Monday, March 18, 2013
Our guide, Chaiya, arrived early in the morning to take us north out of Chiang Mai to the hilltribe village Pha Nok Nok. The difference between the fairly affluent Chiang Mai and the hilltribe village is stark. This is where Grandma Lezah, who is 90, and her niece live. Grandma began working with hemp at around age 15. This art is not being passed on here, but rather this is a museum to the art that used to be. They are working with wax painting on fabric, but no longer using the hemp. We didn't see any hemp used in their daily lives, rather just a few remnants of what has been. The tools are amazingly simple and yet produce quality finely made items. When we arrived Grandma was no where to be found. Some said she'd gone to visit a friend and actually she went to the church to pray. So, while waiting we poked around and walked the village a bit.
bird cages are hanging from the porch
This is the loom she used for weaving hemp.
It is folded up against the wall.
There was a picture of Grandma Lezah and possibly her mother on the wall outside the museum
folded loom again. I thought for sure it was no longer functional and threads broken but as you will see in a bit it is totally functional.
Hemp stems waiting to be tripped of their outer layer. You can see the outer layer peeling a bit from one of the stalks.
After peeling the outer bark the fibers are rolled into balls
This hemp has been spun
Lovely yarn swift!
This is a jaunting tool used with wax and indigo
We found indigo dye pots and I was wondering if this was an indigo plant
The lonely old hemp plant growing in the garden
Indigo dye pots out back
Just wanted to show the lush growth of this area
Banana trees...always fascinating to me. The bloom is shown above.
dirt road walking we took while in the village
These are mill stones. I wonder if they are still used.
The village is put together in a way and is very impoverished, yet the creativity....
fabric hanging to dry after the dye pots
She is embroidering cut work and others are doing cross stitch or wax batik type painting of fabric
the dye pot
hot steaming fabric just coming from the dye pot. Our language barrier prohibited many questions
Perhaps a break or pounder of some type the children playing
Grandma showing us how she softened the yarn after spinning.
Then they got all dressed up to show us the ethnic clothing worn on special occasions.
They dressed me too!
My daughter, Mandy of Mandolyn Photography, took this one.
Grandma took the loom down to show us how the loom worked and the wonderful shuttle used.
Grandma spinning, taken by Mandolyn Photography
this is the spinning wheel from the top
a close up of the spindles
These pillow tops were all she had left from their industry
display hanging by the wall
I purchased rolls of hemp fabric at the market from the hilltribe women so I know this industry is still alive and well. I just wasn't able to ascertain where it was growing or where it was being produced.