Kam Women Artisans of China: Dawn of the Butterflies
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018
by Marie Anna Lee
Deep in the fir woods of southwestern China, in a village called Dimen, live several women who are masters of many cultural arts. Following the centuries-old lifestyle of their ancestors, they are the living repositories of their civilization. They carry the unwritten history and wisdom of the Kam people in their songs, weave cloth that is smooth and strong, and dye fabric to the richest indigo blue. They devote every free moment to embroidering sleeves, hems, hats, and purses in the bright colors of the natural setting that surrounds the village.
Through everyday activities, lessons in craft, folk stories and songs, the women weave a patchwork of Kam culture and reveal its hidden treasures in fibers, textiles, papermaking as well as ethnography, anthropology, and Sinology.
This book presents an opportunity to learn from the past long lost in Western tradition, explore contemporary rural life in China, and experience ancient culture metamorphosing under the pressure of technology.