Visual images are powerful. Images are a way of expressing one's self, an attitude, releasing creativity and ultimately a form of communication.  

 

Communication either with themselves, other beings, groups, a spiritual world......

 


 

S O U T H E A S T    A S I A N   T E X T I L E S  -  by coraux mei

From tribe to tribe, visual images communicate.

In southeast Asian mountainous regions, where it tends to get cold, females from tribal groups create clothing and textiles. They utilise their inherited stitching skills and use the nature resources around them to create material and colour and as inspiration to form images onto their attire.

Girls tend to learn how to hand-sew, weave and decorate from a young age, as it is deemed that if a girl cannot sew, she will not be able to find a husband (no pressure, ladies!).

Symbolic meanings are embroidered or weaved into fabrics to tell stories about their culture, where they live, what is around them, spiritual meanings and what they wish for. Hence, the fabric is often called 'Story Cloth' (Hmong).

 


- always learning + exploring - more symbolic patterns to come -

Below displays a sample of symbolic meanings coraux mei has come across this region's indigenous textiles...


C O I L S - S P I R A L S    -    typically in Hmong cloth

Coil Spiral - Hmong

/ meaning /  

Life Longevity + Snails   The snail is a symbol of family growth and interrelatedness. The centre of the coil represents the ancesters and outer coils show successive generations. A double coil symbolises the union of two families.

Spiritual Chanting   The repetitive motions and spinning in chanting.


T R I A N G L E S    -    typically in Hmong cloth

triangles - hmong

/ meaning /

Mountains   The surrounding nature.

Teeth + Fish Scales + Dragon Scales + Fence + Protective Barrier   To keep the good spirits in and the evil spirits out.