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Ainu Robe (Chikarkarpe)

The Ainu originally inhabited all islands of present-day Japan, as well as southern Sakhalin, which is part of Russia. Traditionally hunter-gatherers who lived in autonomous villages who were gradually disenfranchised by the Japanese. Today, fewer than 25,000 of them remain, mostly living on the northern island of Hokkaido. Their robes, of ceremonial nature, are a hybrid of Japanese form and Inuit decorative elements. In the second half of the 19th century, cotton became more widely used. The two methods of embellishing the Ainu robes are applique and embroidery, usually combined harmoniously; the applique outlines softened by the delicate undulating embroidery.  The iconography combines two elements-ovoid motifs and curves used to create a netlike pattern to trap the evil spirits. The design is always symmetrical, but as it is done freehand, it is never perfectly so.  It is also continuous front to back.  The body of this Chikarkarpe is made of delicate Kasuri. Brown beige and red accents were then added. Next, an overall white cotton applique is laid on top, and then the piece is finished with chain stitch embroidery. Robes with white applique designs were worn at funerals and other ritual occasions.

Circa: 19th-Early 20th century

Origin: Hokkaido, Japan

Material: Cotton

Condition: Excellent

Dimensions: 51" X 47"

Inventory number: WR3921

$12,500

IN STOCK

Call: (646) 370-6801

E-mail us: yosi@sarajo.com or grant@sarajo.com

Inventory #: WR3921 Categories: , , ,