Friday, February 1, 2013
Originally from Mongolia, the Hmong came to Thailand, Vietnam and Lao via China to seek a better life and warmer temperatures for their people. Traditional dress is a black top with pants, with women sometimes wearing a knee length skirt over the pants. An additional panel of fabric is often worn by the women like an apron, hanging from the waist down. This panel, in addition to the skirt and front of the skirt is highly decorated with lace embroidered edging in addition to silver embellishments such as bangles, ear rings and cuffs. Craft wise the Hmong are known for their batik fabric work. This is generally intricately patterned, but restricted to a simple colour palette eg dark blue and white. We talked to a young women about the work her Mum makes. She showed us her waxing station and tried to explain the process to me. Luckily I knew enough to explain the process to Frank, and to recognise the value of the originality of the pieces she had available for sale. We bought one large cloth from Mum, large enough to cover my table, or as a throw over on the bed. It is simple in design, but quite beautiful.