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THE SECRETS OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN TEXTILES
Myth, Status and the Supernatural

The James H. W. Thompson Foundation Symposium Papers
Edited by Jane Puranananda

Journey with fifteen scholars to Southeast Asia and neighbouring countries to discover the hidden meanings behind traditional textiles. Throughout Asia, textiles have played an important role in concepts of power and kingship and are also closely associated with shamanistic, Buddhist and Islamic beliefs. The papers presented in this work represent the scholarship and research of leading scholars from around the world who participated in The James H.W. Thompson Foundation symposium Status, Myth and the Supernatural – Unraveling the Secrets of Southeast Asian Textiles which was held in Bangkok in August of 2005.

Diana K. Myers highlights comparisons between Bhutanese and Southeast Asian textiles; Gillian Green writes on Cambodian textile hangings; John Guy, Roy W. Hamilton and Robyn J. Maxwell examine three very different aspects of Indonesia textiles; Susan Conway investigates Shamanistic practices among the Shan, while Barbara G. Fraser and David W. Fraser, Vibha Joshi and Piriya Krairiksh have researched the textiles of three other minority groups living in Myanmar; Patricia Cheesman and Linda McIntosh explore the implications of Lao women’s dress for Thailand, two authors, Leedom Lefferts and Suriya Smutkupt explain the relationship between Buddhism and textiles, while Thirabhand Chandrachareon discusses royal brocades; finally, Michael Howard shows how the Tai peoples of Vietnam use textiles to denote status and religion.

Background to the 2005 Textile Symposium
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