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Shirt (hse)

Shirt (hse)

  • Place of origin:

    Rangoon (made)

  • Date:

    1800-1867 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cotton, silk, dye, threads, metal. Plain and supplementary weave.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

White unbleached hand woven cotton with a broad band of supplementary red silk weaving extending from below the arm openings to the hem. Decorative selvage edges along the centre, back and sides, finished with 9 cm. corded tassels wrapped in metal rings. Sprays of red and yellow embroidery decorate chest, shoulders and back.

Made by sewing together two lengths of cloth (40 cm. wide) to form a central seam and then folding the fabric in half. Holes are left in the upper corners for the arms and another opening is left in the centre seam for the neck. Vents have been left front, sides and back.

Place of Origin

Rangoon (made)


1800-1867 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Cotton, silk, dye, threads, metal. Plain and supplementary weave.


Length: 72.5 cm, Width: 80 cm

Object history note

"Bghai (bgaies) were one of the three great Kareng (Karen) Families". British Burma Gazetteer; Vol II; 1879; pp 113 and 229.
The Karen, a hill people, composed of distinctive groups, live mainly in south and south east Burma.
Possibly the garment of a village head. Sandra Dudley of Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford. 1999

Descriptive line

A hse (shirt) of a man of the Bghai a sub-group of the Karen - a hill people who inhabit south and south east Burma. Red silk supplementary weave on a white cotton ground with red tassels and embroidered details, 1800-1867

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

Sylvia Fraser Lu: "S.E. Asian Textiles": 1988; p.95 amd p. 52
P. & E. Lewis "Golden Triangle" p.79

Production Note

1880 Slip Book states that this garment was received in Rangoon, Burma in 1867 and describes it as a man's dress and it was worn by the Bgaies.


Cotton; Silk; Thread; Metal; Dye


Weaving; Stitching; Dyeing


India Museum


South & South East Asia Collection

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