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tribaltextiles.info • View topic - Ge Jia baby hats

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 Post subject: Ge Jia baby hats
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 8:24 am 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:12 am
Posts: 143
Location: Bristol, England
Here are three Ge Jia baby hats that I just brought back from Guizhou. They are particularly interesting (I think) because I have the full story on them. In a village near Chongan, I met this 71 year old woman who, after a lot of searching, eventually dug out these three small hats specifically made by her mother for newly born babies. The first two are little boys hats, one for the winter (slightly padded) the other for the summer. Following tradition, they were made by the old lady’s mother before she got married in preparation for her first child, which turned out to be twins and who quickly succumbed to the hardships of daily life and poor nourishment. The old lady was the next child, (since her mother waited many years before getting pregnant again, she was given the Ge Jia name that roughly translates as “wishing for a child”). The old lady’s mother was born in 1909 and died in 1994 at the age of 86. That makes these hats 75-80 years old! (I am sorry to say that this dealer "friend" has turned out to be very unreliable with her information, so these dates could mean anything. It's a nice story though)

The third hat was made for the old lady’s first child, also by her mother. The child was born in 1959, making the hat 46+ years old. Although the child was a boy, this hat is actually designed for a girl. On the front of the hat are 4 small dog bones used to ward off evil spirits and to keep the child healthy. Also, there is a small ball of the baby’s first hair sewn onto the side.

The fourth hat was made by a Ge Jia dealer “friend” in 2000/2001 for the birth of my daughter!

Are you still following the Forum Monique?


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File comment: Ge Jia baby hat 1.1
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File comment: Ge Jia baby hat 1.2
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File comment: Ge Jia baby hat 2.1
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File comment: Ge Jia baby hat 2.2
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File comment: ge Jia baby hat 3.1
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Last edited by Andrew Dudley on Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 8:28 am 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:12 am
Posts: 143
Location: Bristol, England
Follow on photos


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File comment: Ge Jia baby hat 4.1
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File comment: Ge Jia baby hat 4.2
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 12:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: Canterbury, UK
Andrew

What a truly excellent post - full of information plus the charm that babies hat's so often have.

It has promted me to search for a GeJia baby's hat in my collection. It was also a gift to me - from John Gillow when I bought quite a few nice GeJia pieces from him at one of his exhibitions in 2000.

Based on your very helpful information I would say that: it is a boy's cap and possibly more of a winter than an summer one as it has three layers. All the fabric is from the market. It has a coin in the centre of the top of the hat. I am assuming that the colourful silk threads have been 'knitted' in a similar way to the way that the old ladies still knit the nets for their (hair) buns. Looking at your dating I think it might be of the era of your third hat - say 40-50 years ago?

It is clearly made with expectation and love! As it is slightly grubby I am hoping that it was worn by a healthy baby which to grew to be sturdy boy. Your explanation brings home how tenuous life can be and we should not get carried away by the textiles into forgetting just how tough is the life of which they have been a part.

Very many thanks,


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File comment: GeJia baby's hat
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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource
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 Post subject: John Gillow
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 1:57 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2003 4:52 am
Posts: 162
Location: California, USA
Hi Pamela,

Could you put in a good word for me with John Gillow? Last year I bought a very old Dong headpiece from him, and he'll be coming again to the SF Tribal & Textile show in February. (Try and come Bill).

Just wishing! Those hats are magnificent, and with heartfelt stories.

Sandie


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 11:14 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Location: Canterbury, UK
Hi Sandie

I think that you have many years (and purchases) to go yet before you get to my 'credit' level with John Gillow! I have been buying from him for approaching 20 years albeit very small things early on. John is quite a fixture at various textile events in the UK from quilting group open days to big shows. His repartee makes him a favourite with the (usually female) crowd around his stall. Enjoy his visit to San Francisco. I hope that John does good business to cover all his costs + some from the participation.

Yes, knowing about the stories behind Andrew's hats is a special priviledge.

Best wishes,

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 13, 2004 4:55 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Netherlands


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 2:49 am 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:12 am
Posts: 143
Location: Bristol, England


Last edited by Andrew Dudley on Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 11:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: Canterbury, UK

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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