Thailand: Yao (Mien) woman with baby

Front view
Front view

General description: This hill-tribe doll has a young baby on her back wrapped in a shawl.

Dimensions: 33 x 12 x 11 cm

Date when acquired: 2016

Original Date: Unknown but I saw I doll just like this one in Phuket town (Thailand) in December 2015.

Source: Designed by Vanda S. Mongkhong and handmade by Youthama, House of Handicrafts

Flea market in Göttingen. Present from Aneta.


Back view
Back view


Padded wire body and limbs. The mother’s and baby’s faces are made of a plastic material with painted features. The baby’s eyes are closed showing it is sleeping peacefully. She is standing on a velvet covered square of wood.


View from the right
View from the right


Her clothing and jewellery is typical of the Yao (Mien) tribe. The basic material is black cotton. The costume consists of black trousers decorated down the front with cross-stitch in a pattern of interlocking scrollwork in red, blue and green with yellow edges and the triangles between in white. Her long-sleeved tunic has long panels reaching down the front and back, though the front one is tucked up under her waistband. The sleeves have red cuffs. The tails of the waistband at the back are also embroidered with a design on the legs of the trousers. At each side of her waist are long red tassels, though the right tassel has also some black threads in it. Around her neck is the typical red ruff worn by the women of this tribe.

On her head is the black turban with its embroidered “ears” sticking up from the crown.

Her baby is wrapped in a black shawl that is embroidered in the cross-stitch scrollwork in red, green and gold with white edging.

The baby has a snug-fitting black hat on its head with a red pompom and cross-stitch embroidery around the edge.


View of crowns of hats - ears of the mother's hat and the pompom of the baby's
View of crowns of hats – ears of the mother’s hat and the pompom of the baby’s


The doll has the heavy silver jewellery typical of the hill tribes of Northern Thailand. She has a large silver torque with a separate pendant at her neck slightly hidden by her ruff. Her heavy earrings are heart shaped. A double silver chain is attached to her ruff on the right and to her waist on the left, with two silver balls at each point of attachment.

She is carrying an open-weave wicket basket in her left hand and a bag woven of palm-leaf-like material in her right hand.


Background information

See other Yao (Mien) doll (4.8.9) and Thailand hilltribes




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