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Collection

An image of 'Phaa tuum' ( baby carrier) or Phaa ob ( wrapping cloth) by
Alternate image of 'Phaa tuum' ( baby carrier) or Phaa ob ( wrapping cloth) by

Laos

Title
'Phaa tuum' ( baby carrier) or Phaa ob ( wrapping cloth)
Other titles:
Elephant's headcloth
Place of origin
Laos
Cultural origin
Tai Lue people
Year
circa 1920
Media category
Textile
Materials used
cotton and natural dyes; supplementary weft weave
Dimensions

54.0 x 147.0 cm (irreg.)

Credit
Gift of Nomadic Rug Traders 2003
Accession number
219.2003
Location
Not on display
Further information

Many of these cloths are identified as elephant head cloths, but they are actually cloths used for wrapping and carrying babies among the Tai. This textile is made of hand-woven cotton with continuous supplementary weft threads forming the decorative patterning. The motifs include the 'saang hong' (mythical elephant-bird), the double-headed 'naga' (mythical serpent), roof-lines topped with 'nagas', mountain forms, and geometric shapes. One end has patterning that looks like a fringe ('soi saa'), a feature that is also found on textiles from Thailand and Cambodia.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, December 2011

Bibliography (1)

Susan Scollay., Hali, 'The Art of Half the World', pg. 110-111, Mar 2004-Apr 2004, 110, 111 (colour illus.). no.5 (this has been incorrectly identified and should be no.6)