Hmong batik is one of the oldest textile art forms in the world.
Over a thousand years ago, the Hmong woman started painting with hot melting wax on the fabric before putting them in indigo dye and removing the wax afterward. This wax-resist dyeing technique offers immense possibilities for artistic freedom as patterns are applied by actual drawing.
Hmong people do not have their own written language. In the centuries of solitude and illiteracy, the Hmong expressed their way of living, emotions, feelings, legends, and history through their textile art. It became a kind of visual art that can be read, and such poetic visual language blurred the traditional boundaries between literature and art.
Typical Woto pattern - paired(Yin-Yang) water dimples indicating fertility - surrounds a bronze drum in the middle. The outer ring is made of a floral and double spiral pattern, symbolizing life and growth
Who Made Your Product
We are proud to present to you our artisans: they are the best painters as well as wonderful, inspiring women, farmers, and humans. They deserve to have their stories told.
In her time, Shixiu had the rare opportunity to finish middle school and receive a Mandarin name that means something (Shixiu世秀: the excellence of the world).
She did everything her name could ask for: becoming the best Hmong batik artisan in the mountains and Inheritor of Danzhai style patterns, while also opening the first workshop for other local artisans at her home.
In Hmong society, patriarchy-enforced gender roles still exist in the most blatant way, and it is extremely difficult for women to obtain fundamental rights; girls are more encouraged to marry than to study, even today. However, Shixiu is the one who manages to support the whole family by herself, and with her hard-earned achievements, Shixiu’s self-made wealth and influence gave the entire mountain a common sense: “woman can build a house by making batik...”
Her wisdom and perseverance in life simply amaze me. She is slowly influencing the local understanding of marriage ethics.
- Size: 50cm × 50cm | 20“ × 20“
- Fiber: 100% cotton
- Dyes: Indigo
- Made by: Shixiu
- Due to the nature of handcrafted goods, slight variations are embraced