Woman's tunic

Burmese (Laytu Chin peoples)
mid-20th century

Object Place: Arakan and Chin State, Myanmar (Burma)


Height x width: 17 1/2 x 18 1/2 in. (44.5 x 47 cm)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Cotton - plain weave, silk, blass beads, and cowrie shells

Not On View


Asia, Contemporary Art, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Simple, sleeveless square with deep v-neck and armholes of equal length. The upper half of this garment is richly embellished with finely woven supplementary geometric patterns in repeating diamonds and chevrons of magenta silk thread. The lattice-like supplementary design on the selvedges produces a zigzag pattern in contrast to the ground cloth. The bottom half of the garment in traversed with two 1 5/8 inch vertical stripes of supplementary weaving consisting of diamond and cross mark variants in pale magenta and blue. Narrow, vertical stripes in magenta run from the top of the garment to the hem. 24 florets, consisting of four cowrie shells arranged in vertical rows of four on the front, back, and sides, embellish the tunic. Hundreds of translucent, candy apple red glass seed beads are sewn into rows and lattices creating a beaded panel on the front and back. Additional groupings of red beads outline the cowrie florets.


Acquired by dealer in 1995; Purchased by the MFA from Tribal Spirit Traders, Leyden, MA, April 26, 2006.

Credit Line

Textile Curator's Fund