Turban - Artifacts
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Turban is composed of two embroidered end-pieces joined in the middle with a length of matching cloth. Hand sewn flatfelled seams. 8" of cross-stitched embroidery on each end-piece. Fabric is blue cotton cloth. Identification, but no photo on page 30 of Pien Fa Hang Collection portfolio. The narrower end is hand-embroidered with 9 rows of symmetrical multi-colored cross-stitched floral shapes which follow the warp and weft of the cloth with a lacy effect. Colors used are white, magenta, burgundy, blue, green, and yellow. Edges have 4 rows of stem-stitch and are stiffened with hand sewn ribbing that follows the longer sides for 5.25" alongside embroidery. Thread is either pearl cotton crotchet thread, embroidery floss, or weaving thread with a sheen. Motifs drawn from the 5 standard Mien patterns. Cloth appears to be traditional home-spun type. No mythical or religious significance can be ascertained from the patterns. Turban forms part of a Mien woman's costume (pants, ankle-length tunic, sash, and turban). Men wear turbans only occasionally at ceremonies. Women's turbans are wrapped differently according to the area. (Lao-Mien criss- cross front and back, Chiang Kham-Mien cover crown of head + wrap many times, others wrap it loosely into a massive headpiece).