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Yi minority textiles from China and Vietnam

"Yi minority" is a classification used on the China side of the border, it includes a somewhat diverse group of minorities, as is apparent from the diverse range of textiles that they produce. Most live in Yunnan province. The "Yi" classification includes the group that is classified as Lolo on the Vietnam side.

Click on photos for a larger image.

CET324 An exceptional old Yi jacket from the China-Vietnam border area, handwoven and handspun cotton decorated with silk embroidery and seeds, brass buttons and fastenings. Yi minority jacket
The sleeves of this jacket are made of handwoven cotton with a brown natural dye and are also embroidered with designs that are unusual. The gussets under the arms are replacements and are made of black commercial cotton. YI minority jacket

Detail of the central panels of CET324 and the embroidered designs.

For broadly similar pieces from Vietnam, refer to Michael Howard's book "Textiles of the Highland Peoples of Northern Vietnam", pages 213-214. Compare also the applique jacket CET52 below.

detail of Yi minority jacket
CET52 A Flowery Lolo (Yi minority) skirt and jacket set. This set came from the border area between China and Vietnam. This is the front of the jacket. Flowery Lolo (Yi minority) jacket and skirt set from the Yunnan - Vietnam border area
(CET52 continued). The back of the jacket. Flowery Lolo jacket

(CET52 continued). Detail of the striking, abstract applique and embroidery designs on the back of the jacket.

This set is said to have come from a single family: the jacket was made by the daughter and the skirt (which is somewhat older) was made by the mother. Materials are dark indigo cotton and cotton applique. The jacket is around 30 years old, the skirt seems to be a generation older.

detail of applique work on Flowery Lolo jacket

(CET52 continued) The skirt from this set, shown laid flat.

Flowery Lolo skirt from Vietnam - China border area