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 Post subject: Yao Priests
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:42 am
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Location: Taiwan
I'm a recently arrived member of Tribal Textiles. Was interested in your post.

I attended a dujie in 2007 in a small Pintoh Yao village in Yunnan close to the border with Vietnam. A fascinating event as one would expect. The priests were wearing what I suppose were modern versions of their traditional robes. In contrast, the ceremonies themselves I was told followed closely old traditions.

I've posted below a couple of photos of the priests and the ceremonies below. There's more on my website (search for dujie or this link might work - http://www.remoteasiaphoto.com/search/?q=dujie).

If anyone else reading this has experience of other areas where dujie is still in practiced, I'd love to hear more about it.

Nick


Attachments:
File comment: Yao fathers from Gung jie Po village awaiting the instruction to burn off the threads holding coins in their sons' hair as part of the preparation for their sons' following year dujie initiation.
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File comment: Initiates, accompanied by their fathers wearing traditional hats, readying themselves to ascend to the top of the jumping platforms used in the dujie ceremony at the Yao village of Gung Jie Po.
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File comment: Yao priests (sai mienh) in traditional hats circling the initiates at a dujie coming of age ceremony in Gung Jie Po.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:26 am 
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This dresses are really cool, this is the first time I have been watching this type of style. If there are more pictures you have then please share here. I am thinking to design this type of dress from Ikat fabric.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:42 am
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Location: Taiwan
Most Yao villages in the Meng Chao area of Jinping county hold a dujie (coming of age ceremony) when there are sufficient initiates to warrant the ceremonies.
Two of the priests for the event I attended were wearing robes with traditional motifs. Images below. They are similarities to some pictured in previous posts. Interestingly, one of the initiates wore the robe of his priest turned inside out when he performed the "sky" component of his dujie by falling backwards from a platform into a vine net (4th image). I was unable to establish why this was so.

As an aside, this particular Yao sub-group refers to itself somewhat idiosyncratically as "Pintoh" Yao though the women's hats are almost pointed. They differ from other Pintoh Yao hats I have seen by the lack of an internal metal structure to hold the form. Instead a type of internal knotted rope gives the hat its unusual shape. I think this subject is covered elsewhere in the forum but I can't recall where. I hope to have the opportunity to see how these hats are actually made on a future visit.


Attachments:
File comment: Priest at dujie altar.
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File comment: Detail.
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File comment: Despite their uniformity, the blue aprons are not part of the traditional clothes. The women were wearing them as they had just finished cooking!
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:38 pm 
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Location: Canterbury, UK
Spotting this post, forum member Iain Stephens 'Iain' has been in touch via email:
Quote:
Was catching up on the tti website and read Nick Mayo's posting on Pintoh Yao hat construction question. I actually have one of these hats - without the wooden structure in place. This was removed by the owner as explained by the seller as "having personal significance". I think this may be along similar lines to the removal of baby carrier straps. In any case, Here are images from said friend of an intact hat showing the construction.

I asked Iain if we could post the images here and he is happy for us to do so but asked if I would post as he was having a bit of a problem getting the images into the right size and format. I have had a fiddle and the results are posted below. Just fascinating! I am looking forward to seeing this completed post with the detailed construction images of the headdress following on from Nick's images of women wearing them. Thank you Iain and your friend with the forum sharing spirit!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:04 pm 
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I don't know if Nick Mayo was thinking of this post of mine http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... php?t=1157 which shows another style of Yao/Mien structure for a woman's wedding headdress.

This thread (mentioned in the prior thread) also includes another Yao/Mien 'structure' for a wedding (probably) headdress http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... php?t=1129
and in this post was a link to an amazing set of Yao/Mien headdress structures on the Tribalmania website http://www.tribalmania.com/YAOHATS.htm

and then the thread on Yao 'celestial crown' shows how the Yao use hair (whether their own or horse perhaps?) to support a headdress http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... php?t=1258

All of which show just how the Yao create amazing 'edifices' to support intricate head dresses!

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 Post subject: Yao priest/shaman robe
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:46 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Chicago
Hi,


About 10 years ago my father purchased a Yao priest/shaman robe in Chaing Mai and gave it to me as a present. It is very similar to the ones shown on this page brown cotton edging, indigo cotton with dragons on front and rows of Buddhas on the back.

When he gave it to me he told me to never wear it and to treat it with respect. I have always been very careful with it but feel something is not right with the energy of the robe itself. I am wondering if the Yao people are ok with these robes leaving their community, and how they end up for sale. Is it ok for a westerner to own one? Is there some ceremony that is done for the robe? Any help would be much appreciated!

Best,

Jesse


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:45 pm 
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Jesse,

You have raised an interesting point.

I don't think that, in respect of Yao priest's robes, there is any particular restriction on them moving out of the community as so many are seen in the marketplace. However, I would always wish to treat them with respect. I don't think that the costume itself is felt to be imbued with special powers. It is rather the shaman, wearing appropriate clothing, and carrying out the correct rituals and with the relevant thoughts in his head that may create a special situation. This is something that I do not understand but respect the beliefs of others.

One does hear - as Iain mentions above - that certain groups do not want to sell baby carriers with the ties which bound baby to the mother still in place - and cut off the ties before selling the carrier. Iain also mentions the wooden frame in a headdress as "having personal significance" for the Pintoh Yao. In each case the person who sells the artefact takes the action before the sale.

I would be interested in thoughts from any other forum members?

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 Post subject: Yao priest/shaman robe
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:46 pm
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Location: Chicago
Hi Pamela,

Thank you for your insightful reply, I really appreciate it.

Jesse


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:22 am
Posts: 65
Location: germany
The discussion of those headdresses is a not about the original question.
I am sure that others recognize that the curls of plaited hair are a sort of wig.
That is also evident on the links of Pamela's posting of 26.1., girls at their weddings having to have long enough hair to wrap curls of plaits around their head. or cheat, then then more the better.

In Tibet, some women also have many long plaits, ideally, reputedly 108, the number of beads on a Buddhist "rosary". Both the women and men of the pre-Buddhist Bon religion in Tibet wear their long hair in plaits, augmented with other fibers.

Purely my idea: I tend to think that such long hair was originally a sign that a girl was old enough to marry, but then, the more the "marrier".
(Have to apologize for that. It's Carnival/Mardi Gras here.)

Somewhere in the Muslim world, the sign that a boy was old enough to marry, was if he could reach over his head and touch his ear. Cultures have/had practical measures for such thresholds. Laugh at them maybe, but why were only virgins (supposedly) in Germany allowed to wed with their tresses loose?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:55 pm 
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A few further thoughts for Jesse...

Martin Conlan ('Slow Lorris') who has been travelling to S W China for many years and purchasing textiles, commented along the following lines to me after my last post:

Quote:
"With regard to your latest comments about the selling of ritual clothing/items I agree with your thoughts about the Yao shaman's robes as many have been available over the years.

An interesting adjunct to this is the fact that among the Yao ceremonial scroll paintings, of which I have a number of sets, it is unusual to get the clan painting ('cia fin') which is usually retained by the family as it is an important representation of their ancestors. In other words, they are very selective about holding onto to ritual pieces which are regarded as embodying strong spiritual/cultural significance.

The nuosu and other Liangshan Yi groups in Sichuan are generally reluctant to sell their costume pieces which as a consequence tend to be more expensive and difficult to find."

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