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Man's Ceremonial Robe

Traditional Ainu clothing is made from animal skins and the bark of elm trees, but in the nineteenth century, the Ainu began to incorporate cotton fabric into their wardrobe. They often used old Japanese kimonos, to which they added dark strips around the neck, front opening, sleeves, and hem. They decorated these additions with embroidery that became more complex over time. The cutwork in the dark edge fabric on this man's coat allows for a sophisticated dialogue between traditional Ainu embroidery forms and the bold pattern of the Japanese textile below.


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