VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Headscarf
VME 96.23.141
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This kind of headscarf is common among the Black Thai women. Thai live in Vietnam, but also in Laos, China and, of course, Thailand. The scarf was woven using a traditional loom and traditional techniques. Embroidery is found on the two ends of the cloth, in two big squares, which are divided into six smaller squares. The image used is the “khau cut”, the shape of a fern sprout, commonly used as a design among the Thai. Other motifs are stylised crabs, spiders and waves. Attached to the cloth are knotted cotton strings in various colours; of which the red ones at the corners are called “hu” (ears). The headscarf is worn in such a way that the decorations clearly show on the front at the forehead and at the back. The decorations not only express the traditional aesthetic values, but also the symbolism of the Thai people. The scarves are usually handed down from mother to daughter. For the museum this is a good example of these scarves and it is beautifully made.

History of the Object
Thai women weave and sew their own costumes. Each young girl may have several headscarves. This one has not been used. This kind of headscarf is common among the "Black Thai" women. Thai people live in Vietnam, but also in Laos, China and, of course, Thailand. The scarf was woven using a traditional loom and traditional techniques.

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Type
Costume and Jewelry 
Materials
Cotton 
Measurements
Width 40 cm. Length 175 cm.  
Creator name
The wife of Lo Van Ninh 
Creator date
1970- 
Where it was made
Vietnam; Thai village in the Northeast Valley 
Geography
Vietnam 
Time period
AD 20th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
20th Century; 1994 
Function
It is a part of a costume for a Thai woman. According to Thai tradition every woman has to weave and decorate her own scarf which is evidence of her skills. 
Acquisition
This headscarf was purchased at a Thai village in 1996. It was collected by the museum along with many other objects. At that time the museum organized collection missions with the aim to enrich the collection, especially for the permanent exhibition, which opened in 1997. It introduced the life and culture of 54 ethnic groups who live in Vietnam. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, State property of Vietnam 
Museum
Vietnam Museum of Ethnology 
Credit line
 

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