Shoulder cloth, daeng pha biang
Homespun silk and cotton
15.5 in. X 81 in.
Good condition, a few small holes with native repairs. One .75 in area on the selvage has damage
Textiles like this old daeng pha biang are very important to the Tai peoples living in Laos and are only taken out during special occasions. They are woven to a particular set of rules that govern them. During a wedding ceremony they are presented to the mother-in-law by the bride during (Cheesman). Discontinuous supplementary weft silk patterning with its central diamond motif, duang tda, banned by two rows of cotton indigo design depicting dragons and what resembles a water buffalo motif. The middle of the textile is left with tight 8.5 in plain weave area. According to Maxwell the reason for not decorating this area has long been forgotten. Following that is a 23 inch area of supplementary silk patterns of diamonds, nagas, anthropomorphic forms as well as other motifs.
Cassidy claims they also perform an important use as a pha khaseung, a shaman or healer’s ceremonial head cloth. It would be folded and wrapped around the head of the healer so that the central diamond motif, duang tda, is across the forehead of the healer.
CIRA 19th – early 20th century.