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festival-costume / jacket / coat

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    As1998,01.175

  • Description

    Coat or jacket, known as a 'Hundred Bird' coat. Base cloth of hand-spun cotton, undyed apart from light blue indigo on sleeve edge. No collar, sides and sleeves open, with loops and cloth knots at intervals. Thirteen free-hanging panels sewn to bottom edge. Every surface decorated with applied cloth: pieces of green silk sateen are backed with paper, then embroidered in satin stitch in floss silk over paper cuts. Colours throughout are strong reds, dark blue, black and white. Front decoration has two birds, facing each other, with bands on shoulder and at hip of smaller birds and geometric patterns. Back decoration of central square with one large bird in profile. Strips of swastika and insect motifs. Sleeve has sun, star and swastika motifs. Free-hanging panels decorated with bird motifs; with white chicken feathers set into folded-over squares of shiny black indigo cloth, attached with short strings of Job's Tears seeds.

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  • Ethnic name

  • Date

    • 1950-1990 (circa)
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 100 centimetres (approx including feathers)
    • Width: 145 centimetres (across arms)
  • Curator's comments

    Corrigan's notes:
    "I was told on buying this jacket that is was probably a man's festival costume worn at the Guzhang Fertility Festival. I have seen the same type of costume exhibited at the Minorities Exhibition Centre, Beijing and lablled Miao Shaman's Costume. I have also been told by a local specialist at Taijiang and shown his identical costume which he identified as a Shaman's Costume. But, I think it is a Guzhang Festival Costume, referred to by the Chinese as a Hundred Bird Coat, worn by Miao in the area between Danzhai and south to Sandu and Rongjiang. This should be looked at as belonging with the other Yahui costumes. I think it could also be worn by a woman, not necessarily a man."

    Text from Corrigan 2001: 43: rongjiang/sandu county, qiandongnan prefecture. ‘Hundred-Bird Coat'. Collarless jacket with open sides and sleeves and an attached ‘skirt' of thirteen free-hanging panels. Worn at the Guzang festival held by the Miao at irregular intervals to renew and reinforce spiritual links with their ancestors. Probably worn by both men and women over their normal full costume. The base cloth is undyed hand-woven cotton. It is decorated with applied green sateen and embroidered with floss silk in satin stitch over papercuts in strong colours.

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  • Bibliography

    • Corrigan 2001 pp.42-45 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:
    Selected items from Miao textiles were on display in exhibition 'Miao Costumes from South West China' as part of the BP Exhibition Showcase, which closed 11 Oct 1998.

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1998

  • Acquisition notes

    Bought at Guiyang in October 1992 from Liu Yong, a potter and writer. Original owner and place of manufacture not known.

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    As1998,01.175


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Object reference number: EAS67689

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