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蓝靛印染:贵州侗寨中,濒临失传的一抹蓝

更新时间:2017-11-15 12:11:05 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Chinese Village Keeps Alive a Tradition of Indigo Dyeing
蓝靛印染:贵州侗寨中,濒临失传的一抹蓝

DALI VILLAGE, China — The young woman sat at the foot of the wooden loom and began to weave. As her fingers passed the orange shuttle back and forth through the delicate cotton threads, the creaky contraption sprang to life.

中国大利侗寨——这位年轻女子坐在织布机的一头,开始织布。随着橙色的梭子在柔软的棉线间来回穿梭,这个吱呀作响的装置在她手上活了过来。

Yang Xiuying — a plucky woman no taller than the loom — peered over her granddaughter’s shoulder, inspecting the newly emerging fabric for flaws. Ever since she was a young girl, Ms. Yang, 74, has been weaving and dyeing indigo textiles using techniques that the ethnic Dong in the southern Chinese province of Guizhou have passed down from mother to daughter over generations.

杨秀英——一个还没有织布机高的女人——在孙女身后凝视着,检查新织好的布有没有瑕疵。从还是个小姑娘的时候,74岁的杨秀英就用着贵州侗族祖辈传承下来的技艺染织着靛蓝布料。

“You can’t buy this type of handmade cloth at the market,” Ms. Yang said, patting a bolt of gleaming indigo-colored cloth with her wrinkled, navy-stained hands.

“这个自己家做的,买不到的。”杨秀英一边说着,一边用她起皱的、染成了蓝青色的手,拍打着一匹染成透亮的靛蓝色的布料。

Here in Dali, an ancient village nestled in verdant hills, making indigo cloth has long been a part of life, no less important to the Dong than farming rice or fermenting fish.

在青山环绕的古村落大利,蓝靛印染早已成为生活的一部分。在侗族人看来,这是与种植稻米、腌鱼同样重要的事。

Even in this era of fast fashion, many Dong women still devote countless hours to making the dark, glossy cloth. The fabric must be woven, wrung, scrubbed and pounded before it can be used to create traditional Dong cotton garments — dark navy costumes with colorful flower trim for the women and plain indigo for the men.

在这个快时尚当道的时代,许多侗族妇女仍愿意花费大量时间制作着深色的光滑布料。布料需经过织、拧、擦、锤,才能被用来制成传统的侗族棉质服饰——女性的深蓝色服饰装点着五彩花朵,男性服饰则只用靛蓝纯色布料。

“For a Dong family, having a loom is just as important as having a cow,” said Lai Lei, the founder of a weaving and dyeing co-op in a nearby village. “As children, we grow up listening to the sound of the loom.”

“对侗族人来说,每家的织布机就像耕牛一样重要,”附近村寨一家染织合作社的创办者赖蕾说。“我们从小就听着织布机的声音长大。”

Dyeing is so woven into Dali’s culture that the practice even survived the Cultural Revolution.

染布深深嵌入在大利的文化之中,以至于能够经历文革存活下来。

But the traditions have come under a different threat since China’s market economy took off in recent decades. As the lure of work and education has drawn youth to China’s growing cities, few young Dong women are left in villages like this one.

但是到了几十年前中国市场经济改革之时,这些传统又经受了另一种的威胁。工作和教育的诱惑驱使着年轻人纷纷去往城市,像大利这样的山村里,年轻的侗族女人所剩无几。

Of those who remain, even fewer show interest in learning the labor-intensive techniques of indigo dyeing.

在留下的人中,很少有人对工作量巨大的染布技艺感兴趣。

“I want to teach my daughters, but they don’t want to learn,” said Zhang Yuyuan, 75, as she stepped back from plunging fabric into a navy-blue bath. “They say, ‘We’ll just mess it up, so you should just do it.’”

“我想教女儿们染布,可是她们不想学,”75岁的张玉媛一边说一边把布料投进了靛蓝缸。“她们就和我说:‘我们染不好就染坏了,还是你直接来做吧。’”

Hoping to save Dali’s folk traditions, provincial officials in 2011 invited in the Global Heritage Fund, a preservation organization based in California.

2011年,贵州省政府向总部位于加利福尼亚州的保护组织全球遗产基金(Global Heritage Fund)发出邀请,希望能拯救大利的民间传统。

The Global Heritage Fund has begun working with Atlas Studio, a Beijing-based design studio, to set up a weaving and dyeing co-op in Dali. The aim is twofold: to create opportunities to work closer to home and to persuade young Dong women to learn their traditions.

全球遗产基金开始与北京一家设计工作室地图集工作室(Atlas Studio)合作,在大利建立了一家染织合作社。目的有两个:为村民创造一个离家近的工作机会,同时也说服年轻的侗族姑娘去学习她们的传统技艺。

“For a long time, Guizhou has known that one of its strongest cultural resources is the ethnic minority villages,” said Kuanghan Li, the China program director of the Global Heritage Fund. “Now rural villages are a hot topic in China.”

“长久以来,贵州都知道他们最厉害的文化资源之一就是少数民族村落,”全球遗产基金中国项目主任李光涵说,“现在,农村是中国的热门话题。”

Tourism has yet to take off in Dali, though it may only be a matter of time. Unlike many villages in China where preservation has been undertaken with a heavy hand, the village has the feel of an untouched oasis, due in part to its remote location.

大利的旅游业还未发展起来,但或许这只是时间问题。与中国其他一些得到大力度保护的村落不同,大利侗寨仿佛一个无人涉足的绿洲,部分原因在于其地理位置偏远。

Even today, it is accessible only by a narrow mountain road that winds through lush bamboo forests before descending down into a valley where sloping gray-tiled rooftops huddle closely together.

即使在今天,要进入村寨也只能走狭窄的山路。在茂盛的竹林间,山路蜿蜒向下,通向了这个小村寨。村里一间间房屋凑在一起,倾斜的屋顶上盖着灰瓦。

A recent visit to the village found the few hundred or so residents hard at work. Nearly every family grows its own rice and indigo, and both were ready for harvest.

最近一次去侗寨时,可以看到村里仅剩的百来名村民正努力劳作。几乎每家每户都会自己种植稻米和蓝靛,两者都到了收获的时候。

In the busy autumn mornings, it is the Dong women who wake first. The roosters were still asleep and the sky dark when Yang Xiukui stepped outside to start her day’s work. She folded a long length of indigo cloth and lay it onto a flat stone surface.

在繁忙的秋天,侗族妇女总是会先起床。雄鸡还在沉睡,天还黑着的时候,杨秀奎走到屋外开始工作。她把一匹长的靛蓝布料折了起来,放在了一块平坦的石块上。

Using a heavy wooden mallet, Ms. Yang, 55, began to pound the fabric. With each thump, the cloth grew brighter, acquiring a shiny gloss. That luster — achieved through the application of cowhide extract and, at times, egg whites — is prized by Dong women. When they wear their handmade indigo clothes for holidays and festivals, the women will inspect the sheen of one another’s handiwork in the spirit of friendly competition.

55岁的杨秀奎拿着一个重木槌,开始捶布料。一槌槌下去,布料愈发光亮,有了一种铮亮的光泽。侗族妇女尤其珍爱这种靠使用牛皮提取物得来的光泽,有时候还会用蛋白。当女人们在过节时穿上手工制作的靛蓝服装,她们会互相检查各自手工的光泽,进行一次友好的比拼。

As Ms. Yang worked, a chorus of roosters joined the plinking of mallets to awaken the village. Sleepy children stumbled to school along stone-paved paths while older people kibitzed on doorsteps of traditional wooden homes.

杨秀奎干活时,几只公鸡加入了木槌咚咚的乐声,叫醒了村庄。睡眼惺忪的孩子在石板路上磕磕绊绊地走去学校,老人则坐在传统木楼外的门阶上闲聊。

Ms. Yang brought the now-gleaming indigo cloth to a covered plastic tub in the corner of her still dark kitchen. She removed the lid, releasing a pungent, fermented odor. Inside was a dark blue, frothy liquid.

杨秀奎带着已捶打光亮的布料走向了还有些暗的厨房。厨房的角落是一个带盖的塑料缸。她掀开盖子,一股刺鼻的发酵味扑面而来。缸内是深蓝色的液体,有些泡沫。

Almost every Dong woman over 40 has a plastic tub to hold indigo dye bath. By tradition, the placement of the tub within the house is crucial, and must be made according to principles of feng shui, the ancient practice of arranging objects to improve one’s luck.

几乎每个40岁以上的侗族女人都有一个塑料缸,作为靛蓝染缸。依照习俗,染缸在屋内的位置非常重要,一定要讲究风水。风水是一种传统文化,靠物品的摆放来增进运气。

One year, Ms. Yang said, she placed the tub in another part of the house, not realizing it had bad feng shui. The dye — which is made from a mixture of indigo leaves, rice alcohol, wild plants and lye — was ruined, she said.

杨秀奎说,染缸在家里另一个地方放了一年,她没有意识到那里风水不好。她说,用蓝靛叶、米酒、野生植物和碱水混合制成的染料坏了。

Dong women believe that other factors can spoil the dye. Women who are pregnant or menstruating, for example, are expected to stay away. Ms. Li of the Global Heritage Fund recounted one time when it became apparent that a dye bath had been ruined because the cloth wasn’t turning color.

侗族女性认为,还有一些原因会破坏染料。比如,孕妇或处在经期的女性就被要求远离染料。全球遗产基金的李光涵记得有一次布没有变色,因此知道染料坏了。

“All the women looked around at each other and just said, ‘O.K., who here is pregnant?’” she said.

“女人们就看着彼此,说,‘这里谁怀孕了?’”她说。

Ms. Yang plunged the fabric into the dye bath, making sure to soak each section thoroughly. Several rounds of soaking and drip-drying later, she hung the heavy cloth on a wooden pole to dry. After a quick meal of chili fermented fish, sautéed vegetables and rice, she hopped onto the back of her husband’s motorbike and headed out for a full day of harvesting rice in the fields. It was only 9 a.m.

杨秀奎把布投进染缸,确保每一个地方都完全浸泡到。经过几轮浸泡和沥干后,她把沉重的布匹晾在一根木杆上。匆匆吃完辣腌鱼、炒蔬菜和米饭,她跳上丈夫的摩托车后座,出发去田里收割一整天的水稻。此时才只是上午9点。

The next morning, Ms. Yang repeated the entire process. In total, it takes Dong women about two weeks to color a single bolt of cloth into the desired rich shade of indigo.

第二天早上,杨秀奎把整个过程重复了一遍。侗族女性总共要花大约两周时间,才能把一匹布染成想要的那种浓郁的靛蓝色。

“They say whoever has the darkest stains on her hands makes the best cloth,” Ms. Yang said proudly, as she held out her purple-streaked hands.

“他们都说谁的手被染得最黑,谁家的布就染得最好,”杨秀奎一边伸出自己印有一道道紫色痕迹的双手一边自豪地说。

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