The Miao are an ethnic group that live primarily in southwest China today.

From the age of five or six, Miao girls begin to learn needlework; this continues through their teens. They make their own wedding dresses, baby carriers, and baby clothes. The mastery of embroidery skills is highly valued as an ideal of feminine accomplishment in Miao society.

Woven and embroidered by Miao women prior to marriage, baby carriers—also known as beishan (背扇) or beidai (背带)—are a way women advertise their skills as a prospective mother and express love for their future children. Mothers usually adorn the textiles with auspicious symbols like the butterfly mother (from Miao folklore) and fish to keep the babies safe, healthy, and happy.

This antique ethnic embroidered baby carriers is particularly interesting for the tiny stitching used for the embroidery. The silk embroidery is applied to an indigo dyed cotton background. It would make for a very special Christening gift.

Material: cotton and silk

Size: 77×53 cms

Origin: Mao tribe from China

Date of weaving: 1920s

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SKU: AT14735