Fine Akha Hand Embroidered Blouse, Northern Thailand. #424
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424. Made with hand woven and dyed cloth, hand embroidered in detail and adorned with Jobes tear beads. Collected from the Akha in hills around Chiang Mai, Thailand over 50 years ago. Good condition considering its age.
Villages of these colorful people are to be found in the mountains of China, Laos Myanmar (Burma) and northern Thailand. There are approximately 20,000 Akha living in Thailand’s Northern provinces of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai at high altitudes.
This tribe originated in Tibet. Every Akha village is distinguished by their carved wooden gates, presided over by guardian spirits. They life in raised houses on low stilts, with a large porch leading into a square living area with a stove at the back. The roof is steeply pitched.
They live on marginal land and find it difficult to eke out a living through their slash and burn method of agriculture. In order to supplement their income, many Akha are now selling handicrafts, employing the traditional skills used in making their own clothing and cultural items.
Akha women spin cotton into thread with a hand spindle, then leave it on a foot-treadle loom. The cloth is dyed with indigo, then sewed into clothing for the family. The women wear broad leggings, a short black skirt with a white beaded sporran, a loose fitting black jacket with heavily
embroidered cuffs and lapels. The black caps are covered with silver coins. Akha men and women produce various decorative items of bamboo and seeds.
The men make crossbows, musical instruments, a variety of baskets, and other items of wood, bamboo and rattan.
The Akha are deeply superstitious, their religion prescribing exactly how each action should be performed. This tribe is the poorest of the hill tribes, but well known for their extraordinary costumes and exotic appearance. (Source: Thailand online)
I have had a passion for collecting all things beautiful and unique my entire life and would like to share these items with others having a similar interest. I have representative items from the American South West, Asia, Central and South America, East Africa and Nagaland in North Eastern India. I strive to offer the best items that I have collected or can find for sale from numerous sources to the discriminating collector of unique cultural items from each of these areas of the world. My primary interest is in pottery, textiles, bronze sculptures, and extraordinary pieces of adornment. All sales are via the internet only. Products from my shop here on Artizan Made link over to my shop on Etsy.