Archives for posts with tag: miao tribe

patchworkW820xL130mm, China

This is a section of a patchwork from the Miao tribe.  I find the creatures on the patchwork processing a lot charm, as this is handmade even if they are the same kind, are different.  This simple beauty is already hard to find in the digital age.

On this patchwork there are flowers, butterfly, fish, birds and dragons.  The Miao believes that creatures are interchangeable; a man can become a dragon and vice versa, fish butterfly, flowers and bird can also turn into dragon.  Recorded in one of the ancient songs, the butterfly has 12 sons, they had a fight and the water dragon was chased away.  He escaped through the waterways and into the ocean, then he realised he has forgotten to bring his money!  The fish surrounded his and offered him the money and he was able to become the king of the ocean.  There used to be a lot of these ancient songs which get passed down by mouth through generations, sadly only 12 songs were left.

W65xL3200mm, China

Like the colourful band in the previous post, this black and white woven band is also a band of blessing.  The Miao tribe reside on the hillside where they are constantly harassed by the snakes; once upon a time, a snake attacked a girl by wrapping its body on her, a young lad came to her rescue.  The two soon fell in love, the girl woven a band for the young man as a sign of their love.  One day as they were travelling together they came across another snake who was ready to attack, the lad used the band, wiggle it to imitate the snake and led the snake back into the woods.  Since then, it was believed that the band would protect them from snake and all evils and the woven band became popular for the Miao.

Found this really nice video about the journey to the Miao tribe, just want to share!  Enjoy!

CIR650xH650mm, China

The pleated dress is part of the female Miao tribe costume.  The legend of the pleated dress goes like this; once upon a time, there was a handsome Miao hunter, one day he caught a beautiful golden pheasant and he gave it as a gift to the girl he was in love with.  The girl, Ah Beng, looking at the golden pheasant and decided to make herself as beautiful as the bird, so she weaved a cloth added embroidery and made herself a pleated dress.  The neighbors saw how beautiful she looked and soon everyone started dressing with amazing pleated dresses.

W600xL600mm, China

This cushion cover is made with the “seat” portion of a baby carrier used by the Miao tribe.  Baby carrier has been a both a functional and symbolical item in China; it enables mothers to go to the fields while keeping the baby by their side, traditionally mothers will sew the carrier by hand, the embroidery on the carrier embedded symbols of  blessing extending their love for the child.  With the modernisation of China, hand stitch baby carrier can only be  found among the minority tribes.

W90xL1900mm, China

This hand woven band is the belt for the costume of the Miao tribe.  Just after lunar New Year is the Cai Hua Shan festival of the Miao tribe.  Different clans will come together to the common area between the different villages, a large pine or cypress tree will be selected as the “flower stem”.  Before dawn the person in charge, “head of the flower stem”, will take on the task of erecting the tree post and tying ribbons and flower on the top.  This job is done by commonly agreed most kind hearted person (with such a task, I am not surprised).  The day begins with the “head” tossing wine to everyone and giving them blessing; fire crackers, drums are played to signify the start of the festival, followed by days of dance, music and laughter.  It is also the chance for dating, the men will give a woven band to the lady he desire and in return the lady will give him a embroided handkerchief or headwrap.

Textile width 380mm, China

We have a collection of the fabric from the Miao tribe, as they are hand woven, unlike the machine woven fabric, their textile width is quite narrow.  They are cotton fabric that would be normally used for making garments for the tribe.

W600xL600mm, China

This Miao embroidery started its life as a traditional baby carrier.  The cloth baby carrier was once very popular, looking at old photos I too have spend some time wrapped up in a much less elaborated version of it.  For those who are not use to carrying baby around with belt and cloth, the Miao has converted the embroidery as a cushion cover.  The embroidery is made with cross stitch, a basic stitching of the Miao.