A 100% cotton tea towel, featuring a design inspired by the Hundred Bird coat.
The ‘Hundred Bird’ coat is made from hand-spun cotton woven and embroidered all over with birds, insects and geometric patterns. It was worn in the mid-20th century for the Guzhang festival of the Miao people of Hunan province in southwest China.
During this celebration offerings are made to reinforce spiritual links with ancestors of the community, strengthening bonds amongst the living and ensuring good fortune. In traditional beliefs birds are often seen as avatars linking the spiritual realms of the cosmos as they walk on land and fly into the sky.
Click here to view the Hundred Bird coat in the online collection.
More about the exhibition
The new major exhibition Living with gods: peoples, places and worlds beyond explores how people believe through everyday objects of faith from societies around the world and through time.
The exhibition provides a perspective on what makes believing a vital part of human behaviour and seeing how people believe, rather than considering what they believe, suggests that humans might be naturally inclined to believe in transcendent worlds and beings.