Strange smiles of the Ainu women

Ainu woman, 1901, photo source

I have already written about the Ainu people costume and jewelry (here). And today's post is about another interesting feature that used to distinguish this ethnic group, particularly women. I am talking about tattoo. What was so unusual about the Ainu tattoo? Well, until very recently (the last fully tattooed Ainu woman died in 1998), Ainu women had black tattoos, resembling clown smiles, around their lips. And though Ainu women were also tattooed on the backs of the hands, wrists, forearms, eyebrows and forehead as well, their tattooed smiles were the most characteristic feature, and the most striking for any newcomer I would say.


Navy blue maxi skirt: ethnic way

My first photoshoot after the earthquake. What have I been wearing these days? Nothing fancy, of course. Mostly it's been loose pants or a maxi skirt paired with a t-shirt. Or something ethnic such as kurta-salwar combination.
Today again I'm wearing my favourite navy blue maxi skirt that has been featured on this blog so many times already. Yet another way to wear it: ethnic. Add an Indian kurta (tunic) with a fancy ethnic motif, large jhumka earrings, a chunky bangle - done.


Not just a baby carrier

Dayak embellished baby carriers
photo source

The women of many Dayak  tribes weave glass beads into fascinating patterns that are used to decorate the unusual baby baskets that are sometimes the most valuable piece of property that a family possesses.
This type of baby basket is called ba. Mothers use them to carry their babies around on their backs from their birth and until they are two years old. The framework for the basket is usually made of rattan, which is then decorated with a complex fabric of beads.


Peacock bra: Nepali jewelers' masterpiece

Bejeweled bra: gold, precious and semi-precious stones

Today I want to show you how talented and imaginative Nepali jewellers are and what they are really capable of creating. This unique piece made by RB Diamond Jewellers was featured at the Jewelry Show in Kathmandu a couple of months ago. The peacock bra/blouse is made of 9-carat gold and decorated with a total of 3000 precious and semi-precious stones, including diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, pearls, kyanite and aquamarine. The blouse is held by the pearl strings which are connected at the back and attached to a gold flower. It took about a year to be completed. I have no idea how comfortable it feels wearing this thing but what I know is that it looks stunning.


Pleated labyrinth maxi skirt

Pleated labyrinth skirt with cotton jersey top

I don't know whether this skirt's pattern has any particular name. It reminds me of a labyrinth and so for me this is "my labyrinth skirt". Besides having an eye-catchy pattern, another special feature of this skirt is that it is pleated. The pleating is also interesting: pleats of the upper part are narrow and then they widen at the bottom.
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