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Tribal Textiles of Southeast Asia 

The mainland countries of Southeast Asia have extremely rich textile traditions. Here we offer tribal pieces from Laos, Vietnam and Burma. Many tribal peoples originally migrated into these areas from southwestern China, and their textiles are closely related to Chinese Minority pieces. There are also parallels with Indonesian craft traditions.

Click on the inventory numbers below to see large full view photos and details of the items. .

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Shoulder Cloth 
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Thai Yai Yantra Shirt
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Lahu Girl's Blouse and Skirt
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Khami Chin Shoulder Cloth
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Shan/Tai Tatoo Pattern Book
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Phu La Skirt and Blouse

North Vietnam
Silk and cotton embroidery on cotton;
Job's Tears seeds   


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Contemporary Hmong Embroidery 

This embroidery tells a personal story of Hmong refugees escaping from Nasou, Laos, into Thailand in the early 1980s, before coming to the US. 

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This pictorial embroidery was made by Mee Van (age 79), who came from Laos to the US in 1983. She made the embroidery in 1988 to tell the story of her family and friends' escape from their village of Nasou, as they fled from their homes. 

The story begins at the top, where at the left we see Communist government troops fighting Vietnamese soldiers.  At the upper and middle right of the piece is a whole fascinating range of village activities, both work and play. Then we see people starting their long trek south and westward, even setting up temporary camps along the way. They finally reach the Mekong River, which some float across on inner tubes.  They are met by Thai Immigration officials, where they are interrogated and furnished with papers for their trip to the US.  There's a refugee camp at the bottom, and finally, at the lower left, they head for busses and a plane that will take them overseas.  

My thanks to May Moua, niece of Mee Van, for sharing this delightful embroidery.   
(This piece is not for sale.}

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