Name: Pregnant Saang Hong & Naga in Blue
An unusual pattern combination and color for the region, this stunning handwoven silk textile integrates Saang Hong (mythological elephant-birds) and Naga (mythological river serpents) for a striking three column look. The Saang Hong are pregnant with rainbow stripes representing Hong birds (mythological birds who's belly is the rainbow) and have an ancestor spirit in a temple on their backs (some say these are elephants with their trainers on their backs in a howdah also, depending on their cultural interpretation). The consistent fertility references are common, and can be referring not just to human fertility, but the fertility of the land. Naga live in rivers, and rivers irrigate the rice fields, which, in turn, create fertile fields. Curled-tailed naga make up the top and bottom borders, and the textile is finished with silk worm cocoons cut to resemble flowers. The natural dye colors are recognizable as being made by Souk, a master dyer with a touch for color unduplicable by others. (Sorry, no photo of Souk holding the cloth is available .)
Size: 31 in. x 80 in.
Origins: Houaphan Province, Laos