Man's festival robe - ROM2004_1262_13


Man's festival robe

Maker: Miao culture
Medium:Wax-resist dyed cotton tabby
Geography: Guizhou, China
Date: 1900-1950
144 x 140 cm
Object number: 2004.28.1
Credit Line: This purchase was made possible by the Textile Endowment Fund
Not on view

This loose-fitting men's festival robe has a collorless neck opening, side closing, wide sleeves, and side vents. Motifs depicted here include human figures, mythical beasts, birds, insects and geometric shapes. Each part is cut seperately, general outlines are then sketched on the cloth and the parts are subsequently sewn together after the patterns have been made on them by wax-resist dyeing.

The dragon, the most powerful mythic beast in Asia, has decorated the garments worn by emperors and the imperial court since the 10th century. Dragons were also important symbols for many of China’s minorities. The coiled female centipede dragon with two young decorates this Miao ethnic group coat. The row of figures below the dragons on this Miao man’s festive robe may be enacting the ceremonies honoring the drum held every 13 years in Miao communities.

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