Tribal silk runner tapestry Laos Tai Lue boho textile yellow orange white wedding gift blanket woven throw natural dye ethnic decor RB107
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Tribal 100% silk runner tapestry Laos Tai Lue boho textile indigo blue white yellow green orange wedding gift blanket handwoven throw natural dye ethnic decor RB107
When I came upon this Laos Tai Lue silk runner, I initially dismissed it as pretty but too bright/not my color palette. But my eyes kept returning to it and eventually I couldn't take them OFF of it. Pure rivetation (that's not even a word). There is no denying the elevating elation enervating illuminating energies. What??!! This piece of textile junk is the most joyful splash of color (in my best Boston accent) EVAH!! If it doesn't blow your mind, in the best and most pleasant of ways, you might just possibly be unhappy.
These Laos Tai Lue weavings are based on traditional motifs and designs. There is a rich story and significance based on each symbol, most often centered around fundamentals such as water, harvest, fertility, and spiritual life. A common and somewhat easily recognized symbol is that of the Naga/water dragon. There are multiple double-headed Nagas in this textile that are easily seen and look much like a person making a letter "U" with their arms. Below I recount a beautiful and fanciful story about this mythic creature.
The condition is unused and the age fairly recent. There will be some characteristic aberrations in the 100% silk weaving, testament to the handmade weaving, and inescapable in rural, village-woven textiles. The weaving is dense, requiring a lot of expensive, all-natural silk. They take months to complete and are often done on a loom situated underneath the wooden house which is usually raised up on stilts to allow for the passage of air.
The dimensions are 85 in x 18 in without the fringe.
No polyester or nylon masquerading as silk! This is 100% Laos, hand-spun silk, made from boiling silk worm cocoons. The silk cocoons unravel in the boiling water and a varying number of the strands are fished out of the pot and pulled together as a single thread or yarn. This thread then has to be spun on to a bobbin of sorts to organize it before being dyed. Only after the tedious dyeing process (all natural colorings and done by hand) can the loom be set up and the Laos textile woven. The internet has plenty of videos showcasing this process.
"Once upon a time, there was s a Naga prince who lived underwater in the “Badann Kingdom” which means Underwater Kingdom. He lived very happily in the mighty Mekong river until one day he decided he wanted to get married to a beautiful girl. He gracefully came out of the river, magically transformed himself into a chicken, and walked up to the nearest village.
While he was wandering around along the street, he saw a beautiful weaver girl. She was busy making a wall-hanging under her house. The closer the Naga-chicken came the more entranced he became by her beauty. He fell madly in love with the weaver girl but he didn’t know how to make her know he was a magical Naga prince.
Suddenly, he grabbed the shuttle from the loom and ran quickly back to the river. The girl rapidly gave chase. When he reached the river bank the Naga-chicken jumped into the river and the girl followed with a splash. He immediately changed form back into the Naga and magically made it so the girl could breathe underwater for a short time.
Soon after entering the river he took the girl to the Royal Naga Palace to meet his parents. His parents enquired “who’s the human girl you bring to meet us?” He replied happily, “she’s human girl from the land, and the reason I brought her to meet you is because I’m madly in love with her and I want to get married with her.” His parents replied that it was a crazy, impossible idea. “She’s a human and you’re Naga prince,” they explained. This was very sad news for him.
He was very upset and so he decided to take her to the village again but before she left he gave her a colorful lotus flower as a gift. He explained that she should show it to her parents and to tell them this is a wedding dowry gift for them.
As soon as she arrived, she showed the flower to her parents and explained what had happened. Upon hearing her story, her parents also objected to the marriage. They explained to her that it was impossible for them to get married as they were very different creatures. She was very sad and threw the flower down and ran crying to her room.
After these sad events, they decided to meet every 15 days on the Buddhist holiday to spend sometime together.
One day, while they were having their regular meeting on the river bank, the girl told the Naga prince that she’d been missing him everyday and that she will make a wall-hanging as a gift so he can think of her every time he sees it.
She started weaving a beautiful design, following the Naga, chicken, lotus, and diamond patterns. After three months of intense concentration and hard work, her masterpiece was finally finished and she proceeded to take it to the river bank to give it to the Naga.
When the Naga prince’s parents saw the amazingly intricate wall-hanging the weaver-girl had created, they realized that this girl was no ordinary human but a very special and gifted one, and that it would be a very good idea to let her marry their Naga Prince son. However, the girl’s parents still objected to the union.
One day the girl walked into her room to find the lotus flower. She was surprised as she found that it had magically turned into a big beautiful diamond. She ran quickly to show it to her parents who then understood that the Naga was not a normal Naga but a powerful magic creature that would be able to protect and take care of their daughter if they got married. They now had the blessings of both sets of parents.
They got married shortly after but unfortunately the Naga couldn’t live on land for long periods of time. For this reason, he spends the six winter months of the year on land with his beautiful wife, and the six summer months in the river. This is the traditional explanation of why Laos has only two main seasons-summer and winter.
Nowadays, in Lao wall-hanging and hand woven products you will be able to see some of these patterns. This is because the weaver-women believe that if they follow these traditional story patterns they too will find their own Naga prince and be happy and successful for the rest of their life."
About the Naga:
The Naga is the large crested serpent and it’s considered a sacred and supernatural animal. It is considered a symbol of greatness and abundance, and it’s an important part of Lao and Thai people’s beliefs, especially those who live along the Mekong, as this is where the Naga is believed to live.
This is a handwoven and hand embroidered textile. Please expect normal telltale signs of the human textile artist (aberrations in the weaving and embroidery)! Who wants perfect machine made?? This is why we love handmade!