More Information About Chin Peoples & Chin Weaves

The SabaiDesigns Gallery website in Chiang Mai, Thailand contains a page that discusses the tradition of Chin weave and its value to collectors today. (Note that Neat Asian Things is in no way affiliated with Sabai Designs Gallery).  Here's a quote from that most informative page:

"Textile weaving is an old tradition in Chin villages and their textiles, of which production is very limited, are much sought after by textile collectors today. Chin women are justifiably proud of their weaving tradition. Normally a woman dedicates herself to a piece until its completion, working steadily through the daylight hours in the shade of the bamboo house. The backstrap method of weaving using traditional yakan looms is similar to that used by the Naga. Only natural dyes are used by taking extracts from local plants such as the Burmese lacquer tree, wild almonds, mahogany and indigo. Chin textiles are mostly made with hand spun cotton thread and a popular motif is the diamond shape. Chin textiles echo an ancient tradition and are made to a very high standard."

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A book entitled "Mantles of Merit - Chin Textiles from Myanmar, India and Bangadesh" is the product of many years of research on the history, culture and textiles of the Chin, a heterogeneous group of people, hitherto inadequately studied. Their rich textile culture emphasizes grand blankets and intricate tunics, made of homespun cotton, flax, hemp and silk, dyed with indigo and lac, and woven on a back-tension loom. In considering Chin textiles as art and cultural objects, the authors describe both their beauty and technical virtuosity and their integral role in the Chin effort to achieve merit in this life and the next. The inter-relationships between the complex subdivisions on the Chin and their neighbours are also discussed.

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