Chinese Minority Textiles:  Miao and Others

        from the collection of Marla Mallett

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The ethnic minorities of China have produced fanciful, colorful costumes with distinctive flavors. They display superlative embroidery, brocading and batik. Objects by Miao, Gejia, Shui, Dong, Yao, Buyi, Yi, Zhuang and Li groups from the southwestern provinces of Guizhou, Hunan, Yunnan, Guangxi and Hainan are currently featured on these pages. Most costume items or accessories are decorated with flowers, birds and animals from the surrounding landscape --  anthropomorphic and zoomorphic images that are often abstracted. Traditional auspicious designs appear, even among patterns that are completely geometric.  Some parts of these minority groups, particularly the Miao, migrated southward into Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, where they are known as H'mong. Yao groups are also numerous on both sides of the border and produce similar textiles in both areas. 

Most of the pieces on these pages are between 40 and 100 years of age. A few are more recent. Ages are difficult to assess with certainty;  my notes include only educated guesses.  With this charming textile folk art, the important qualities are superb craftsmanship, excellent materials and color, good condition, and inspired expression.  

Click on the inventory numbers below to see full views of the textiles and large detail scans. Go to  A Few Snapshots for photos of the artisans and their costumes.  For Han textiles go to our Chinese Textiles pagePieces by related ethnic groups appear on our  Japanese Textiles or Tribal Textiles of Southeast Asia pages. Check out our HOME page for textiles from other parts of the world. 


 


Dan Zhai - Bai Ling Baby Carrier

Guizhou, China. 
67½"x 38."
Silk embroidery on cotton, with
appliqué
E-3135

Shui Dress
Guizhou, China
50½"x 35"
Silk and horsetail embroidery 
on cotton
E-4497


Miao Panel
6" x 24½"
Silk satin-stitch embroidery
on silk satin
E-4890


Rao Jia Baby Carrier

Guizhou, China
27½"x 29"
Silk embroidery on cotton
E-5944

Dong Jacket
Guizhou, China
40½"x 28½"
Horsetail and shirred braid
embroidered bands on silk satin
E-4721


Miao Baby Carrier
Guizhou, China
42"x 28"
Silk embroidery on cotton, with
folded triangle applique
E-865


Tijiang Miao Apron
Guizhou, China
15"x 29" plus ties
Silk embroidery on cotton
B-9613


Miao Embroidered Bands
Southwest China
Each 5½"x 18½"
Silk satin stitch on cotton

E-778

E-779

 


Zhuang Baby Carrier
Yunnan, China
Center panel:  19½"x 27"
Silk embroidery and appliqué on silk;
tassels and metallic ornaments
E-3138


Child's Booties
China
Embroidered and applique boots,
attached to a pants liner
E-9636

Miao Jacket
Leishan, Guizhou. China
Silk embroidery on cotton
E-4500


Rao Jia Baby Carrier
Guizhou, China
29"x 20½"plus ties
Cotton appliqué on black calendared
"shiny black" cotton
E-3143

Dong Bag or Cushion Cover
Guizhou, China
17"x 16½"
Silk satin-stitch on cotton
E-6286


Yao Wedding Head Cover

Guangxi, China
28"x 19"
Silk embroidery on cotton
E-5949

Small Dong Bag
Guizhou, China
10½"x 12½"
Embroidery and appliqué on velvet, 
cotton and calendared cotton
E-6302



Tu Jia Miao Pants

Song Tao, Guizhou
Silk embroidery on figured silk satin
E-6303


Yi Jacket
Yunnan, China
54"x 16"
Silk embroidery and metal
ornaments on cotton
E-4739


Ge Yi Miao Child's Jacket
Taijiang area, Guizhou. China
32"x 28"
Silk "Dazi" embroidery
E-3109


Headband
China
3½"x 15"
Overall beading
E-4387

Pair of Miao Sleeve Panel Embroideries
Taijiang, Guizhou. China
Each: 12"x 7"
Silk satin-stitch and cross stitch, with 
copper sequins and appliquéd braids
E-1112
E-1113


Miao Coat

Huangping, Guizhou. China
66"x 45½"
Cotton appliqué
E-4051


Child's Animal Hat
China
10"x 5½" plus streamers
Embroidery and appliqué
E-9637


Yao Man's Sash
Guangxi, China
14"x 109"
Cotton, with embroidery
E-6766

Bailing Miao Embroidered Shoes
Guizhou, China. 1930s
E-6300


Dong Eyeglass Case
Guizhou, China
2½"x 6½"
Silk embroidery on cotton
W-8701


Baby Carrier

Dafang, Guizhou. China
20½"x 25"
Silk appliqué and couching
E-5245

               

A Few Snapshots: Textile Artisans of Southwestern China

Chinese Minority Textiles - Bibliography
Han Chinese  Textiles
I have started a section on Embroidery Techniques;  first is a page illustrating the often confused Seed Stitch ("Forbidden Stitch") and Peking Stitch. 
 

Go to our HOME Page for more textiles
 




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MARLA MALLETT
1690 Johnson Road NE, Atlanta, GA  30306   USA

E-mail:  marlam@mindspring.com
Phone:  404-872-3356