Mantle Cloth (Cawng Nak)
The Chin people are a tribal group living in Burma, Thailand, and Northern India. Until Christian missionaries introduced a writing system in the late 1800s-early 1900s, most of their culture was passed down orally from one generation to the next. Chin men traditionally wear only loincloths, but those higher in status would wear mantle cloths, such as this one, wrapped around their body.
Weaving is a very old tradition and production is limited, making their work sought after by collectors. They are created using a backstrap loom, and dyed using only natural dyes from local plants such as the Burmese lacquer tree, wild almonds, mahogany, and indigo. This piece is made of hand spun cotton, and is woven together in stripes of red, green, indigo, and a small stripe of yellow. The black and green stripes are decorated by the very popular Chin design of diamonds.
Circa: Late 19th c
Dimensions: 90" x 53"
Inventory number: TX5136