雷山织布小组两位妇女与高扒村的“师傅们”合影

 

Miao Women's Weaving Group in Nanmeng Village

Written by Zhang Yunfei

Miao weaving and other handicraft has a great cultural significance and is associated with Miao women’s labor. However, due to recent swift urbanization and the consolidation of rural schools, many Miao kids have been away from home attending boarding schools from an early age, and have little opportunity to learn Mao handicraft. Many young Miao women have left their villages to work in the cities. More and more young people are forgetting their handicraft traditions, which motivated some elderly to propose to save the traditional weaving techniques. With Zigen’s support, a weaving group was set up in Nanmeng Village, Leishan County. It currently has twenty one people.

The weaving group has paid visits to the county town and out of county locations to learn weaving techniques. Last September, I and two women from the Nanmeng weaving group travelled to Gaopa and Nongwang Villages of Rongjiang County to learn dyeing techniques.

When we arrived, it was already passed the busiest dyeing season. Luckily, we still found some family working on dyeing. The two Nanmeng women started to learn on the spot, asking questions about the making of natural indigos used in the dyeing process. The local women taught them how to use eggs as an ingredient, and how to beat the cloth to make them sturdier. Some families even showed their own clothes to us and let us try them on. It was a fruitful trip as we were back with purchases for dyeing. What we had learned during our trip was shared to other women in Nanmeng Village.

What I like most about the Nanmeng women is their optimism, even though they have a hard life. Just like what a volunteer wrote: “I have a lot of fondness and respect for the simple things that are produced with enormous amount of labor. They are like the minority clothes and songs. They taught us what the real needs in life are, and what a respectable life is.”

 

雷山南猛村妇女织布小组

张云飞

自古以来,苗族手工织布是苗族历史文化延续与传承的象征,也是衡量苗家妇女勤劳与否的重要标准。但是近年来,随着城市化的推进,撤点并校的实施,乡村孩子自小就离家到乡镇上学,常年寄宿在外,在家时间很少,几乎没有时间学习苗族手工艺。大量苗族年轻妇女外出务工,越来越多的年轻人开始遗忘传统的手工技艺,不会织布、染布、刺绣,对苗族的传统文化不感兴趣。南猛村的老人,担心自己老后就没有人懂得织布手工艺,提出传承织布传统技艺的建议。在滋根的支持推动下,雷山县南猛村妇女成立了织布小组,现在小组成员有21人。

织布小组经过几次到县城学习织布技术和到外县参观学习,增加了她们对传承苗族传统文化的信心。9月26日至28日,我带着织布小组的两个妇女,到榕江县高扒村、弄王寨参观学习苗族手工艺染布制作过程,学习种蓝靛技术,泡制蓝靛的的方法。

在高扒,已经过了妇女们染布最忙的时候了,幸而还是碰到正在染布的人家,她们就站在染缸边和对方聊开了,向对方讨教蓝靛泡制技术。村里的妇女们还教她们用鸡蛋配料染布,用木棒捶打布料,增加布料牢固度。有的人家还直接拿出自家制好的衣服给老人们看,看着看着,干脆直接就往她俩身上套。我们拿着购买的蓝靛叶子回到南猛村后,紧接着买桶、买线,组织妇女们来学习,分享外出参观学习的感受,把学到的技术教给她们。

我和村里的妇女们相处久了,发现她们虽然日子很苦,可她们总是很乐观,所以我特别喜欢她们。正如友成小鹰计划志愿者彭梅芳在月报里写的:“我一直对用时间磨出来的质朴的物件甚是喜爱与尊敬。就如她们的苗衣、侗衣,苗歌与侗歌。它似乎提醒着,什么才是生活真实简单的需要,什么才是认真与充满敬意的生活。”