Name: Tai Daeng Naga Baby Blanket
This is a Tai Daeng (Red Tai) blanket for wrapping around children being carried to keep them warm. The blanket is 50+ years old. 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 is natural colored. The bottom section includes a row of two-headed saang hong (mythological elephant birds) and a row of hong birds (mythological birds whose bellies are the rainbow. The motifs in the main body of the textile are naga (mythological river serpents) and phii nyak (mythological giant spirits that live in the forest and are a danger to children wandering alone, but, when woven into a textile, become protective spirits. All of these motifs provide spiritual protection for the child wrapped within the textile for warmth. The textile has been over-dyed in a purplish hue, creating a soft, deep coloration all over. The photo taken outside shows more of the overdye but is a touch redder than in real life.
Size: 35.5" x 88"
Origins: Houaphanh Province, Laos