Traditional Costumes of Southeast Asia

A Selective Bibliography

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The Yao: The Mien and Mun Yao in China Vietnam Laos and Thailand.

The Yao: The Mien and Mun Yao in China Vietnam Laos and Thailand. Jes G Pourrett. Thames and Hudson. 2002. The dress traditions of the Yao people are showcased in this beautifully illustrated volume, with photographs, both historical and contemporary, of textiles being worn, as a well as individual museum pieces. Includes a detailed text, focusing mainly on traditions of textiles and jewellery

Sinaunang Habi: Philippine Ancestral Weave

Sinaunang Habi: Philippine Ancestral Weave. The Nikki Coseteng Filipiniana series. Marian Pastor-Roces. Manila. 1991. A comprehensive study of the textile arts of tribal groups in the Philippines, with innumerable photographs of the textiles themselves. Includes a central section showing tribal people in traditional dress posed in a studio environment. The extensive text describes in detail the symbolism that lies behind this "Philippine ancestral weave"

Peoples of Myth: Textiles and Crafts of the Golden Triangle. Peoples of Myth: Textiles and Crafts of the Golden Triangle.

Peoples of Myth: Textiles and Crafts of the Golden Triangle. Takako Kanomi. Shikosha. 1991. A photographic book that covers the main tribes of Thailland's Golden Triangle, the Lisu, Akha, Miao, Karen and others, in vivid detail. All the photographs show traditional dress being worn, and all in all this is an outstanding and lavish introduction to these colourful peoples. (Includes a detailed text in English and Japanese)

The Vanishing Tribes of Burma.

The Vanishing Tribes of Burma.Richard K Diran. Weidenfeld and Nicolson. London.1997. A photographic account of some of the many tribes of the hills and forests of Burma. As far as I am aware, the first of its kind in modern times. Including such peoples as the Bre, Lahta, Chin and others almost unknown in the west, the book is predominantly visual and the text a basic overview of each group. The photographs are exclusively of traditional dress and it would be interesting to know to what extent this is still worn on a daily basis in these remote areas.

The Akha

The Akha: Guardians of the Forest.People and Cultures of Southeast Asia. Jim Goodman. Teakhouse. 1997. In the same series as "Children of the Jade Dragon"(see China list), this volume is the first of its kind I have seen which visually covers the Akha people across their entire range: - China, Vietnam, Laos and Burma as well as Thailand. Illustrated with many photographs in colour of daily life, textile arts and traditional ornaments.

From the Hands of the Hills.From the Hands of the Hills.Margaret Campbell. Media Transasia. Hongkong. 1978. A finely illustrated volume on the material culture of the Golden Triangle of Thailand with an informative text. Concentrates in detail on the textiles, silver and clothing traditions of the Lisu, Akha, Lawa, Karen and others.
Burma: frontier Photographs 1918-1935.

Burma: frontier Photographs 1918-1935.The James Henry Green Collection. John Falconer, David Odo, Mandy Sadan. The Green Centre for nonwestern art. Brighton. Merrell. This publication, a much welcome contribution to material on ethnic minorities in Burma, is a photographic record of the various expeditions that James Henry Green made to the highlands of Burma in the first half of the twentieth century. The historical photographs are mostly of tribal peoples and include rare images of the Kachin, Nung, Lashi and Lisu in the north of the county together with photographs of the Karen and Chin groups. A series of essays look at the various issues raised by the collection.

The Hill Tribes of Siam.

The Hill Tribes of Siam. Boon Chuey Srisavasdi, Odeon. Bangkok 1963 A collection of over 560 black and white photographs of the hill tribes of Thailand, featuring groups such as the Akha, Lisu, Lahu and others, together with coverage of little known peoples such as the Lawa, Kha and Sakai. Valuable in showing the costumes and traditions of tribal Thailand as they existed in the mid-twentieth century.

Masferre: People of the Philippine Cordillera.

Masferre: People of the Philippine Cordillera - Photographs 1934-1956. Jill G De Villa, Maria T Farr, Gladys M Jones, Devcon IP inc. 1998. An album of black and white photographs taken by the photographer Eduardo Masferre, of the indigenous peoples of northern Luzon and their environment. The tribes of this region include the Bontok, Gaddang, Ifugao, Kankana'ey and Kalinga, and their old way of dressing, ceremonies and villages together with a selection of fine portraits are presented here. An atmospheric account of life as it was among these people in the mid twentieth century and before.

Bernatzik - Southeast Asia

Bernatzik - Southeast Asia. Ian C Glover et al. Imago Mundi vi. 5 Continents Editions. Milan 2003. In the 1930s Austrian photographer, Hugo Adolf Bernatzik travelled to Southeast Asia where he studied and photographed a variety of remote tribal peoples, some of them for the first time. The groups he visited included the Moken sea nomads of Burma and a number of highland tribes in Vietnam together with the Akha, Miao, Balinese and others. He was the first westerner to contact a group of Mlabri, forest people of obscure origin who were known locally as the "Phi Tong Luang" or "Spirits of the Yellow Leaves". His black and white photographs are sensitive, atmospheric and at times highly romantic. A series of essays places the photographs in the context of their time and examines the often complex relationships between the peoples he documented.

Vietnam: image of the community of 54 ethnic groups

Vietnam: Image of the Community of 54 Ethnic Groups.Vietnam News Agency. The Ethnic Cultures Publishing House. Hanoi. 2000 ed. This volume is a photographic account of Vietnam's main ethnic groups, each one being introduced by a brief text focusing on the general cultural characteristics of the group in question, together with a selection of images. An interesting pictorial survey of peoples still little known in the west. (Vietnamese and English text)

Men of Dignity

Men of Dignity: The Montagnards of South Vietnam. Paul L Seitz Cambridge.1975? This moving book surveys the changing fortunes of the hill tribes of South Vietnam just before and during the Vietnam war period. The "Montagnards" as they were known, among whom Paul Seitz worked as a missionary, comprise a variety of peoples whose material culture is still comparatively little known. Of particular interest to this bibliography are the rare back and white photographs illustrating the first section of the book which show traditional dress, ornaments and ceremonies as they once were. Unfortunately this photographic material is not fully documented, thus making accurate identification of tribes and dating of costume traditions difficult. However an indispensable volume, as well illustrated publications on these tribes appear to be few and far between.

An Introduction to the Traditional Costumes of Sabah

An Introduction to the Traditional Costumes of Sabah. Rita Lasimbang, Stella Moo-Tan. Department of Sabah Museum. Kota Kinabalu. 1997. This small book documents the costumes and adornment worn by seven of Sabah's indigenous peoples. These constitute the Bajau, Dusun Tindal, Lotud, Papar Kadazan, Murut and Rungus, groups known for their fine textiles and copious amount of beadwork. The latter is often incorporated into the textiles themselves or takes the form of waist ornaments, sashes and a variety of necklaces. Metal jewellery in the form of spiral necklaces and ankle ornaments which are rarely worn today is also documented here. The book is divided into sections devoted to each tribe whose clothing traditions are then examined in detail. The illustrations include both photographs of ceremonial costume as worn and annotated line drawings showing clearly how each costume (both dress and accessories ) is assembled. An essential and rare volume on this costume tradition.

Hornbill and Dragon

Hornbill and Dragon: Kalimantan, Sarawak, Sabah, Brunei.Bernard Sellato. Elf Aquitaine Indonesie/Elf Aquitaine Malaysia. 1989. This book covers the material culture of tribal peoples inhabiting the island of Borneo. Textiles, woodcarving, architecture, basketry and ceremonial dress are all shown in fine colour photographs together with a small number of historical black and white plates. Particularly valuable in providing coverage of the entire island irrespective of political boundaries. Includes a useful map showing major tribal groupings, as well as individual tribes, many of them quite obscure to the non specialist. A fine introduction to the artistic achievements of Borneo's indigenous inhabitants.

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