The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) is a research center for ethnology and cultural anthropology.

Permanent Exhibitions "The Culture of the Chinese Region: Indigo-Blue Tie-Dyeing from the Village of the Bai People in Yunnan, China."

There is a village named Chou Cheng in Dali basin, Yunnan, China where indigo-blue tie-dyeing is prosperous. Chou Cheng is a village about 2,000 meters above sea level. The people who live in this place are the Chinese minority group called Bai (white) people. Women in the village work very hard day after day tying cloths with thread and needles. Today, more than 90% of the indigo-blue tie-dyed products produced in the factory are exported to Japan. From February to November, 2001, we exhibited indigo-blue tie-dyeing in a former Temporary Exhibition showing the relation between its technique, its history, and the life of the people. Since April, 2002, fresh exhibits of indigo-blue tie-dyeing have been displayed as a thematic exhibit within the East Asia Regional Exhibition of the Permanent Exhibition.
Person-in-charge of this exhibition: YOKOYAMA Hiroko

Indigo-Blue Tie Dyeing for a Trousseau
Ms. Dong Gen Yun, who lives in Chou Cheng is now in her middle 80s. Before she got married she worked hard tie-dyeing cloth to bring to her future husband's home in the same village. She and her father dyed more than twenty pieces of cloth each forty centimeters square to be used as head scarfs. They also added to her trousseau three pieces of tie-dyed towel to be also used as head scarfs. In addition they made two pillowcases, a hanging partition for the doorway of the newly-married couple's bedroom, two sheets and one large and one small square cloth to be used for wrapping a baby or for covering furniture.
This exhibition will display five of the articles from the Museum's collection.

Head scarf for a married woman
Head scarf for the married woman

Head scarf for the married woman
[Click to see an enlargement]Head scarf for the married woman
The red and yellow colors are all the more vivid since they are tie-dyed in a clear pattern.

A square cloth used to wrap a baby
A square cloth used to wrap a baby

A cloth partition to hang in the doorway of the room of a newly-married couple