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Li textile technique is Hainan's intangible cultural heritage

Updated: 2017-11-16 13:32:04



As one of Hainan Island’s most notable traditional handicrafts, traditional Li textile techniques are included on the list of national intangible cultural heritage protection items.



The Li textile techniques are a form of traditional craftsmanship used to make clothes and other daily necessities. The textile techniques are sometimes referred to as a “living fossil” of Chinese cultural heritage as they are still in use today.


Techniques include “twisting spindle,” “spinning yarn by treadle-operated one-spindle-wheel,” “dying yarn and fabric with natural dyestuffs including vegetable dye,” “spinning with lap loom,” and “embroidery.”




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Textiles made using traditional Li textile techniques, such as dragon quilts, “head-through garments,” coverlets, tight skirts, kerchiefs, hats, and wall hangings are all Li Brocade creations. Dragon quilts are a comprehensive showcase of the Li people’s techniques, once regarded as a suitable tribute to emperors.


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The traditional textiles illustrate the development of Li culture and customs. They have become increasingly valuable as masters of the ancient craft are slowly dying out.


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To promote the preservation of Li traditional culture as well as to encourage locals to promote this centuries-old handcraft, the relevant departments in Sanya have taken preservation measures in recent years, including establishing special organizations, holding training courses, organizing foreign interchanges, and publishing books on Li brocade.