Successive waves of immigration from mainland China over the past two centuries brought not only people but also their clothing—including elaborate and complex Qing Dynasty court costumes—to the United States. Many of these items eventually made their way into university costume collections, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa among them.
Shu Hwa Lin, assistant professor in Mānoa’s Family & Consumer Sciences Department, sheds some light on the local collection in an April 7 talk entitled “Chinese Imperial Costumes in the UH Costume Collection,” part of the Spring 2009 China Research Seminars series.
Qing Dynasty era highlights in the Mānoa collections include five dragon robes, 10 mandarin officials’ badges, eight unranked ladies’ costumes and two sets of ladies’ jewelry.
These artifacts represent sophisticated and skilled textile technologies and display complex design motifs. Lin will explain how they were used to demonstrate political power and social rank during the Qing period and may therefore be considered an important and valuable collection.
This presentation will also preview the production of an educational documentary called Threads of Majesty: Tapestry and Embroidery for Ranking Qing Dynasty Officials.
The event is free and open to the public.
Chinese Imperial Costumes
April 7, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Mānoa Campus, Moore Hall 319 (Tokioka Room)