Name: Phii Nyak Blanket
This is a Tai Daeng (Red Tai) blanket for wrapping around children being carried to keep them warm. The blanket is 30+ years old and was woven in a small Tai Daeng village in Houaphan Province, Laos. The warp and ground weft are village-raised, hand reeled silk, and the weft is village raised, handspun, indigo dyed cotton. The fascinating thing about these paa phimon textiles is that they are "zone dyed" in the bottom red section of the textile. That means the bottom warp section was dyed separately from the remainder of the warp in order to be only red (dyed with lac) in the bottom section, allowing the bottom section to be fully red in both the warp and weft sections while the remainder of the textile warp is natural colored. The bottom section includes naga (mythological river serpents) boat with candelabra and ancestor spirits (khon buhan) in temples with candelabra in the boat. There are also rows of script hooks surrounding the row of siho (mythological elephant lions) with spirit trees on their backs. The body of the textile is filled with a maze of naga and phii nyak (mythological giant spirits that live in the forest and are a danger to children, but on the textile become protective spirits). All of these motifs provide spiritual protection for the child wrapped within the textile for warmth.
Size: 28.5" x 73"
Origins: Houaphanh Province, Laos