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What Types of Gifts Can You Find in an Ethnic Gift Store?

Ethnic Gift Store

Gifts that evoke the spirit of a place make for unique and memorable presents. Authentic return gifts are a source of pride for locals and a way to share culture with tourists. For example, Eighth Generation sells Native goods directly from Indigenous makers in Seattle. Here you can find blankets and hats made from wool with traditional designs.

Over the past fifty years, archaeological explorations in China have yielded a remarkable wealth of textile materials, many of them silk. In this lavishly illustrated volume, preeminent Western and Chinese scholars provide the most comprehensive history of silk ever written. Silk was the crowning glory of the imperial dynasties, and one of their chief exports. The process for its production was highly secretive, and anyone caught stealing the silkworm eggs or even touching them would have been put to death.

Eventually, the Ethnic Gift Store in USA learned to breed silkworms and make silk on their own. They exported the thread, woven cloth and finished products all over Asia, a trade route that became known as the Silk Road. Today, silk is still a very popular product. It takes dye like no other fabric, and it is incredibly versatile; it can be gossamer thin or upholstery thick. It is a soft and luxurious item that can be worn by both men and women. It is available in a wide variety of colors and styles.

What Types of Gifts Can You Find in an Ethnic Gift Store?

The Chinese have a long and distinguished ceramic tradition, covering over 7,000 years of dynastic history. From the coarse gray ware with cord markings of the Neolithic period, to the refined porcelain wares used in the imperial court, each dynasty developed its own unique style. Aesthetic sophistication and functionality meld in perfect harmony in every piece.

China has a natural wealth of clay soil, with the ideal combination of loess and kaolin to produce earthenwares and stonewares. The kilns were established around the main cities, with some specialized for specific types of ceramics. Many of these kilns are still in operation today.

Some of the most famous examples include Song dynasty celadon bowls, Yue ware and Northern celadons. The Ming dynasty introduced underglaze blue, and the Yongle Emperor was curious about foreign forms, producing wares with motifs drawn from Islamic metalwork. Tang dynasty lead-glazed sancai pottery is also well known. In the early 18th century, the Fujian region became one of the major export centers for fine white porcelains, known as blanc de Chine.

Chinese paintings are a unique and beautiful art form. They are not only a work of art but also a means of communication between the artist and the viewer. They are meant to evoke a sense of calmness and spirituality.

Unlike Western paintings, Chinese paintings do not have a single viewpoint or view point; they are intended to be experienced as a journey through the painting. A visual path from one area to the next is created through a combination of compositional elements, such as rocks and trees, or by layering different colors. The majority of Chinese paintings are on scrolls, which can be unrolled and viewed in their entirety or rolled up when not being viewed.

This hanging scroll, painted by Fu Baoshi, shows a series of mountains with wild spirals of brushwork that suggest movement and energy. Fu was influenced by the seventeenth-century individualist painter Shitao, who portrayed rocks in a similar manner.

Embroidery is a traditional handcraft involving stitching patterns with silk threads. It requires patience and skill, as well as a fine eye. A single thread can be divided into up to 48 strands and each must be carefully positioned. Embroidery is a craft with deep roots in Chinese culture and history. The earliest pieces were unearthed from tombs in the Warring States Period, and later, during the Han Dynasty, embroidery became a key element in China’s art world.

The Miao and Bai people of the Southwest use embroidery to tell stories, and their motifs are often auspicious. Other ethnic groups like the Yue and Zhuang also have their own distinctive style.

The embroidered objects in the book are stunningly beautiful. Nora Yao and Peter Sun from the Confucius Institute in Auckland interpreted them at a public talk during Lantern Festival. The figurative language used in the embroidery, from the plum blossom symbolising prosperity to the crane and phoenix embodying virtue and duty, speaks of a complex and profound philosophy.

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