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4024Re: An absolute beginner

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  • sha_pirotess
    Mar 3, 2011
      Hello there,
      I too have been somewhat lurking as I have had little time to do much in the way of research and hatmaking. However, time has allowed me to begin my project anew. My obsession: the bogtaq. I have done tons of research and scoured for paintings under various spellings for the hat. Finally I have the confidence that I can reproduce a bogtaq in a period fasion.
      I think you will find this quote especially helpful:
      "...Called boghta, they were two to three feet in length, and like thier prototypes, gave ample scope for elaboration and decoration. We are fortunate in having two eyewitness accounts of the boghta from the year 1221 and one from 1237 which reveal the changing notions of fasion among the Mongols. The first, by Li Chih-chang, who accompanied the Taoist mong Ch'ang Ch'un to central Asia on his visit to Chinggis Qan, says that the "headdress of married women is made of birch [for the frame], reaching a height of two feet. Most often they cover it with coarse black wool [but] the wealthier ones use plain, red silk." The second, from Chao Hung, a Sung ambassador, relates that headgear of women of the ruling strata consists of an iron wire frame "about three feet in length, adorned with red and blue brocade [chin-hsiu] or with pearls." Some fifteen years later, Hsü T'ing, another Sung envoy, who personally witnessed the fabrication of ku-kus, reports that the frames were now wrapped "with red silk or gold brocade [chin-pai]." Clearly at the time of these observations a transition was taking place from plain native materials to more elegant and expensive ones made available by the Mongolian occupation of North China and the eastern Islamic world. Thereafter, as the empire continued its expansion, a wide variety of decorative materials bedecked the boghtas of Mongolian women, including velvet, buckram, gold embroidery, pearls and bird feathers."
      This exerpt is from the book Commodity and Exchange in the Mongol Empire: A Cultural History of Islamic Textiles. I have other texts discussing the origin of the hat and evidence speaking of how it inspired the hennin. But as we are speaking of it's construction, I think that this was a GREAT discription of how it can evolve through time and how the materials differed greatly. You can read a complete copy of this book for free via google books (a close friend of mine as free scholarly sources are always awesome!)
      Recently I have been constructing one incorperating the birch construction. Instead of a square on top that you see in some paintings and modern examples, I am doing the style that gently slopes to the base, like Chabi's. Some cheats had to be done for time/money/personal skills but I am using hobby birch plywood for the construction using sinew to sew it. I am making detailed instructions for construction to help others make it since this information is obviously much needed from what I have heard from other mongolian personas. If you want more information/trade notes, feel free to e-mail me as I am only able to check yahoo groups once in a great while but I check e-mail much more often.
      Sorry the post was so long but I'm hoping that all this helped!
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