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The term brocade to the Chinese denotes mostly brocades woven by the minorities in Guang Xi province, the Miao tribe, Dong tribe (Gaeml) and Yao tribe in particular.  The characteristic of these brocades are their vibrant colour combination and interesting geometric designs.  To achieve these means that they have to have several shuttles for different colour yarns and a special designed jacquard hand loom.

During the Ming dynasty, these minority brocades were articles of royal appointment tribute.  In the past, young girls by the age of 10 would have to start weaving a brocade of her own design and this would become her dowry for her wedding later on.  Motifs of brocade mostly are cloud, water, fish, bird and floral.  Brocades are used as quilt cover, wall hanging, cushion, head dress and belt etc.

Brocade Samples are shown at the Mountain Folkcraft shop in the Something New Something Old exhibition with Soil.



This is a jacket designed and tailored by our shop in the style of the Miao tribe.  The decorative pieces are embroidery from the Miao tribe in Gui Zhou.  The red eye creature in the embroidery (can you spot it?) is a three legged toad.  The toad represented wealth and good harvest.  This representation is shared by an old Chinese folk story; once upon a time there was an evil monster, the young Lui Hai had him defeated and it turned out to be a three legged toad.  The toad turned good and followed Lui everywhere fighting other monsters.  Lui also has a habit of aiding the poor, the legend has it that the toad has the ability of  bring wealth, at where he reside there is treasure.  The toad became a symbol of fortune and blessing.

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