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Thailand bibliography

Listed below are details of a few books (from my own collection) which feature the textiles of Thailand especially of the different ethnic groups who live there. 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.
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"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.
"Hill Tribe Textiles" by Munintorn Tiyayon, Mongkhol Chantrabumroung, Sarapee Sila published in 2000 by the Tribal Research Institute, Department of Public Welfare, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare of Thailand. Based on data and statistics of 9 tribes living in 20 provinces, 3,527 villages, 1333,070 households with a population of 751,886 people. The book features the textiles of 6 highland ethnic groups. Text and photos includes quite detailed information on techniques.
"A Golden Souvenier of Hilltribes of Thailand" by Michael Freeman published by Asia Books in 1992 and reprinted in 2000 ISBN 962-7987-09-2 Photos and text in this relatively slim volume abut the culture of the Akha, Hmong, Karen, Lahu and Lisu tribes in Thailand.
"The Hill Tribes of Northern Thailand" by John R Davies assisted by Tommy Wu published by Footloose Books in 1990 ISBN 0-9516496-0-4. Explains how the hill tribes live, their expectations and the pressing problems faced by them today and in the years ahead.
"Lao-Tai Textiles: The Textiles of Xam Nuea and Muang Phuan" by Patricia Cheesman and published by Studio Naenna Co in 2004 ISBN 974-272-915-8. Based nearly 30 years of exposure to Lao-tai textiles and in-depth research of the Tai-Kadai language group. In depth discussion of the textiles (from China, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam) against their historical and cultural background, with information on techniques and design motifs and with meticulously labeled illustrations. An excellent reference work for collectors.
"Tai Groups of Thailand: Volume 1 Introduction and Overview" by Joachim Schliesinger published by White Lotus Press in 2001 ISBN 974-7534-47-9 Describes early events of Southeas Asia and today's territory of Thailand before the coming of the Tai, presents history after their arrival, origins and development of ethnic Tai people.
"Tai Groups of Thailand: Volume 2 Profile of Existing Groups" by Joachim Schliesinger published by White Lotus Press in 2001 ISBN 974-7534-48-7 Sketches each of the 30 Tai-speaking groups residing in Thailand. Groups are presented with their domestic history, costumes, crafts, design of houses and villages, activiities in agriculture, economy, society and religion of each group.
"Around Lan-na: A Guide to Thailand's Northern Border Region from Chiang Mai to Nan" by Christian Goodden published by Jungle Books in 1999 ISBN 0-9527383-1-7 Narrative and cultural guide describing an arc around Thailand's north-western and north-eastern borders with Burma and Laos.
"The Yao: The Mien and Mun Yao in China, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand" by Jess G. Pourret published by River Books Co., Ltd, distributed outside Thailand and USA by Thames & Hudson 2002. ISBN 974-8225-52-6. Full of excellent photographs and a textile collectors' dream when it comes to identification showing very many textile examples both by themselves and being worn. Colour photos from the end of the twentieth century with black and white photos from the 1920s, 1940s and 1950s - unfortunately I have yet to find to background of the earlier (very excellent) photos. The material is not grouped by country but by topic illustrating similarities regardless of geography.
"Lao Mien Embroidery, Migration and Change" by Ann Yarwood Goldman, published by White Lotus Press 1995. ISBN 974-8496-41-4. A study of the Lao Mien from North-western Laos forced out of their villages to refugee camps in Laos and Thailand and then many resettled in the 1980s in the USA, Canada and France. This book looks particular at their embroidery and how it has changed as well as much being imported overseas from relatives in Thailand, Laos and China.
"Creative Pa Ndau: A New Approach to an Ancient Art Form" by Carla J. Hassel Wallace published by Homeslead in 1984 ISBN 0-87069-390-5. Features Pa ndau reverse-applique technique of the Hmong with step-by-step instructions with many diagrams and photos.
"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.
"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 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.

"Tribal Voices: The Art of Hilltribe Life" published by Thai Airways International in in 'Sawasdee' Volume 27 Number 3 March 1998.

"Thai Textiles" by Susan Conway published by British Museum Press in 1992 ISBN 0-7141-2506-7. Descriptions of textiles in Thailand. No attempt to identify any tribal groups even where photos show textiles being worn by clearly identifiable groups.
Ban-Rai Pai Ngarm
"Handwoven Thaisilk:Indigenous Handiwork" by Siri Pasook published by Odeon Store Printers, Bangkok 2002 ISBN 974-277-639-3. Full of photos of various types and styles of Thai weaving. Most text in Thai but some limited Engish text.
"Chok designs from the Mae Chaem District of Chiang Mai Province" by Nussara Tiengget published by Noppra Printing Co 2002. ISBN 974-85438-5-4 Full of excellent colour photos of chok designs from hem pieces with close-up details all from the Mae Chaem district. All text in Thai.
"Silk Brocade Weaving in northeastern Thailand" article by Barry Norman in Arts of Asia Vol 34 No 4 Jul/Aug 2004
"Thai Textiles of Isan Design" by Songpandh Wanmas published in 1991. ISBN 974-276-794-7 Text all in Thai. Black and white photos and drawings of the weaving process plus colour photos of details of woven designs. One section on continuous supplementary weft designs and one of mat mee designs.
"Buddhist Textiles of Laos, Lan Na and the Isan: The Iconography of Design Elements" by Fredrick W Bunce published by D.K. Printworld (P) Ltd. in 2004 ISBN 81-246-0250-6 All diagrams and photos in black and white. The text suffers from poor proof reading.
"Thailand: Weaving & the rice cycle" by Susan Conway published in 1990 ISBN 0-9515812-0-1
"Silken Threads Lacquer Thrones: Lan Na Court Textiles" by Susan Conway published by River Books Co., Ltd, distributed outside Thailand and USA by Thames & Hudson 2002. ISBN 974-8225-65-8 A serious study of the topic and at the same time a 'coffee table' volume. The focus as the title suggests is on the court textiles. Some of the photos included in the two Patricia Cheesman catalogues.
"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.
"Lao Na Textiles: Yuan Lue Lao" by Songsak Prangwatthanakun and Patricia Cheesman published by Center for the Promotion of Arts & Culture, Chiang Mai University. Catalogue to accompany an exhibition at Chiang Mai University in 1987. Excellent colour photographs of Tai textiles of Lan Na (8 provinces of upper northern Thailand and out to Sipsong Pan Na (China) and Laos. Discusses textile history, techniques, dyes and clothing. My first book on Lao textiles when I had just collected my first Lao Na textiles - two old pha biang - in 1988.
"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
"Handwoven Textiles of South-east Asia" by Sylvia Fraser-Lu published by Oxford University Press 1988. ISBN 0-19-588954-1. Covers weaving in Burma, Thailand, Laos, Kampuchea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines, Indonesia.
"Woven Cargoes: Indian Textiles in the East" by John Guy published by Thames and Hudson in 1998 ISBN 0-500-01863-4 Fascinating volume on the trade in Indian textiles to Southeast and East Asia with excellent black & white and colour photos.
click bibliographies for more country or region specific bibliographies
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this page last updated 3 February, 2005