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About traditional textile weaving - a series of four short eassays

I am pleased to introduce a series of four short essays about traditional textile weaving and related issues that I have commissioned from four eminent textile experts/scholars. They are Hector Manuel Meneses Lozano from Oaxaca Mexico, Linda Susan McIntosh based in Luang Prabang Laos, Michael C. Howard in Vancouver and Jill Forshee based in California.


These four essays are offered to the general reader, and especially to those who will see our upcoming new dance work Woven premiering September 24 - 26, 2015 at Harbourfront Centre Theatre. It is hoped that this background to textile cultures will enhance the appreciation of experiencing Woven.

Essay 1 - Human Threads - Sensing Life by Hector Manuel Meneses Lozano

Hector Manuel Meneses Lozano holds a BA in Conservation of Cultural Artifacts with a specialty in textiles.  He currently works at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca, first as Head of Conservation and Collections Management and since 2012, as the Museum’s Director.    


Essay 2 - by Linda S. McIntosh, PhD

Linda S. McIntosh, PhD, is a researcher of Southeast Asian material culture with a focus on textiles produced in Mainland Southeast Asia and their roles in society. A Lao American, McIntosh grew up to the rythmic beatings of her Lao mother’s loom. Field research led her to collect data throughout Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma, and Indonesia. She has curated exhibitions internationally and has written numerous publications. Her latest book is a translation of a study of one minority group of Laos, the Tai Daeng.


Essay 3 - From Hinggi to Muk and Thoughts on the Fate of Loincloths by Michael C. Howard

Michael C. Howard is a Professor in the School for International Studies at Simon Fraser University. He is editor of the Studies in the Material Cultures of Southeast Asia series of books that is published by White Lotus Press in Thailand and author of numerous articles and books on the textiles of Southeast Asia.


Essay 4 - Ambivalence and Certainty: Textiles of East Timor (Timor Leste) through Time by Jill Forshee 

Jill Forshee received her doctorate in Social-Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley (1995). Her publications include Between the Folds: Stories of Cloth, Lives, and Travels from Sumba (2001) and Culture and Customs of Indonesia (2006). She has written numerous journal articles and book chapters over the years about textiles and cultures in eastern Indonesia and East Timor.  Forshee spent 2009-10 carrying out field research in Indonesia, funded by a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar Award. Between 2011 and 2012, she continued her research in East Timor under the auspices of the UCLA Fowler Museum. Drawing from this research, she contributed chapters to Weavers’ Stories from Island Southeast Asia (2012, Fowler Museum) and Textiles of Timor: Island in the Woven Sea (2014, Fowler Museum).  Jill is currently collaborating on future museum projects, focusing upon the effects of global influences on the traditional textiles and lives of people in island Southeast Asia. She lives in Berkeley, California.

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