For those of you in the Madison area there's a wonderful exhibit at the Chazen Museum on the University of Wisconsin campus called "Writing in Thread: Traditional Textiles of Southwest Chinese Minorities." This is a rare collection of indigenous clothing in societies without written languages. Instead traditions and customs are orally passed from generation to generation. But the textiles, typically made by women, are a visual representation of their history, myths, and legends. Incredibly detailed silver ornamentation, made by men, complement the textiles. Together they visually represent oral traditions, record and transmit ideas and concepts that are important for the preservation and reconstruction of the identities of their makers and users.
I visited the exhibit today on a warm sunny Sunday afternoon. Suffice to say the exhibit is exceptional with over 500 pieces in 3 galleries. Madison is only one of three US museums that will show the exhibit. The exhibit runs through April 12 and then moves to Santa Fe, then on to Taiwan. Hope you get a chance to see it. m