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Two halves of a blouse

Two halves of a blouse

  • Place of origin:

    Rakhine State (made)

  • Date:

    c. 1855 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cotton with silk threads. Plain weave and supplementary weave. Hand loomed.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

To reform the blouse the two parallel rectangular lengths of cloth would be sewn together with holes left for the head, arms and front opening. Said to be traditionally sewn on the back and left open in front. Latterly for the sake of modesty the front was pinned.

Black ground with an elaborate band of yellow silk thread geometric patterns in a supplementary weave across the chest and back. This band is bisected by a narrow row of stripes of yellow silk thread over each shoulder and down the front and back. Further decorated with yellow silk thread supplementary weave on the weft edges.

Place of Origin

Rakhine State (made)


c. 1855 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Cotton with silk threads. Plain weave and supplementary weave. Hand loomed.

Object history note

David Fraser identified these garments as two halves of a blouse pointing out that:
1. the centre stitching had been cut
2. weaving of the field corresponds
3. Supplementary weft patterns across back and chest match.

He further believes this to be the oldest documented Chin woman's tunic.

Descriptive line

Two halves of a Chin woman's blouse from Rakhine (Arracan) State, Burma. Black cotton with geometric patterns in yellow silk thread supplementary weave. c. 1855.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Sylvia Fraser Lu "Handwoven Textiles"; 1988; p. 95; Fig. 123; p. 96

Production Note

Previously considered Karen in the 1880 Slip Book. Re-attributed by Sandra Dudley of the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford and David W. Frazer of The Textile Museum of Washington D.C. to the Khoman a sub group of the Asho Chin, 2003. They inhabited an area between Sandoway and Prome in Rakhine (Arracan) State.


Cotton textile; Silk thread; Dye


Weaving; Dyeing; Stitching


India Museum


South & South East Asia Collection

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