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Guide to the Mien Needlework Group Costumes MS.SEA.35
MS.SEA.35  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing History
  • Historical Background
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Acquisition Information

  • Title: Mien Needlework Group costumes
    Collection number: MS.SEA.35
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections and Archives, University of California, Irvine Libraries
    Irvine, California 92623-9557
    Language of Material: English.
    Physical Description: 11.0 linear feet (12 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 2004-2006
    Abstract: This collection comprises four traditional Mien costumes created by the Mien Needlework Group that incorporate imported fabric, silver thread, and silver metal adornments. It includes one adult male costume, one adult female costume, and two children's costumes.
    creator: Asian Community Mental Health Services (Richmond, Calif.).
    creator: Mien Needlework Group.

    Access

    The collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the University of California. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    Mien Needlework Group Costumes. MS-SEA35. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
    For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

    Processing History

    Processed by Joanna Lamb and the Special Collections student staff, 2009.

    Historical Background

    Healing Stitch by Stitch is the culmination of a two-year project by the Mien Needlework Group, funded by the Creative Work Fund, a collaboration of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, the Columbia Foundation, the Miriam and Peter Haas Fund, and the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund.
    Many Mien refugee families that came from rural regions of Laos after the Vietnam War (1954-1975) found it challenging to negotiate life in the United States. Many suffered from depression and post traumatic stress disorder. Asian Community Mental Health Services formed the Mien Needlework Group to provide Mien women the opportunity to practice traditional arts, to express themselves creatively, and to support one another in adjusting to a new culture.
    Since the inception of the group in 1992, its members have created more than 100 pieces of Mien embroidery that are available for sale, including quilts, handbags, and pillowcases. In 2004 the Creative Work Fund launched the most ambitious project undertaken by the Mien Needlework Group: the creation of four complete traditional Mien costumes.
    Traditionally, it was important for Mien women to know how to embroider in order to make their own clothes as well as clothes for their family members. These Mien costumes (without the silver ornaments) were the daily style of Mien men and women. Today, they are worn only at weddings and special events.

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    This collection comprises four traditional Mien costumes created by the Mien Needlework Group that incorporate imported fabric, silver thread, and silver metal adornments. It includes one adult male costume, one adult female costume, and two children's costumes. The embroidery style of the costumes incorporates both traditional and modern patterns.
    The four costumes are made in the Northern Laotian style and include multiple pieces, such as pants, shirts, hats, turbans, and capes.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Asian Community Mental Health Services, 2008.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Asian Community Mental Health Services (Richmond, Calif.).
    Ceremonial costume
    Embroidery--Laos