Lecture on Batik Dyeing skills of China's Miao Ethnic Group being held in Malta

The China Cultural Centre in Malta will be holding a lecture on September 12, as part of the Colourful Guizhou Culture and Art Festival, centred around Batik dyeing and painting

Guizhou Batik dyeing: An intangible cultural heritage
Guizhou Batik dyeing: An intangible cultural heritage

On September 12, the China Cultural Centre in Malta (CCC) is holding a lecture on one of the prized intangible cultural heritage items, as part of the 2017 Malta-Colourful Guizhou Culture and Art Festival.

The lecture will focus on a variety of things, namely Batik Dyeing creative skills of China’s Miao Ethnic Group, complementing the visual feast of ethnic artisan and costumes, which can be found on display at the exhibition ‘Memory in Hand – Exhibition of Guizhou Intangible Cultural Heritage’ in spaces C1-C4 at St James Cavalier in Valletta.

Titled Blue Flower Narrating – The Ancestral World and Cultural Changes in the Oral Accounts of Ethnic Minority Groups, the lecture will centre around Batik dyeing, one of the time-honoured dyeing handicrafts, which is very popular in Guizhou. The painting and batik dyeing technique includes ‘Dianla’, which uses dotted lines to form patterns and ‘Huala’, which uses solid lines. The 2 main subjects tackled are nature and geometric patterns, with the most representative geometric pattern being ‘Gewo’; a spiral design used to decorate the shoulders, sleeves and backs of Miao women’s dresses. According to CCC, such motifs are perpetual, as they are determined by their ancestors.

The steps of the process include cloth processing, melting, printing, dyeing inton red and yellow, indigo colours and the like. Batik-dyed clothes and accessories aid in distinguishing different Miao branches.

Lecturer, Ms Wang Xiamoei, a cultural anthropologist, chief correspondent of Guizhou Daily Newspaper Group, director of the Cultural Heritage New Media Centre of the group and founder of the Guizhou Anthropology Association will be delivering the lecture on September 12. Xiamoei received a B.A. in Chinese from Guizhou University and an M.A. in International Development and Social Transformation from Clark University (USA).

Born in a village, Xiamoei has always loved touring villages and immersed herself in the indigenous ethnic handicraft and ‘blue flowers’ on the batik. Based upon the oral histories as well as the experience of the Other, Xiamoei has recorded changes in the indigenous communities in the context of modernity. She has reflected on such changes for over a decade. She has written works such as the Memory on Hands: The Life Stories of Sister Yang and Sister Li and Blue Flower Narrating (I, II).


Lecture Title: Blue Flower Narrating - The Ancestral World and Cultural Changes in the Oral Accounts of Ethnic Minority Groups 
Venue: China Cultural Centre, 173 Melita Street, Valletta
Date and time: 12th Sep 2017 at 19:00 hrs 
Attendance is free by reservation of seats subject to availability
For reservation contact CCC on 21225055 ; [email protected]