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.
Batik work with a full Centipede dragon pattern, presumably used in dragon sacrifices. The art is strongly influenced by the Rongjiang batik style. The Hmong offers sacrifices to the dragon, who could drive away evil spirits in the Hmong people and bring for good weather for the crops. In the picture, every dragon is symmetrical with bullhead. The bull image comes from the legendary ancestor of Hmong - Chiyou, a hero with horns on his head. Being also the most important animal for farming, bulls are sacred so the dragon pattern in Hmong sacrifice events. They praise the bull-headed dragon for the love and respect for the ancestor and pray for his protection.
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.
Wang Yaolile, 86
“Isn’t that nice, beautiful people?”
Having painted batik - a skill every Hmong girl got from their mother - for 80 years and worked in batik workshops all around the region, Wang Yaolile (a Mandarin transliteration), our oldest artisan, certainly has wisdom. Her wrinkled face is always smiling, and she’s always teasing us in broken Mandarin: “Isn’t that nice, beautiful people?” and giggles like a child when hearing our affirmative answer.
During her worldly experience in different batik pattern style workshops, she could skillfully manage various Hmong tribal styles.
- Size: 55cm × 55cm | 21“ × 21“
- Fabric: 100% cotton
- Dyes: Indigo
- Made by: Wan Yaolile
- Due to the nature of handcrafted goods, slight variations are embraced