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Object Record

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Artist Moua, See
Nationality or Tribal Affiliation Hmong
Title Flower Cloth with Snail Motif
Type of Object Needlework
Date ca. 1970s
Medium Cotton/Thread
Dimensions H-200 W-98.5 cm
Collection Missoula County Art Collection managed by the Missoula Art Museum
How acquired Gift, Art Associates of Missoula, 1980
Object ID 1980.01.H02
Statement about this object This large flower cloth, which features snail, mountain and flower motifs, is representative of the Hmong entrepreneurship that emerged Laos and in Thai refugee camps. Before the Vietnam War, women were able to sew only after daily farm and family chores were complete; the resulting flower cloths were small, ideal for use as pockets, panels, and borders on important garments. At the same time that the refugee camps displaced the Hmong agrarian lifestyle, an influx of foreign tourists and soldiers were looking to purchase souvenirs. Hmong women used these as opportunities to create larger cloths that were functional, such as table cloths and bed spreads, or purely decorative, such as wall hangings. Relatives who had relocated oversees also sparked new interest from Western buyers, and embroiderers in the camps would export their cloths to generate additional income.
Classification Textiles
Subjects Patterns (Design elements)
Symbols
Snails
Family
Mountains
Strength