Name: Tai Daeng Woman Shaman's Headscarf
This is a handspun cotton and hand-reeled silk, naturally dyed, 80 year old, Tai Daeng Woman Shaman's headscarf that has seen many ceremonies. The condition of the fabric is excellent, with the wear showing with a slight fuzzing of the discontinuous supplementary weft design silk designs on the red ground dyed with lac. The designs are of a siho (mythological elephant lion or elephant bird, depending on the village where it was made) who's trunk becomes a naga (mythological river serpent), with baby siho. The center section is composed of intertwining phii nak (fierce mythological giant spirits related to naga), and the bottom is composed of "mom" (mythological horse-deer) with naga on their backs. Surrounding all are stripes of flowers and water symbols, and the rainbow stripes represent the hong bird (a mythological bird whose belly is the rainbow). The scarf would be worn folded in four lengthwise, then wrapped around the head with the indigo cotton section on against the head and the red silk section showing. The strips of fabric on the end are handspun cotton fabric, cut into tassles, and sewn on in the traditional manner. There are no holes or other damage to this textile with only dye bleed from use and washing affecting the appearance. The length includes the tassels, and the width of the cotton section is narrower than the silk area. Not many of these pieces remain available.
Size: 24.5 in. x 68 in.
Origins: Houaphan Province, Laos