Archives for posts with tag: gui zhou

Textile Width 380mm, China

 This fabric is woven by the Pu Ji tribe, a minority tribe in Gui Zhou.  Weaving is a technique passed down the generation of women, all fabric for the household would have been weaved by the family.  Traditionally, the young girls will be helping their mother and elder sisters and pick up the know how along the way, by the time they are a teenager they will be capable of making the cloth from scratch.

By from scratch, its from the cotton and indigo plant.  Cotton are collected and made into yarns and rolled onto the simple spindle while the strings for the warp are set out according to the design and often with the use of the exterior of the building.  Clothes are placed on the loom and the work begins.


Wax resist is generally known as Batik.  Apart from Indonesia, south west region of China is believed to be one of the early development area of wax resist dye according to recent excavation reports.

Molten wax held in a special wax pen is used to draw design directly on plain fabric as a resist.  After the drawing work, the fabric is then put into a drying vat.  As wax is a brittle substance, dye gets through minor cracks which gives a characteristic batik result.

Si Chuan and Gui Zhou provences in China are well known places for wax resist dye fabric.

Wax Resist Dye Fabric are shown at the Mountain Folkcraft shop in the Something New Something Old exhibition with Soil.

Textile Width 870mm, China

This indigo dye fabric came from Gui Zhou, a place which produces the Blue Grass (Indigofera Tinctoria L) which the indigo dye was extracted from.  Around September to October, the grass will be harvested and soaked in water for 6 days, stirring every 2 days, after which the soaking liquid is poured into a tank with lime.  The mixture is stirred for a couple of hours then left over night to precipitate, by the next day the lime would have extracted the dye, the water covering the lime is carefully taken out.  In Gui Zhou, the Blue Grass is also used for disinfectant.

For the dyeing technique of  please refer to previous post of Indigo Dye Fabric.

W200xH300m, China

This is a mask of the Di Xi (Ground Opera); this form of opera is practice by the farmer villages in Gui Zhou area.  The folks will perform the opera passed on by the previous generation on Chinese New Year for around 20 days.  Unlike the other mask dances in China, apart from deterring away the evil spirit, the Di Xi only consist of fighting or war themes.  This specific themes can be explained by the its history; in early Ming dynasty,  tribal attacks along the border and by Mongols from the previous dynasty  has not be settled.  Military base were formed in the Gui Zhou area, these soldiers were known as the fort men (Tunpu), Di Xi was their opera, a way of introducing military and culture into the rural area.  Ceremony will be performed for the blessing of the mask, before the masks are blessed they are appreciated merely as wood carving objects, however once the blessed with prayers and scattered with the blood of a rooster they became sacred. The Di Xi masks are also worn differently from other Nuo masks; performers would covered their head with black muslin and wear the masks on their forehead.  The mask in the photo is General character, the colourful ornament on his head is in fact a helmet.

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