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tribaltextiles.info • View topic - Recommendations on Where to Go?

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:29 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:22 am
Posts: 1
Location: Lawrence, KS
I am a graduating senior in textile design and art history and I am trying to put together a research trip to study traditional textile techniques and processes. I am applying for a $15,000 grant to fund my research and plan on documenting my experiences through film and written articles to share with both the art historical and design communities. My focus has been on Asian countries (especially Japan), but my interests are also broad so I am open to visiting any site that would welcome me. Any advice/suggestions would be much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:55 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:34 pm
Posts: 394
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Hello Zahra-
The first consideration you must make is language: what languages are you fluent in; what languages do you want to learn, etc. One can usually find someone to translate, but for your research money to go farther and to really get into the culture it's really best to learn the language.

Another initial consideration might be to go somewhere that hasn't been well-researched. For instance, there is not much in English about the ethnic minority textiles in China, with the exception of the Miao who have been studied very well by Gina Corrigan and her colleagues. The nearby Dong do very beautiful work and research into their textiles would be a very welcome addition to the available literature. Also, more information about the Li on Hainan Island would be really welcome, as their society and culture is changing rapidly. Burma is another place with little detailed information about textiles, except for the Fraser's definitive new book on the Chin; also (a plus!), thanks to the British, English is fairly widely spoken in Burma (the big problem there, and possible deterrent, is the government). Indonesia has had a lot of research done in some areas, whereas others have been neglected. I, for one, would also like to see more about the tribal peoples in northwestern India (here, too, English might be more prevalent).


Then, you need to consider where your grant money will be cost effective. Probably Bhutan is out unless you can pull some academic strings and not have to conform to the $300/day requirement of tourists; Japan of course is quite expensive; most of Southeast Asia is not- Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia; I'm not sure about Burma or India.

And that brings up the question of government restrictions, and of personal safety. You can check with the US State Dept. country list for up-to-date information, but also check online news for a given area or town. I don't think you'd want to go to southern Thailand right now, for instance.

As you can see, you have a lot of options- and I haven't even mentioned Pakistan, Central Asia and former Soviet republics, or Turkey, Iran, etc.- all places with rich textile traditions.

I hope this helps- please feel free to ask more questions- and 'chok dee'/good luck!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 5:10 pm 
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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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