Posted by R. John Howe on 02-06-2006 09:15 PM:

Something Similar and Relatively Nearby?

Mr. Davison -

This is a very nice introductory essay.

Such a subject is so specialized that it may be difficult for nearly everyone here to say anything useful.

My first thought as I read was in the form of a question. We are pretty ignorant about the geography of Southeast Asia and likely nearly totally so about how ethnic and tribal groups are distributed over it.

But the question in my mind was how close this area is to Burma (Myanmar) and the area where the Chin peoples live? It seems to me from your maps that the Chin live mostly in northern Myanmar on the west side where it touches India. It appears that your Mae Chaem textiles are woven on the east side of Thailand at about its center.

I wonder about this because David W. Fraser, formerly the president of the TM board (I think also previously perhaps the president of a college, maybe Haverford) who has written the only real book on weft twining, has also written another on "mantles" woven by the Chin tribal folks.

So while this may be a real "apples and oranges" association, this is another sort of Southeast Asia textile being studied seriously at its seeming source to the south and east.

The ABE link to the Fraser book about the Chin mantles is:

Thank you for your nice look at this distinctive textile.


R. John Howe