but you have really opened my eyes and taken my appreciation onto a completely different level. Thank you so very much.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:07 am 
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I thought I’d better add a couple of close-ups of the head-cloths so that Pamela can really appreciate their “flowing curves”, curls, swirls and twirls, which really are incredibly fine and perfectly executed (this example is just about as good as it gets… to my mind). As for the cloth, it is a very good quality hand-woven cotton, so yes, it is quite thick and heavy, making the workmanship even more amazing.


Attachments:
File comment: Detail of head-cloth 2
Dong-Jia-Headcloth-2.2.jpg
Dong-Jia-Headcloth-2.2.jpg [ 88.29 KiB | Viewed 9705 times ]
File comment: Detail of head-cloth 2
Dong-Jia-Headcloth-2.3.jpg
Dong-Jia-Headcloth-2.3.jpg [ 74.05 KiB | Viewed 9705 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:59 pm 
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Andrew,

Very many thanks for these detail shots of the Dong Jia wax resist. You were certainly right to post as they illustrate very clearly indeed the supreme control of the Dong Jia waxer in creating the designs from the hot wax. Producing wax resist with major areas of white - or resist - are perhaps the greatest test of a waxer's skill. The details you provide also show that there is virtually no 'cracking' showing in the wax. Locally this will be valued very much as they do not, as we do in the west, appreciate the cracking effect in batik which we seem to like. To them it shows lack of skill.

I like the swirls best because of the movement but the details of the more formal end design of the headcloth show a most amazing skill and absolute control of the medium. I have just noticed the infills 'behind' the swirls sort of peeping through. Just wonderful! I must stop waxing lyrical (sorry!)

When access to colour, be it in threads or dyes, has been very limited the ingenuity and skills of the textile artists have still created beauty and very fine textiles. Natural (coloured) cloth, indigo dye plus wax have still enabled wonderful cloth to be created. Colour may be added sparingly (or more lavishly) but what a wonderful background or base fabric. The desire for beauty cannot be held back by lack of money or access. I am not saying that this is the case with these Dong Jia textiles but they so clearly show what can be done and poverty and inaccessibility certainly played a large part in the stimulus for beautiful wax resist work amongst the minorities in S W China.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 2:43 pm 
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Location: Bristol, England
Having just received a book “Baby Carriers” (Illustrated Catalogue of Baby Carriers of the Minority Peoples of Southwest China), published by The National Museum of Prehistory, Taiwan. ISBN: 978-986-01-0413-4 (See Book Forum: http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... php?t=1131 ), I'm able to pass on a little more information about the Dongjia.

Quote:
“The She people call themselves Shanha, meaning guests who live in the mountains. Numbering 700,000, they are scattered in Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Anhui (Provinces), while a small number lives in Majiang (County), Guizhou. Those living in Majiang used to be known as Dongjia. They were officially designated as She following nationality identification in 1996. As the population is small, the traditional costumes have been replaced by modern garments, and not many baby carriers are existent”.


The book includes two Dongjia baby carriers.


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 Post subject: lovely
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 5:29 pm 
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Location: Netherlands
What a treat to see all these beautiful embroideries! And what a great medium this website! How would we be in touch without it! thanks Pamela!
I enjoy all the information tremendously and also make notice of the website in my article on Chinese children clothing which will come out in summer this year.


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