Hair embroidery dedicated to Kuan Yin

This is absolutely incredible and I have to share it:

Hair embroidery is a particular technique practiced by lay Buddhist women to create devotional images. The embroiderers used their own hair as threads and applied them on silk to stitch figures. Scholars contend that this tradition started from the Tang Dynasty (618-907). However, the resurgence of this practice in the Ming period (1368-1644) was related to two historical factors: the spread of the cult of Guanyin, the most prevalent Chinese female deity, and the proliferation of embroidering Guanyin during late imperial China. In recent works on women’s talent, scholars have cursorily mentioned hair embroidery, but they have failed to study it in detail. Hair embroideries of Guanyin offer us a felicitous window on this tradition. Hair embroidery was a unique site where women externalized part of their body to communicate with Guanyin.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail