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Collection

Sam Nuea, Laos

Title
'Phaa hom lai' (sleeping blanket) with six lozenge shapes and figures
Place of origin
Sam NueaLaos
Cultural origin
Tai Nuea people
Year
20th century
Media category
Textile
Materials used
cotton, natural indigo dye; continuous supplementary weft weaving
Dimensions

171.5 x 87.5 cm (irreg.)

Credit
Gift of John Yu, in memory of George Soutter 2012. Donated through the Australian Government Cultural Gifts Program.
Accession number
74.2012
Location
Not on display
Further information

The Tai Neua are a sub-group of the Tai language family. The Tai live in a broad region stretching from Eastern India to Southwestern China and Northern Vietnam. Before the easy availability of printed cotton, Lao-Tai women produced all the textiles for the home, including mattresses, pillows, clothing, and decorative pieces. The blankets are made of at least two pieces of fabric separately woven on a backstrap loom (instead of using a wooden frame, the loom is held taut by a strap that passes around the weaver’s back). Blankets are necessary as the nights can be cold in the highlands of Laos.

Sleeping blankets consist of two or three pieces of cloth joined together and framed and backed by a piece of plain fabric, as can be seen in this textile. The warps and wefts are white, and the decorative motifs are composed of indigo-dyed supplementary weft yarns.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, February 2012.