VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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The clothing of Lisu women
H0207975 to H0208991
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Chosen and explained by Hiroko YOKOYAMA "The Carol Echoing Between the Mountains". The Nu people live in the location where the majority is the Lisu people. Although the Nu have their own language, their carols are sung in the Lisu language because the hymnbooks are published in Lisu. The Nu women also wear Lisu clothes for the special occasions. The beautiful Lisu accessories were once made of small red and white coral balls linked together. Now they are made of artificial beads. The coral could be extracted even in an up-country area, from a layer which was once the seabed. However it seems very possible that these corals came from the seashore. The white disk-shaped accessories are also made from big seashells. From where and how those materials from the ocean traveled to the upper Salween area? We can find the footprints of the exchanges of various peoples and goods throughout the world.

History of the Object
In the autumn of 1997, I visited a village of the Nu people in an upland area nestled between 3,000-meter high mountains and the swift, muddy stream of the Salween River. There was a church on a hill and I waited for the villagers to come for the service. Their beautiful mixed chorus carols in four parts were something that I had never heard and moved me deeply. Beginning in the 20th century, Euro-American missionaries preached the gospel in this area, which is not easy to access even nowadays. That fascinating harmony was built on the base of the Nu traditional singing.

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Type
Costume and Jewelry 
Materials
cotton, silk and etc. 
Measurements
Height size of a human  
Creator name
Lisu 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Nujiang, Lisu Autonomous Prefecture, China. 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 20th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
20th Century; from 1950s to 1990s 
Function
clothing 
Acquisition
Collected in 1997 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
National Museum of Ethnology, Japan (Minpaku) 
Museum
National Museum of Ethnology 
Credit line
 

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