Updated 6 years 4 months ago
- Why did you choose this topic? I chose this topic because I enjoyed looking at embroidery as an art form, and I have seen embroidery on many clothes here. As well, I like to make things with my hands, and would like to try learning how to embroider.
- Who were your sources? The Costumes and Ornaments of China's Miao Tribe, Ms. Li, Ms. Bai LiPing, Bai costume sellers in Zhou Cheng
- Why did you choose these sources? I chose these sources because Ms. Li is a professional embroiderer, Ms. LiPing knows a lot about the XiZhou area, the clothes sellers in Zhou Cheng's profession is selling Bai minority clothes (which have embroidery on it), and the book contains information about the costumes of the Miao tribe.
- What kinds of questions were you trying to answer? Refer to phase 3 or phase 1.
- End your introduction with your thesis statement from Phase 4. Embroidery plays a role in the culture of Yunnan, both as an art form and clothing.
Sharing Your Learning:
See the video posted above.
- What did you take away from this experience? I learned about embroidery, of course, and got to communicate first-hand with professionals in this field. As well, I learned the signifigance of of embroidery in Bai and Miao clothing, as these patterns have been on their clothes for years. I thought the process was fun, and I found out that leaerning can be fun if you're interested in the subject.
- Did your topic change during the course of your study? Why? Yes, because I found out that I was more interested in embroidery as opposed to medicine.
- What was the most difficult part of your research? The most difficult part was hurrying to catch up after I changed my topic. I felt like I had to hurry, but I caught up because embroidery was what I was interested in, so I didn't mind doing work on it. As well, when I went to ZhouCheng, I had a hard time finding the answers to a question. I wanted to know the signifigance of the cammelia flower on the Bai clothes, but lots of shopkeepers didn't know. These clothes are often machine made, so the cultural meaning of it has diminished. But one shopkeeper
- Did you have any "a-ha" moments when you made a major discovery? Describe what you discovered and what it was like. Not really....
- How did this project help you to understand the topic better? It let me explore Chinese embroidery in particular, as opposed to embroidery in general around the world. I also learned to embroider myself! This project helped me understand embroidery better because all my questions relate directly to this topic.
- How did this project help you interact with the community in and around Xizhou? I focused a part of this project on embroidery on the clothes of the Bai and Miao people, who live in this area. I took pictures of Bai women in their clothes. I went to Zhou Cheng to ask about the embroidery on Bai clothes, and interacted with shopowners. Lastly, I went to Happy Embroidery, a school and shop for embroidery, regularly for two weeks to learn from Ms. Li.
- How did this project help you understand yourself better? When I changed my topic, I learned that I was a person who preferred 'artsy' stuff like embroidery to 'scientific' stuff like medicine. I also learned through working on this project that I'm the kind of person who likes to take things slowly, and learn based on what I'm interested in, not what teachers tell me to do. I am willing to discover the answers to what I'm curious about, and I like doing hands-on stuff as well.
- If you could go back in time to the beginning of this project, what kind of advice would have helped you to make it a better experience? I think that planning your time well and doing a little work a day is better than cramming a lot into one day. Also, be flexible and know that you may have to change some questions and adapt your project to the place. Take a look at the instructions in the phases before you start, to have in mind of what is expected of you. Because I had to change my project, I would recommend that you should pick a topic that interests you and consider all aspects of it before you start working on it. If the topic truly intrests you, you would want to work on it and have fun doing it instead of thinking of it as 'extra work' that you need to do. Also, you should make time for it and try to enjoy your imquiry project.
- If you (or someone else) were to continue this research project, what new directions might it take? How could other Microcampus students build on the work you have done?
- Acknowledgements: end by giving thanks to who were helpful during this research process. Thanks to Ms. LiPing who took me to and from Happy Embroidery, answered my '3-to-5' questions, helped me arrange trips to Sha Chun and Zhou Cheng, and for overall being a wonderfully helpful person in this process. Thanks to Ms. Li and everyone else at Happy Embroidery for teaching me about embroidery, silk, and the economic aspect of embroidery. Thanks to the Zhou Cheng costume sellers for letting me take pictures and telling me about the cha hua, or the cammelia flower. Thanks to the Linden Center staff and the Lindens for all their excellent facilities, including their library. Lastly, thanks to everyone on Microcampus, the teachers, chaperones, and even supportive parents back in Shanghai whi helped me thoughout this experience.