Sunday, March 27, 2011

Books on South Asia

This is a selection of books on South Asia:

Heterotopias: Nationalism and the Possibility of History in South Asia edited by Manu Bhagavan. Laid out as a series of three inter-related conversations, this volume investigates the diverse discourses of identity politics that relate the nationalist movement to current concerns and debates. Focusing upon the peripheries of the modern Indian states of Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, the first section explores the ways in which people living on the margins of homogenizing nation-state critique the centre and carve out different spaces of experiences. It highlights their relationship with the homogenising nationalism of the centre. The next part analyses the works of Mirza Ghalib and epic traditions in South India to delineate the plurality of narrative and consciousness in literary production. The final part explores the works of Mohammed Iqbal and Mohandas Gandhi, while the conclusion provides a post-history of communalism. Taken together, the essays present an account of the multiplicity of historical experiences in India both within and without the discourse of nationalism.

Routledge Handbook of South Asian Politics: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal edited by Paul R. Brass. The Routledge Handbook of South Asian Politics examines key issues in politics of the five independent states of the South Asian region: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. Written by experts in their respective areas, this book introduces the reader to the politics of South Asia by presenting the prevailing agreements and disagreements in the literature. In the first two sections, the handbook provides a comprehensive introduction to the modern political history of the states of the region and an overview of the independence movements in the former colonial states. The other sections focus on the political changes that have occurred in the postcolonial states since independence, as well as the successive political changes in Nepal during the same period, and the structure and functioning of the main governmental and non-governmental institutions, including the structure of the state itself (unitary or federal), political parties, the judiciary, and the military. Further, the contributors explore several aspects of the political process and political and economic change, especially issues of pluralism and national integration, political economy, corruption and criminalisation of politics, radical and violent political movements, and the international politics of the region as a whole.

Islam in South Asia in Practice edited by Barbara D. Metcalf. This volume of Princeton Readings in Religions brings together the work of more than 30 scholars of Islam and Muslim societies in South Asia to create a rich anthology of primary texts that contributes to a new appreciation of the lived religious and cultural experiences of the world's largest population of Muslims. The 34 selections - translated from Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, Gujarati, Hindavi, Dakhani, and other languages - highlight a wide variety of genres, many rarely found in standard accounts of Islamic practice, from oral narratives to elite guidance manuals, from devotional songs to secular judicial decisions arbitrating Islamic law, and from political posters to a discussion among college women affiliated with an "Islamist" organisation. Drawn from premodern texts, modern pamphlets, government and organisational archives, new media, and contemporary fieldwork, the selections reflect the rich diversity of Islamic belief and practice in South Asia. Each reading is introduced with a brief contextual note from its scholar-translator, and Barbara Metcalf introduces the whole volume with a substantial historical overview.

Culinary Fictions: Food in South Asian Diasporic Culture by Anita Mannur. For South Asians, food regularly plays a role in how issues of race, class, gender, ethnicity, and national identity are imagined as well as how notions of belonging are affirmed or resisted. Culinary Fictions provides food for thought as it considers the metaphors literature, film, and TV shows use to describe Indians abroad. When an immigrant mother in Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake combines Rice Krispies, Planters peanuts, onions, salt, lemon juice, and green chili peppers to create a dish similar to one found on Calcutta sidewalks, it evokes not only the character's Americanisation, but also her nostalgia for India. Food, Anita Mannur writes, is a central part of the cultural imagination of diasporic populations, and Culinary Fictions maps how it figures in various expressive forms. Mannur examines the cultural production from the Anglo-American reaches of the South Asian diaspora. Using texts from novels - Chitra Divakaruni's Mistress of Spices and Shani Mootoo's Cereus Blooms at Night - and cookbooks such as Madhur Jaffrey's Invitation to Indian Cooking and Padma Lakshmi's Easy Exotic, she illustrates how national identities are consolidated in culinary terms.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Books on Cambodia

This is a selection of titles from our collection of books on Cambodia:

Economic History of Cambodia in the Twentieth Century by Margaret Slocomb. The course of economic change in 20th-century Cambodia was marked by a series of deliberate "conscious human efforts" that were typically extreme and ideologically driven. While colonisation, protracted war and violent revolution are commonly blamed for Cambodia's failure to modernise its economy in the 20th century, Margaret Slocomb's Economic History of Cambodia in the Twentieth Century questions whether these circumstances changed the underlying structures and relations of production. She also asks whether economic factors in some way instigated war and revolution. In exploring these issues, the book tracks the erratic path taken by Cambodia's political elite and earlier colonial rulers to develop a national economy. To document Cambodia's path towards a modern economy, the author draws on resources from the State Archives of Cambodia not previously referenced in scholarly texts. The book closes around 2005, by which time Cambodia had been reintegrated into both the regional and the global economy as a fully-fledged member of the World Trade Organization.

Cambodia: The Land and its People by Barry Broman. Some 400 photo studies with short explanatory commentaries form this presentation of both the notable historic temples and statuary of Cambodia, and aspects of the contemporary lives of Cambodia's people. Full colour photographs of a few native flowers, and black-and-white prints from earlier years are included in what would be a lasting souvenir for any tourist to the country.

A Shattered Youth: Surviving the Khmer Rouge by Sathavy Kim. Sathavy Kim was a 21-year-old law student in Phnom Penh when the Khmer Rouge invaded and emptied the city on 17 April 1975. She writes of the forced march of herself and her family which started her suffering as, for four years, a forced labourer in the remote countryside. She writes of the numbing of mind, emotion, and value systems which was so often the result of - sometimes permanently - of the relentlessly imposed suffering. After the Vietnamese 1979 takeover she was reunited with the surviving members of her family and shared the handships of the country's slow and hesitant recovery. The final section tells how 28 years later, she revisits the area of the prison camp and meets some other ex-prisoners. With black-and-white photographs, glossary and a summary of the administrative system of Democratic Kampuchea.

Gods of Angkor: Bronzes from the National Museum of Cambodia edited by Louise Allison Cort and Paul Jett. Gods of Angkor: Bronzes from the National Museum of Cambodia celebrates the accomplishments of Khmer bronze casters and their perfection of skill and aesthetic expression over nearly two millennia. A key focus of the book and exhibition is the museum's Metals Conservation Laboratory, which was designed and equipped with guidance from the Freer and Sackler Galleries' Department of Conservation and Scientific Research. Highlights include the first project to be undertaken by the new laboratory - the treatment of an important cache of seven early Buddhist bronze images, including two works from China, that vividly represent the interactions of artistic styles and religious traditions in Cambodia in the sixth and seventh centuries. Discovered in 2006, the seven newly conserved images will be presented outside Cambodia for the first time in the Gods of Angkor exhibition.

Cambodians and their Doctors: A Medical Anthropology of Colonial and Post-Colonial Cambodia by Jan Ovesen and Ing-Britt Trankell. Historical anthropology and contemporary ethnography blend in this study of medicine in Cambodia. Recent field work and archival material have been brought together to enable understanding of today's intertwining of indigenous Khmer beliefs and practices and the continuing medical and health framework introduced by the French colonial governments. Among the many subjects explored and assessed are: the "Socialist Health" activity during the Khmer Rouge regime; policies, practices and beliefs associated with leprosy; the medicalization of and traditional approaches to motherhood; contemporary usages and expectations of private and state medical services and also pharmaceuticals; the disconnected ways of foreign NGOs; and contemporary healthcare resources. With source list, bibliography, black-and-white photographs and index.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Children's Books with Asian Themes

This is a selection of children’s books with Asian themes:

My First Book Of Chinese Calligraphy by He Zhihong and Guillaume Olive. A book and CD-Rom for first-time learners of Chinese calligraphy. This beautifully illustrated book explores how Chinese words first began, how to draw the 8 strokes, what "radicals" are, and how to use the brush, the paper and the ink to enjoy writing in Chinese. The inclusion of an interactive CD-Rom allows learners to watch videos of Chinese calligraphers, listen to how characters are pronounced in Chinese, take memory tests and print out character practice pages. There are also demonstrations of correct posture and arm movements.

Chinese History Stories: Stories from the Zhou Dynasty - Volume 1 edited by Renee Ting. For thousand of years, the people of China have been enthralled and entertained by stories of real historical figures and events of the past, and have retold the stories until they have become legendary. These tales take the reader back 3000 years and are as dazzling and enchanting as any fairytale. Nineteen of the most important and fascinating tales were translated from their original Chinese for this two-volume set of Chinese Historical Stories. Volume 1 presents stories of kings and queens, generals, battles, and courtiers from the Zhou Dynasty, when China was ruled by kings from 1046 BC to 221 BC. It was the period before the country was unified under a single emperor, when each state schemed to become more powerful than its neighbour, leading to many exciting stories populated by famous historical figures.

In the Country of the Gold-Digging Ants: Two Thousand Years of Travel in India by Anu Kumar. Read astonishing stories about India written by explorers who came to the country as pilgrims, students, traders, voyagers and fortune-seekers from the 3rd century BC till the mid-20th century. These visitors left behind fascinating accounts of their perilous journeys in an unknown land; descriptions of what the people ate, wore and thought; who ruled them and how; the strange animals of this land, and many more startling facts which are often the only historical records of those times. Filled with incredible stories and nuggets of information, In the Country of Gold-Digging Ants brings alive the exciting adventures of eleven intrepid men and women for readers aged 12 years and older.

The Girl Who Spoke Bubbles by Margerie Williams. Princess Nayantara had grown to be a beautiful young lady but she was rude, arrogant, and difficult. One day, when Princess Nayantara looked into the bag that contained the Sadhu pearls that had once belonged to her late mother, she saw only a thin film of white powder. She tasted the powder. When she began to talk, bubbles came out of her mouth instead of words! This story written for 10 to 13-year-olds brings to life traditional beliefs, values and tales for today's young reader. With black-and-white drawings.

Mythil's Secret by Prashani Rambukwella, Prashani. Mythil thinks he's in for a boring time at Archchi's big old house but then things begin to happen. Who lives in the deep jungle and are they friends or foes? How can he make his parents believe the mysterious things that keep happening to him? And how can a young boy like him outwit a clever and sinister enemy on his own? Mythil's Secret is a story about a young boy's discovery of just how strong the bonds of family and friendship can be. Join him on this spine-tingling adventure as he learns to look within himself for courage he never knew he had. Mythil's Secret won Sri Lanka's most prestigious writing award - the Gratiaen Prize 2009.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Books on the Ageing Population in Asia

This is a selection of books on Asia’s ageing population.

Older Persons in Southeast Asia: An Emerging Asset edited by Evi Nurvidya Arifin and Aris Ananta. We all know that today's demographic trends will inevitably mean that the proportion of elderly in Asia's ever-growing population will continue to increase. In these 15 papers 26 specialists address many aspects of implications of this not-necessarily-negative fact. After introductory overviews in Part 1, Part 2 looks at aspects of income security with reference to approaches in Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Part 3 considers employment and other sources of financial and social support. Part 4 examines ageing, migration, and development issues with reference to experiences in Singapore, the Philippines and Sarawak. The final two papers discuss interactive issues of government, civil society and policy implementation. With index and separate bibliographies.

Ageing in Southeast and East Asia: Family, Social Protection and Policy Challenges edited by Lee Hock Guan. Southeast and East Asian countries are undergoing varying stages of population ageing. The social, economic and political implications of population ageing will be enormous, and because of the fast speed of ageing in the region, the countries cannot afford the luxury of time for the gradual evolution of social and structural support systems and networks for the older population. The papers in this volume are selected from those presented at a 2004 workshop on Ageing and the Status of the Older Population in Southeast Asia. They critically examine national ageing policies and programmes, the sustainability of existing pension systems, housing and living arrangements, inter-generational transfer, and aspects of quality of life of the elderly population in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea and Japan. While the findings show that most Southeast Asian countries have started to formulate and implement national ageing policies, they also indicate that the existing policies are by and large inadequate and underdeveloped in serving the needs of the older population and indeed much more must be done to prepare for the future.

Ageing in Singapore: Service Needs and the State by Peggy Teo, Kalyani Mehta, Leng Leng Thang et al.. Older persons are often portrayed as social and financial burdens because pensions, health and social care have to withstand increasing old age dependency ratios. Due to a lack of access to representation or a lack of social and economic power, older people have found few opportunities to have their voices heard, making age an immensely political issue. Written by an impressive team of authors, this book provides an in-depth analysis of the experience of ageing in Singapore examining key issues such as health, work, housing, family ties and care giving. It looks at how social categorization enters into everyday life to elucidate the multiple meanings of age and identity encountered in a rapidly changing economy and society. Providing original critical discourse from Asian writers recording Asian voices, this work will appeal to a wide readership and is an invaluable resource for policy makers, service practitioners and scholars working on Asian gerontology.

Ageing and Long Term Care: National Policies in the Asia-Pacific edited by David R. Phillips , David R. and Alfred C. M. Chan. This study of ageing & long term care policies in the APR was prepared by the Ageing Research Network of the Asian Development Research Forum for the year 2002 World Assembly on Ageing. The introduction addresses the aims, methods & terminology used in the case studies, which include reference material and tabulated data. Present policies & future needs in Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore & Thailand are clearly set out. Bibliography on general & local issues.

From Elder to Ancestor: Old Age, Death and Inheritance in Modern Korea by David Prendergast. This insightful account of the treatment and provision for an ageing population in South Korea is based on intensive fieldwork in the county of Puan. The structure of the book revolves around an analysis of the roles of the individual and family, including issues such as theory and practice of residence and retirement; village funerals; recent transformations in Korean mortuary practices; inheritance and the Korean family; Korea's looming ageing population crisis; and filial piety and the structural construction of kin responsibilities. With glossary, bibliography and index.

The Glittering Silver Market: The Rise of the Elderly Consumers in Asia by Hedrick-Wong Yuwa. Throughout the world there is an ongoing increase in the elderly consumer market and its impact in Asia is the focus of this clearly organised. After an overview of ageing patterns, tabulated economic and demographic data are provided for each chapter on: Ageing Japan; Affluent Asia (i.e. Australia, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore); Emerging China; Emerging Asia: Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and India; and a final chapter on immediately appropriate changes in focus by marketers, in the workplace and in public perceptions. Index.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

This is a selection of books on the history of Southeast Asia region.

A New History of Southeast Asia by M.C. Ricklefs, Bruce Lockhart et al.. A new, comprehensive, one-volume history of Southeast Asia that spans prehistory to the present. Ricklefs brings together colleagues at the National University of Singapore whose expertise covers the entire region, encompassing political, social, economic, religious and cultural history. Opening with an account of the ethnic groups and initial cultural and social structures of Southeast Asia, the book moves through the early 'classical' states, the arrival of new global religions and the impact of non-indigenous actors. The history of early modern states and their colonial successors is followed by an analysis of World War II across the region. Offering a definitive account of decolonisation and early post-colonial nation-building, the text then transports us to modern-day Southeast Asia, exploring its place in a world recovering from the financial crisis. The distinguished author team provide an authoritative and accessible narrative, drawing upon the latest research and offering detailed guidance on further reading.

The Living Past: History of Ancient India, China and Southeast Asia by Andrew Major. This Singapore secondary school text may also interest the general reader. It looks at: the nature of history; the birth of civilisations in India, China, and Southeast Asia; government and the organisation of society in the three civilisations; culture and religions; scientific and artistic achievements; contact and interaction between the three civilisations; and internal and external threats. The holistic approach makes use of graphics, archival material, inset questions, maps, colourful illustrations and dramatic captions, and also draws connections between past and present situations.

Projections of Power: The United States and Europe in Colonial Southeast Asia, 1919-1941 by Ann L. Foster. Throughout its history, the United States has been both imperialistic and anticolonial: imperialistic in its expansion across the continent and across oceans to colonies such as the Philippines, and anticolonial in its rhetoric and ideology. How did this contradiction shape its interactions with European colonists and Southeast Asians after the United States joined the ranks of colonial powers in 1898? Anne L. Foster argues that the actions of the United States functioned primarily to uphold, and even strengthen, the colonial order in Southeast Asia. The United States participated in international agreements to track and suppress the region's communists and radical nationalists, and in economic agreements benefiting the colonial powers. Yet the American presence did not always serve colonial ends; American cultural products (including movies and consumer goods) and its economic practices (such as encouraging indigenous entrepreneurship) were appropriated by Southeast Asians for their own purposes. Scholars have rarely explored the interactions among the European colonies of Southeast Asia in the early twentieth century. Foster is the first to incorporate the United States into such an analysis. As she demonstrates, the presence of the United States as a colonial power in Southeast Asia after the First World War helps to explain the resiliency of colonialism in the region. It also highlights the inexorable and appealing changes that Southeast Asians perceived as possibilities for the region's future.

50 Years of Archaeology in Southeast Asia: Essays in Honour of Ian Glover edited by Berenice Bellina, Elisabeth Bacus et al. In 21 essays some 30 of Southeast Asia's leading archaeologists here honour the 50 years' achievement of Professor Ian Glover (b. 1934), pioneer of pre-historic archaeology in many areas of Southeast Asia. In five groupings, the essays focus on: Professor Glover's contributions to archaeological knowledge in Island and Mainland Southeast Asia; Hunter-gatherers and early agricultural subsistence; Social complexity and early states; Craft production and exchange; and Colonialism and Archaeology. With insets, illustrations, maps, photographs, bibliographies and index.

The Singapore and Melaka Straits: Violence, Security and Diplomacy in the 17th Century by Peter Borschberg. The Singapore and Melaka Straits are a place where regional and long-distance maritime trading networks converge, linking Europe, the Mediterranean, eastern Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian subcontinent with key centres of trade in Thailand, Indochina, insular Southeast Asia, China, Korea and Japan. The first half of the 17th century brought heightened political, commercial and diplomatic activity to this region. It has long been clear to both the Portuguese and the Dutch that whoever controlled the waters off modern Singapore gained a firm grip on regional as well as long-distance intra-Asian trade. By the early 1600s Portuguese power and prestige were waning and the arrival of the Dutch East India Company constituted a major threat. Moreover, the rapid expansion and growing power of the Acehnese Empire, and rivalry between Johor and Aceh, was creating a new context for European trade in Asia. Drawing on maps, rare printed works, and unpublished manuscripts written in Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and Latin, Peter Borschberg provides new information on the diplomatic activities of Asian powers, and shows how the Portuguese and Spanish attempted to restore their political fortunes by containing the rapid rise of Dutch Power in the region. Key documents, transcribed and translated into English for the first time, make up a series of appendices. The product of more than two decades of research in European libraries, archives, The Singapore and Melaka Straits will be of great interest to readers in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, where little is known about this pivotal pre-colonial period. It is also an invaluable resource for historians and other students of early modern Europe and of the European presence in Asia.

Southeast Asia: An Introductory History by Milton Osborne. The first edition of Southeast Asia: An Introductory History was published in 1979 and immediately filled a need for travellers and students interested in a tantalisingly different part of the world. Subsequent editions have continued to document with great perception the enormous changes and dramatic growth experienced in the region. Dr Milton Osborne has been a resident, student and fascinated observer of Southeast Asia for over 40 years. This familiarity has resulted in a highly readable and lively chronicle. While giving due regard to the early history of the region, Osborne concentrates on the changes that have taken place since the 18th century: the impact of colonial rule, economic transformations of the 19th and 20th centuries, the emergence and triumph of the independence movements, the impact of social change and the pivotal roles played by religion, ethnic minorities and immigrant groups. He also provides an introduction to the art of the region and a comprehensive guide to literature about Southeast Asia. Clearly written and extensively illustrated this tenth edition remains a classic in the field.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Books on Music in Asia

These are books that explore little known facets of music in Asia:

Songs For The Spirits: Music And Mediums In Modern Vietnam by Barley Norton. Songs for the Spirits is the first in-depth study of the Vietnamese practice of communing with music and performance. During rituals dedicated to spirits, a band of musicians perform an elaborate sequence of songs for possessed mediums who carry out ritual actions, distribute blessed gifts to disciples and dance to the music's infectious rhythms. An accompanying DVD contains numerous video and music extracts. With bibliography and index.

Modern Noise, Fluid Genres: Popular Music In Indonesia, 1997-2001 by Jeremy Wallach. What happens to "local" sound when globalisation exposes musicians and audiences to cultural influences from around the world? Jeremy Wallach explores this question as it plays out in the eclectic, evolving world of Indonesian music after the fall of the repressive Soeharto regime. Against the backdrop of Indonesia's chaotic and momentous transition to democracy, Wallach takes us to recording studios, music stores, concert venues, university campuses, video shoots, and urban neighbourhoods. Integrating ground-level ethnographic research with insights drawn from contemporary cultural theory, he shows that access to globally circulating music and technologies has neither extinguished nor homogenized local music-making in Indonesia. Instead, it has provided young Indonesians with creative possibilities for exploring their identity in an increasingly interconnected world. Includes a CD of Indonesian popular music 1997-2001.

Music In Central Java: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture by Benjamin Brinner. Based on extensive fieldwork this in-depth study of music in Central Java includes details of contemporary gamelan music. The music context, social roles, and the ongoing international interest in gamelan music and its leading musicians are discussed. It also discusses the theatrical and musical aspects of Wayang Kulit. With black-and-white illustrations, glossary, bibliography index and a 78-minute CD.

Musicians From A Different Shore: Asians And Asian Americans In Classical Music by Mari Yoshihara. Musicians of Asian descent have unusual prominence in concern halls, conservatories and classical music competitions. Mari Yoshihara, Professor of American Studies at the University of Hawai'i, looks into the reasons for this phenomenon. She shows how a confluence of culture, politics and commerce after the war made classical music a staple in middle-class households. With notes, bibliography and index.

P'ungmul: South Korean Drumming And Dance by Nathan Hesselink. Composed of a core set of two drums and two gongs, p'ungmul is a South Korean tradition of rural folk percussion. Steeped in music, dance, theatre, and pageantry, but centrally focused on rhythm, such ensembles have been an integral part of village life in South Korea for centuries, serving as a musical accompaniment in the often overlapping and shifting contexts of labour, ritual, and entertainment. The first book to introduce Korean drumming and dance to the English-speaking world, ethnomusicologist Nathan Hesselink's P'ungmul offers detailed descriptions of its instrumentation, dance formations, costuming, actors, teaching lineages, and the complexities of training. Hesselink also evaluates how this tradition has taken on new roles and meanings in the 20th and early-21st centuries, investigating the interrelated yet contested spheres of history, memory, government policy, grassroots politics, opportunities for musical transmission, and performance practices and aesthetics. With colour and black-and-white photographs, notes, bibliography and index.

Kammu Songs: The Songs Of Kam Raw by Hakan Lundstrom and Damrong Tayanin. The songs or music of the Kammu upland people of the borderlands of Laos, Yunnan and Thailand remain a huge part of their traditional culture. Substantial ethnomusical research has gone into this presentation of the songs of Kam Raw (b. 1938) a Kammu from northern Laos who followed his family tradition as a singer at ceremonial occasions or local celebrations. The words and tones are translated into phonics and into English. With references and discography.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Books on Textiles in Asia

These are recent additions to our wide selection of books on textiles in Asia. If you have any interest in textiles, we highly recommend these books. If you have a specific area of interest in Asian textiles, do contact us so that we may recommend and source for specific titles for you.

Textiles of the Islamic World by John Gillow. This wonderfully illustrated volumes gives a broad survey of the textiles produced today and in the past in the Islamic world. Illustrations of the textiles, and sometimes the people who created them, complement the overview accounts of the methods, styles and usages of the fabrics created in the various centres and traditions in: the Ottoman World; Islamic Spain and North Africa; the Arab World; the Persian World; Central Asia; the Mughal World; East and Southeast Asia; and sub-Saharan Africa. With glossary, reading lists, list of museum collections, 638 illustrations, 625 in colour, and index.

Five Centuries of Indonesian Textiles edited by Ruth Barnes and Mary Hunt Kahlenberg. Including many rare and antique examples, this luxurious volume introduces readers to the intoxicating and complex beauty of Indonesian cloth.Since the 1970s Mary Hunt Kahlenberg has been building her collection of exquisite ceremonial garments and sacred textiles from throughout Indonesia's chain of tropical islands. Dating from the past five centuries and brought together here for the first time in book form, these woven and batiked hangings, ceremonial mats, jackets, shawls, and head cloths form a stunning array that will draw the attention of anyone with a love of art, fine craftsmanship, and design. Large, elegantly presented photographs show the textiles in incredible closeup detail and full expanse, making it possible to appreciate their technical brilliance and rich colors as well as the dazzling assortment of intricate patterns and motifs. Including essays by leading anthropologists and art historians, this book brings readers into a world ruled by the belief that weavings communicate with and transform those who come into contact with them.

Wearing Wealth and Styling Identity: Tapis from Lampung, South Sumatra, Indonesia by Mary-Louise Totton. Located along the primary maritime route between Asia and the West, Sumatra, the fabled Isle of Gold, was part of the early global network of commerce and cultural exchange. In the southern tip of Sumatra, the peoples of Lampung poured their trading profits into ceremonial materials and artful adornments. Elite women of this region created a distinctive genre of fashionable garments that exemplified their family's prestige, clan identity, and affluence. These ornate tubular sarongs, or tapis, were woven from cotton and silk threads dyed with ancestral recipes and lavishly embellished with opulent materials. Published to complement the 2009 exhibition at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, this study examines the history, artistic process and techniques, iconography, and present-day context of these extraordinary textiles.

Dress, Textiles and Identity of the Black Tai of Loei Province, Northeast Thailand by Franco Amantea. This book examines the contemporary role of traditional and tradition-based Black Tai textiles and dress as material and symbolic representations of Black Tai ethnic and social-cultural identity. The analysis of textile and ethnic dress reveals that dress and textiles serve a crucial role in ethnic and cultural continuity among the Black Tai peoples. Textiles continue to figure prominently in the religious beliefs and practices of the Tai Dam as well as serving as markers of status, functioning to promote cultural and social cohesion, and more recently, serving as a means of economic development. With references and index.

Indian Textiles in the East: From Southeast Asia to Japan by John Guy. The dazzlingly varied cloths presented in this book are the visual record of one of the great stories of Asian design history. John Guy has produced a brilliant account of the Indian textile trade in examining the cloth-for-spices trade, focusing on the 17th and 18th centuries when the thousand-year-old trade was at its peak. With beautiful photographs of the textiles themselves (outstanding among them the famous cotton chintzes and tie-and-dye silks), illuminating images of people and places, and vivid first-hand descriptions by travellers and merchants, this is both an indispensible resource and a visual feast for students and lovers of textiles. First published in hardcover under the title, Woven Cargoes: Indian Textiles in the East.

Legacy in Cloth: Batak Textiles of Indonesia by Sandra Niessen. Weaving in the Batak region of North Sumatra is an ancient art practised by women, and exhibits some of the oldest design and technical features in the Indonesian archipelago. Since colonial annexation at the turn of the 20th century, innovative Batak weavers from the Lake Toba region in northern Sumatra have successfully adapted their art to new economic and social circumstances - but at great cost. In recent decades, weaving has fallen into decline and the tradition is threatened, while at the same time Batak textiles are highly prized in museum collections around the world. Legacy in cloth offers the first definitive study of the woven heritage of the Toba, Simalungun, and Karo Batak. The most complete analysis of Batak textiles ever published, it provides a record of more than 100 different design types, including archival and contemporary photographs showing how the textiles are woven and how they are used in Batak culture.