The cotton textile promoter
Chinese Name: 黄道婆
English Name: Huang Daopo
Other Names: Huang Po 黄婆, Huang Mu 黄母
Spread textile technology 传播纺织技术
Brief Biography of Huang Daopo
Huang Daopo 黄道婆 was a famous cotton weaver and technical reformer in the late Song and early Yuan Dynasties 元朝.
Huang Daopo (1245?-1330?), also known as Huang Po 黄婆 and Huang mu 黄母, was originally from Wunijing 乌泥泾 (now Shanghai 上海) of Songjiang Prefecture 松江府.
She was a child bride when she was young. She was unable to endure abuse and was exiled to Yazhou 崖州 (now Yacheng Town 崖城镇, Sanya City 三亚市, Hainan Province 海南省). She lived for about 40 years, learning cotton weaving skills from Li women and improving them. She summarized the weaving technology as “wrong yarn 错纱, color matching 配色, heald 综线, and flower pulling 挈花”. During the Yuanzhen 元贞 period of the Yuan Dynasty (1295-1297), she returned to her hometown to teach the villagers to improve textile tools, manufacture special machines and tools such as “rolling 擀, elastic 弹, spinning 纺 and weaving 织”, and weave cotton fabrics with various patterns.
Huang Daopo played an important role in promoting the rapid development of the cotton textile industry and cotton planting industry in the Yangtze River Basin, and was praised by later generations as the “woman textile technician” of “clothing and quilt”. After her death, the villagers in Qiong 琼 and Shanghai 上海 set up shrines to worship him.
Personal Life and Major Contributions
Be exiled in Yazhou 流落崖州
In the late Southern Song Dynasty 南宋, Huang Daopo was born in Wunijing 乌泥泾, Songjiang Prefecture 松江府 (now Huajing Town 华泾镇, Shanghai).
Forced by life in her early years, she was sold as a child bride at the age of twelve or thirteen.
After that, she could not bear the mistreatment of her father-in-law and went to Yazhou (now Sanya 三亚, Hainan 海南).
She first lived in Shuinan village 水南村. After she married, she followed her husband’s surname and was called Song Wusao 宋五嫂. After her husband died of illness, she became a Taoist in Guangdu temple 广度寺 in the west of the city.
She has lived there for more than 30 years and learned a whole set of cotton textile processing technology from the local Li people.
Return home to teach skills
During the Yuanzhen period of the Yuan Dynasty (1295-1297), the old Huang Daopo met a sea boat and returned to Wunijing from Yazhou.
After returning to her hometown, she saw that the cotton textile technology in her hometown was very backward. According to the needs of local cotton textile production, she summarized a set of completely new technology integrating the cotton textile technology of the Li nationality and the local textile technology. She spread this set of technology to people so that the general public benefited
After the death of Huang Daopo, the local people wept with gratitude and built ancestral halls to offer sacrifices. People of insight also built monuments for her and honored her as “Vega 织女星” and “God of cotton 先棉神”.
Contribution to the cotton textile industry
Huang Daopo’s contributions to the cotton textile industry mainly include three aspects: first, imparting textile skills; second, innovating cotton textile tools; and third, promoting cotton planting.
New seed removal technology
Since it is cotton, if you want to weave, you must remove the cottonseed. Before Huang Daopo, removing cottonseed was a difficulty in the process of cotton weaving. After Huang Daopo popularized the cotton ginning mixer, work efficiency was greatly improved. This ginning method and technology are hundreds of years more advanced than that of foreign countries.
Teach Textile Technology
When Huang Daopo returned to her hometown, although the cotton planting and textile industries in Shanghai had been popularized, the textile technology was still very backward. For this reason, she devoted herself to reforming the backward cotton textile production tools in her hometown and unreservedly taught her exquisite weaving skills to people around her.
Based on her rich textile experience, Huang Daopo, together with the working people, made a lot of reforms to the backward local cotton spinning tools and created a whole set of “rolling, elastic, spinning and weaving” tools. Moreover, she has also combined the weaving technology learned from the Li people with her own practical experience to summarize into a set of more advanced weaving technologies such as “staggered yarn color matching, heald pulling out flowers”.
After the death of Huang Daopo, Songjiang became the center of the cotton textile industry in China, which lasted for hundreds of years.
Promote the rise of the Yangtze River Delta
After Huang Daopo returned from Hainan in the reign of Yuanzhen of the Yuan Dynasty, she popularized advanced cotton planting, spinning, and weaving technologies in her hometown and reformed textile tools, which not only improved the lives of the people in Wunijing and the surrounding areas but also had a profound impact on the economic prosperity of the rural areas and towns in the south of the Yangtze River in the Ming 明朝 and Qing 清朝 Dynasties .
After Huang Daopo introduced advanced cotton textile technology, Songjiang Prefecture and the whole Yangtze River Delta region leaped to become China’s famous cotton planting base and cotton textile center, which gave birth to three cotton textile production and trade centers at different levels and in different quantities. These centers together constitute the preliminary outline of the Yangtze River Delta town group.
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