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Myanmar (Burma) bibliography

Listed below are details of a few books (from my own collection) which feature the textiles of Myanmar (Burma). Some books are solely devoted to a particular aspect of culture, including textiles, whilst others include a few pages of information within a wider study.
click for Myanmar country page

also see south Asia bibliography and individual bibliographies for Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan

click bibliographies for more country or region specific bibliographies
"Textiles of the Hill Tribes of Burma" by Michael C. Howard published by White Lotus Press 1999 ISBN 974-8434-84-2. Comprehensive study of the textiles of some 70 tribes with reviews of existing literature and surveys of museum collections with colour and black and white photos.
"Textiles from Burma: Featuring the James Henry Green Collection" Edited by Elizabeth Dell & Sandra Dudley published in 2003 by Philip Wilson Publishers ISBN 1-58886-067-1 Series of papers on the history, production, meaning , collection and continuing impact of textiles from Burma illustrated by the textiles in the James Henry Green Collection in Brighton Museum and from other collections around the world. Very fine colour photos.
"Burma Frontier Photographs 1918 - 1935" edited by Elizabeth Dell based on the James Henry Green photographs published by Merrell Publishers in association with The Green Centre for Non-Western Art, Brighton 2000 ISBN 1-85894-103-2. Essays looking at different aspects of the photograph collection with an album of 250 photos from the 1600 photos taken in the 1920s and 30s.
"The vanishing tribes of Burma" by Richard K Diran published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson 1997 ISBN 0-297-82294-2. Mainly a picture book showing different tribes with some text (questionable in parts), however, excellent photos.
"National Ethnic Groups of Myanmar" by U Min Naing translated by Hpone Thant published by Swift winds Books 2000. Mainly photographs from 1950s to 1980s with some text
"The Palaung in Northern Thailand" by Michael C Howard and Wattana Wattanapun published by Silkworm Books, Chiang Mai 2001 ISBN 974-88325-1-1. As well as information on the Silver Palaung's flight from Burma to Northern Thailand and subsequent settlement in Thailand in a handful of villages north of Chiang Mai this small book draws together information on the Palaung in historical resources and Michael Howard's field research in Burma at Kalaw in Shan State.
"Shans at Home: Burma's Shan States in the Early 1900s" by Leslie Milne published by White Lotus Press in 2001 ISBN 974-7534-26-6 Account of the Shan Stres where Mrs Leslie Milne lived from 1906-07. For most of the times she was the only foreign resident. She studied most aspects of Shan life, particularly family life. Her passion for textiles and natural history led her to record natural dyes and products. 2 chapters on history and literature of the Shan States by Rev Wilbur Willis Cochrane.
"Power Dressing: Lana Shan Siam 19th Century Court Dress" by Susan Conway and published by The James H.W. Thompson Foundation in 2003. ISBN 974-9190-08-4. Catalogue fo the exhibitionof 19th and 20th century court dress, textiles and regalia from the principalities of Lanna, the Shan States and the kingdom of Siam. The exhibition features richly woven and embroidered textiles and high quality regalia, made by skilled artisans. The objects were tokens of tribute and gifts of exchange between royal families.(Minute) text in English and Thai.
"Handwoven Textiles of South-east Asia" by Sylvia Fraser-Lu published by Oxford University Press 1988. ISBN 0-19-588954-1. Covers Thailand, Laos, Kampuchea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines, Indonesia and with some excellent pages on weaving in Burma. (See reference to Intha weaving)
"Peoples of the Golden Triangle, Six Tribes in Thailand" by Paul and Elaine Lewis published by Thames and Hudson 1984 ISBN 0-500-97314-8 Excellent photographs and descriptions of clothing, jewelry and customs of Karen, Akha, Hmong, Mien, Lisu and Lahu which is also relevant for parts of Burma where the Lewises spent part of their ministry. The book which started it all for me.
"The Karen People of Burma: A Study in Anthropology and Ethnology" by Harry Ignatius Marshall published by White Lotus Press 1997 reprinted from 1922 edition ISBN 974-8496-86-4. Classical anthropological monograph written 80 years ago but still a significant ethnographic study.
"The Hmong, A Guide to Traditional Lifestyles" by Robert Cooper published by Times Editions Pte Ltd 1998. ISBN 981-204-803-0. Provides insight into Hmong history, the establishment of house and household, lineage and clan, village life, courtship and marriage customs, economy, music codes, crafts (very little on textiles), belief in the otherworld and communication with it, propitiating the spirits, shamanism and death rituals with accompanying photos and illustrations.
"The Akha: Guardians of the forest" by Jim Goodman published by Teak House, Asia Film House Pty Ltd in 1997. ISBN 1-876437-02-2. Information on the Akha, history, culture in Thailand, Burma, Laos, Vietnam and China. Full of excellent photographs with very many showing textiles being worn.
"Notes from the Field: On the Trail of Khumi, Khami, and Mro Textiles" by Deborah Lindsay Garner and Jay Bommer in The Textile Museum Journal (Washington) 1999-2000 Volumes 38 and 39 ISSN: 0083-7407. Pages 26-41 of informative text and some excellent black & white photos helpful for textile collectors.
"Kalagas: The Wall Hangings of Southeast Asia" by Mary Anne Stanislaw published by Ainslie's CA 1987. ISBN 0-9618445-0-7. The history of, construction information and the stories illustrated in Kalagas.
"Hill Peoples of Northeast India, The Nagas, Society, Culture and the Colonial Encounter" by Julian Jacobs with Alan Macfarlane, Sarah Harrison & Anita Herle first published by Thames and Hudson in 1900. 1998 edition ISBN 0-500-97471-3. The book is one of the products of a five-year research project on the history and anthropology of the Nagas of Northeast India. This vibrant material culture is illustrated by very many photographs of textiles, basketry, jewelry, weapons, metalwork and carvings. These artefacts are examined in historical and anthropological context. Nagas may be found in northeast India and parts of Burma.
"The Seven Sisters of India: Tribal Worlds between Tibet and Burma" by Aglaja Stirn & Peter van Ham published in 2000 by Prestel Verlag ISBN 3-7913-2399-7.  India's remote Northeast comprising 7 states stretching from Tibet in the north to Myanmar in the south including Nagaland, Meghalaya and Assam. Individual chapters focus on different aspects of life, religious belief and ritual including one on weaving. Excellent quality photographs and informative text.
"Mru: Hill People on the Border of Bangladesh" by Claus-Dieter Brauns and Lorenz G. Loffler. English translation published by Birkhauser in 1990 of original 1986 German publication. ISBN 3-8176-1816-3. Superb photos and informative text on the culture of the Mru based on the authors living for several months with the Mru. Includes photos of textiles being worn and made.
"The Mrus: Peaceful Hillfolk of Bangladesh" by Claus-Dieter Brauns in the National Geographic Magazine issue of February 1973, Vol 143, No 1. Mainly pictorial record of the Mru. Taster for the book by Claus Dieter Bruans and Lorenz G. Loffler listed above.
"The Chittagong Hill Tracts: Living in a Borderland" by Willem van Schendel, Wolfgang Mey & Aditya Kumar Dewan published by White Lotus in 2000 ISBN 974-8434-98-2 Examines the borderland between the three countries - Burma, India & Bangladesh - inhabited by 12 distinct ethnic groups with strong cultural and linguistic links with Southeast Asia. Black and white old photographs and colour recent showing area and people and including some costume.
"The Hidden World of the Naga: Living Traditions in Northeast India and Burma" by Aglaja Stirn & Peter van Ham published in 2003 by Prestel Verlag ISBN 3-7913-2878-6 First comprehensive examination of the tribal groups that for centuries have lived in relative isolation in the hills and mountains of Northeast India and Northwest Myanmar. Stunning new photos the book is 'a celebration of the Naga cultural realm covering aspects ranging from art and architecture to traditional customs, crafts and everyday life. Includes a chapter on weaving. Full of photos showing costume.
"Textiles and the Tai Experience in Southeast Asia" by Mattiebelle Gittinger, H Leedom Lefferts Jr published by The Textile Museum, Washington 1992. ISBN 0-87405-030-8. Catalogue from 1992 exhibition at the museum. Mainly black and white photos but 23 colour plates. Detailed chapters from the authors on Tai texile forms, contexts and meanings, textiles in the service of Buddhism, in the service of Kings and in the service of self. Main focus on the Tai as majority populations in Thailand and Laos but also references to the 'strategically situated minorities' in Vietnam and Myanmar and the small minorities in China, India and Cambodia.
"Textiles of Southeast Asia: Tradition, Trade and Transformation" by Robyn Maxwell published by Periplus Editions (HK) Ltd in 2003. ISBN 0-7946-0104-9. This is a reprinted edition of the book below with new colour plates, a corrected text, and a new foreword by Mattiebelle Gittinger. There is no doubt that the switch to colour of the majority of the plates makes a huge difference to this excellent major reference work.
"Textiles of Southeast Asia: Tradition, Trade and Transformation" by Robyn Maxwell published by Oxford University Press, Australian National Gallery in 1990 and reprinted in 1994 ISBN 967-65-3060 3. Major reference work on the textiles of Southeast Asia. Central focus is the interplay between indigenous Southeast Asian traditions and the external cultural forces that have had a crucial part of the historical development and changing nature of the region's textile traditions. Needs careful (but rewarding) study as textiles from particular groups or areas appear throughout the volume illustrating different themes.
"Textiles of Southeast Asia: An Annotated & Illustrated Bibliography" by Michael C. Howard published by White Lotus Press1994. ISBN 974-8496-13-9 In depth compilation of the literature in the field. Small number of colour plates of textiles including a few from Laos. Almost 50 pages of detailed references to literature on textiles in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.
"The Art of Asian Costume" published by University of Hawaii Art Gallery University of Hawaii in 1989. Exhibition with apparel from 20 Asian countries from the Asian Costume Collection of the Department of Human Resources at the University of Hawaii.

also see south Asia bibliography and individual bibliographies for Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan

click bibliographies for more country or region specific bibliographies
click for Myanmar country page
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this page last updated 3 February, 2005