For women of indigenous cultures, sewing needles were often hard to come by and considered valuable tools. Commonly, among such groups, cases were specifically designed to protect and safeguard the sewing. This particular antique silver needle case is from the Chinese Miao ethnic minority group and would have been worn by the women as a decorative costume ornament during festival.
After hand-weaving their home spun yarn, the Miao women of Na Dan would use contrasting thread colors to create an intricate embroidery of geometric patterns on their precious baby carriers. These pieces were highly prized, used primarily for festival, and were handed down through succeeding generations.
The pouch at the top of the tassel most likely contains various herbs to bring health and good fortune to the baby. The 3 main tassels are actually subdivided into 3, which represented the ...
This lovely hand carved old wooden loom pulley comes with is own custom made stand.
This traditional Miao Chinese Minority hair pin would have been worn by young woman for festival. The butterfly motif is in reference to the Miao creation myth.
The hair pin is 5 inches long.
This Chinese ethnic minority hair comb was hand carved with scalloped edge detail on both sides. Many ethnic minority women would save the hair from ancestors and add it to their own hair for additional bulk...some groups would add bits of wool also to make the hair appear thicker. Combs were used both for combing and for hair ornaments.
this is a large antique hand-made pair of earrings of low grade silver, lots of filigree work...Though obviously not wearable for most Westerners, the make a wonderful ethnographic, tribal arts display.
This Miao Baby carrier is from the Bai Ling region of China. As is typical of this region, the straps are embroidered. This attractive piece was probably only used for a few festivals before being stored away for the next generations use. In excellant condition, it measures 38" long.
This old Chinese child's cloud collar was hand sewn by a proud Miao Ethnic Minority grandmother. The ornate embroidery stitching includes applique and daiz which is misnamed the forbidden stitch by Westerners. The collar is in excellant condition and is 9.5 inches in diameter
This is an old traditional style top shirt which would have been worn by a young girl of the Yi Chinese ethnic minority from Yunnan Province. the fabric is made from home grown cotton, hand spun, and hand woven. The collar surround and cuffs are trimmed with an intricate batik pattern and the tiniest embroidery stitched I have ever seen. The shirt has its original buttons. Good size for framing 14 inches across the chest.
This is a set of traditional lacquer bowls from Thailand. There is a single gold mythical animal, balu-gwin, at the bottom of the inside and a three balu-gwin spaced around the outside. The gold rim with key design surrounds the rim of each of the 5 bowls.
In wonderful condition, each bowl is approx 5 inches wide at the rim and 2.5 inches high.
The Zhuang are one of the larger of the Chinese Ethnic Minority groups. This is a rare old baby carrier from Yunnan Province. Because silk was not readily available in the rural areas, the use of silk as the background fabric indicates that this carrier came from a wealthy family. The central panel uses several colors of fabric appliqued into a large stylized lotus flower. Silk thread is used for the delicate satin stitched embroidery of butterflies and flowers. The upper border uses multip...
This is a traditional old style Chinese doodoo which is worn buttoned to the front of a womans shirt. It is made of black cotton fabric and embroidered with silk thread using a satin stitch. The motif is typical Miao...birds and flowers. It is in good condition appears slightly faded. This piece measures approx 11" X 11" and would look very nice framed. Age approx 65 yrs old
This Chinese pinafore style garment would have been worn by a small girl child of the Dong ethnic minority in Shui Kou. Fabric is handwoven from cotton fiber, hand stitched with intricate decorative applique work and hand woven snowflake pattern ribbon accents the border. No rips, no tears, and no holes...but this piece is old and has been worn and is a bit "dirty".... and still has its original ties. It is 14 inches wide and 21 inches long...great ethnographic textile for framing.
Though sourced from northern China, this antique powder flask is most likely Chinese ethnic minority from the southern regions. There are 3 flasks for carrying gun powder. Used rifle cartridges are used both as stoppers and bullets are held in the shaped spacers between the powder flasks. It was made by shaping and then sewing 2 pieces of heavy leather (probably elephant hide)together.
This small purse was made by Miao girl to be given to "boyfriend"...If he accepts and wears the purse on his belt...he favors her.
The embroidery stitch is called Daiz but westerners know it as Peking knot aka forbidden stitch. 5.5 x 3 excellant condition
This baby carrier is from the Miao ethnic minority of Qui Yang. Characteristic of the antique Miao baby carriers from this area, the surface decoration is composed of very tiny cross stitches which form geometric embroidery pattern which, to Western eyes, resemble snowflakes. Because of the time required to produce and the attractive appearance of this style baby carrier, they were used mostly for festivals and are now highly prized by both Westerners and Chinese.
This baby carriers is in ...
This pair of antique Miao boots were made by a young woman from Song Tao to be worn for festivals. The thick sole has iron hob nails to make walking easier on the hills and terraces. The vamp is made from cotton fabric and is heavily embroidered with cottton thread using satin and chain stitch techniques. The upper part of the boot is also made of cotton fabric.
This wide cuff Chinese bracelet has deeply repousse design composed of detailed symbols related to Miao Ethic Minority myths and legends. Such bracelets would have been worn in matched pairs, one on each wrist, by the women of the "short skirt" Miao of Dan Zhai, and the bracelets would have been handed down from mother to daughter for generations.
The cuff is almost 3 inches at the widest point in the front because of its large size and rolled edge it easily slips onto most wrists.