Saturday, August 8, 2009

Clothing & Ornamentation of Lisu (1)

Nowhere is the determination to be 'number one' more evident than in Lisu Clothing. The colored strips on the yokes and sleeves of the young women's tunics; the multiplication of strands in the long tassels that hang from their sashes; and the massive amounts of silver with which they adorn themselves are vivid symbols of their consuming desire to outdo one another.

Lisu style of dress, particularly for women, has changed dramatically through the generations. Originally they made their clothing of hand-woven hemp cloth, and indeed Lisu women in the northern tip of Burma and probably many in China still wear heavily-pleated skirts of that material. Various styles of Lisu clothing are to be found in Burma, all differing from that worn in Thailand

The Thai Lisu woman's out fit is from machine-made cotton or synthetic material. A blur or green tunic, split up the sides to the waist, is knee-length in front, and hangs to mid-calf in back. It crosses over the chest, and fastens under the right arm. The piece across the chest is often made of a different color from the rest. For instance, if the tunic is basically royal blue, that part might be done in green or light blue.

The yoke of the tunic is made of black cloth cut in a circle. To this bands of cloth in many bright colors are stitched, a pattern repeated in the upper sleeves. The lower sleeves are always red. Older women use wider bands and not so many of them, but the young women vie with each other to see which one can sew the most narrow strips onto her yoke and sleeve.

Women wear knee-length black Chinese-style pants and red leggings trimmed with blue cloth, embroidered with other colors. A wide black sash about six meters long is wound tightly around the waist over the tunic. Looped over the sash in the black is a spectacular pair of tassels, made of tightly rolled multi-colored strips of cloth about 50cm in length, sewn with hundreds of delicate stitches in a contrasting color. At the ends of these rolls of cloth are small pompons of multi-colored wool yarn. Formerly there were only 25 to 30 strands per side, but the competitive young women have added more and more; today it is common to find clusters of 100 or even as many as 250 per side, totaling 500 strands in a pair of tassels.

0 ความคิดเห็น:

Post a Comment