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只传女不传男的海丝工艺

更新时间:2018/2/4 11:36:30 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

The last surviving sea silk seamstress
只传女不传男的海丝工艺

Each spring, under the cover of darkness and guarded by members of the Italian Coast Guard, 62-year-old Chiara Vigo slips on a white tunic, recites a prayer and plunges headfirst into the crystalline sea off the tiny Sardinian island of Sant’Antioco.

每年春天,在夜色的笼罩和意大利海岸警卫队(Italian Coast Guard)的守护下,62岁的基娅拉·维戈(Chiara Vigo)身穿白色的上衣,祷告之后一头扎进撒丁岛西南边的圣安蒂奥科岛(Sant'Antioco)水晶般的海水。

Using the moonlight to guide her, Vigo descends up to 15m below the surface to reach a series of secluded underwater coves and grassy lagoons that the women in her family have kept secret for the past 24 generations. She then uses a tiny scalpel to carefully trim the razor-thin fibres growing from the tips of a highly endangered Mediterranean clam known as the noble pen shell, or pinna nobilis.

在月光的指引下,维戈潜入到一系列人迹罕至的水下海湾和水草茂密的环礁湖,有些地方深达水下15米,这里是只有她的过去24代家族的女性成员才知道的地方。然后,她用小刀从高度濒危的地中海扇贝尖角处小心翼翼割下细如刀锋的纤维。

It takes about 100 dives to harvest 30g of usable strands, which form when the mollusc’s secreted saliva comes in contact with salt water and solidifies into keratin. Only then is Vigo ready to begin cleaning, spinning and weaving the delicate threads. Known as byssus, or sea silk, it’s one of the rarest and most coveted materials in the world.

大约需要100次潜水才能采集30克可用丝线。软体动物分泌的唾液与海水接触,凝固成角蛋白,于是形成了丝线。之后,维戈才能开始清洁、纺纱、编织精美丝织品。贝类足丝,又名海丝,是世界上最稀有和最令人觊觎的材料之一。

Today, Vigo is believed to be the last person on Earth who still knows how to harvest, dye and embroider sea silk into elaborate patterns that glisten like gold in the sunlight.

如今维戈被认为是地球上最后一个仍然知道如何采集、染色、将海丝绣成精致图案的人,海丝制成的图案像金子一样,在阳光下闪闪发光。

Women in Mesopotamia used the exceptionally light fabric to embroider clothes for their kings some 5,000 years ago. It was harvested to make robes for King Solomon, bracelets for Nefertiti, and holy vestments for priests, popes and pharaohs. It’s referenced on the Rosetta Stone, mentioned 45 times in the Old Testament and thought to be the material that God commanded Moses to drape on the altar in the Tabernacle.

大约五千年前,美索不达米亚(Mesopotamia)的女性会使用这种极其轻薄的布料为国王绣制衣服。材料采集之后,会为所罗门王(King Solomon)制作长袍,为奈费尔提蒂王后(Nefertiti)制作手镯,为祭司、教皇和法老制作圣衣。罗塞塔石碑(Rosetta Stone)曾提到过这种材质,在旧约(Old Testament)中提到了45次,传说是上帝让摩西铺设在祭坛上的布料。

No-one is precisely sure how or why the women in Vigo’s family started weaving byssus, but for more than 1,000 years, the intricate techniques, patterns and dying formulas of sea silk have been passed down through this astonishing thread of women – each of whom has guarded the secrets tightly before teaching them to their daughters, nieces or granddaughters.

没有人确切知道维戈家族的女性开始编织贝类足丝的过程或原因,但1000多年以来,海丝的复杂工艺、图案和染色方式一直在这个家族里代代相传,而且只传女不传男。

After an invitation to visit Vigo’s one-room studio, I suddenly found myself face-to-face with the last surviving sea silk seamstress, watching her magically spin solidified clam spit into gold.

我受邀参观了维戈的工作坊,赫然发现与自己面对面的竟是世界上最后一位海丝裁缝,亲眼目睹她转啊转,将凝固之后贝类足丝编织成闪耀如金的丝织品,一切是那么神奇。

I slowly approached the small wooden table where Vigo worked, walking past a 200-year-old loom, glass jars filled with murky indigo and amber potions and a certificate confirming her highest order of knighthood from the Italian Republic cast aside on the floor.

我慢慢靠近维戈工作的小木桌,走过有200年历史的织布机,玻璃瓶里装满了黯淡的靛蓝和琥珀药水,地板上还躺着一张证书,显示意大利共和国授予的最高等级骑士勋章。

“If you want to enter my world, I’ll show it to you,” she smiled. “But you’d have to stay here for a lifetime to understand it.”

"如果你想了解我的世界,我非常乐意向你展示,"她微笑着说。"但要想真正了解,恐怕你得在这里待一辈子呢。"

Vigo learned the ancient craft from her maternal grandmother, who taught traditional wool weaving techniques on manual looms to the women of Sant’Antioco for 60 years. She remembers her grandmother paddling her into the ocean in a rowboat to teach her to dive when she was three years old. By age 12, she sat atop a pillow, weaving at the loom.

维戈的外祖母曾给圣安蒂奥科的女人们教授手工织机的传统羊毛织造技术长达60年,是她教会维戈编制足丝的古老技艺。她记得当时三岁,外祖母带着她将划艇划向海洋,教她潜水。十二岁时,她坐在枕头上,使用织布机编织。

“My grandmother wove in me a tapestry that was impossible to unwind,” Vigo said. “Since then, I’ve dedicated my life to the sea, just as those who have come before me.”

"外祖母在我心里织了一条无法打开的挂毯,"维戈说。"从那以后,我像前人一样,把一生都奉献给了大海。"

Vigo is known as su maistu (‘the master’, in Sardo). There can only be one maistu at a time, and in order to become one, you must devote your life to learning the techniques from the existing master. Like the 23 women before her, Vigo has never made a penny from her work. She is bound by a sacred ‘Sea Oath’ that maintains that byssus should never be bought or sold.

维戈被誉为大师。一段时间内只能有一位大师,要想成为大师,必须倾其一生,向现有大师学习技术。像之前的23名女性一样,维戈从不以工作牟利。她曾许下神圣的"海洋誓言",坚持认为足丝不可买卖。

In fact, despite weaving works for display in the Louvre, the British Museum and the Vatican, Vigo doesn’t have a single piece of byssus in her home. She lives in a modest apartment with her husband, and they live off his pension as a coal miner and donations from visitors who stop by Vigo’s studio.

事实上,维戈的编织作品在卢浮宫(Louvre)、大英博物馆(British Museum)和梵蒂冈(Vatican)展出,但她家里一件足丝也没有。她和丈夫住在一间不大的公寓里,依靠丈夫作为煤矿工的养老金和维戈工作室造访者的捐款为生。

Instead, Vigo explained that the only way to receive byssus is as a gift. She’s created pieces for Pope Benedict XVI and the Queen of Denmark, but more often than not she embroiders designs for newlywed couples, children celebrating a christening and women who come to her in hopes of becoming pregnant.

维戈解释说,只有以礼物相赠,才会接受足丝。她为教皇本笃十六世和丹麦女王编织丝织品,但更多时候会为新婚夫妇、庆祝洗礼的孩子和期待怀孕的女性制作刺绣。

“Byssus doesn’t belong to me, but to everyone,” Vigo asserted. “Selling it would be like trying to profit from the sun or the tides.”

"足丝不属于我一个人,属于所有人,"维戈信誓旦旦地说。"贩卖足丝就像以太阳或潮汐牟利。"

But that hasn’t stopped people from trying. According to Małgorzata Biniecka, author of The Masters of Byssus, Silk and Linen, until the 1930s the only other place besides Sant’Antioco where the tradition of sea silk harvesting and embroidering continued was the city of Taranto, Italy.

尽管如此,足丝买卖依然存在。《足丝、丝绸与亚麻大师》(The Masters of Byssus, Silk and Linen)一书的作者马乌戈热塔·比涅克卡(Małgorzata Biniecka)认为,直到20世纪30年代,意大利塔兰托市(Taranto)是除圣安蒂奥科之外,唯一依然延续海丝采集以及刺绣传统的地方。

“A woman there forsake the Sea Oath and tried to establish a commercial byssus industry,” Biniecka said. “A year later, it went bankrupt and she mysteriously died.”

"有个女人违背海洋誓言,试图建立商业化的足丝产业,"比涅克卡说。"一年后以破产告终,女人莫名其妙就死了。"

More recently, a Japanese businessman approached Vigo with an offer to purchase her most famous piece, ‘The Lion of Women’, for 2.5 million. It took Vigo four years to stitch the glimmering 45x45cm design with her fingernails, and she dedicated it to women everywhere.

最近,一位日本商人出价250万欧元购买维戈最著名的作品——"女性之狮"(The Lion of Women)。这个45x45厘米,光彩夺目的作品是维戈花费四年时间,用指甲一点点编制完成的,她把这一作品献给了各地女性。

“I told him, ‘Absolutely not’,” she declared. “The women of the world are not for sale.”

"我回答他,'绝对不',"她斩钉截铁地说。"世界上的女人何以出售。"

Neither is the painstaking process behind her pieces, which she slowly revealed during my four-day visit.

她创造作品背后蕴含的艰辛也是不能出售的,在我短暂的四天参观中完全理解她的苦心造诣。

After harvesting raw byssus from the depths of the sea, she desalts the fibres by submerging them in fresh water for 25 days, changing the water every three hours. Once they dry, she cleans the threads with a carding brush to remove any remaining sediment.

她先从深海采集足丝原料,然后将纤维在淡水中浸泡25天除去盐分,每三小时换一次水。纤维晾干后,用梳理刷清理丝线,去除其他剩余的沉淀物。

Then comes the hardest part: separating each strand of pure sea silk from the tangle of raw byssus. Because sea silk is three times finer than a strand of human hair, Vigo peers through a lamp with a magnifying glass as she delicately plucks each thread of silk using a pair of tweezers.

接下来是最难的部分:从贝类足丝原料中,分离一缕缕纯海丝。由于海丝比人的头发丝细三倍,所以维戈需要借助放大镜和灯光,用镊子灵巧地拽出每根丝线。

“It may seem easy now,” she said. “But my fingers have been practicing this for 50 years.”

"现在看起来似乎很容易,"她说。"但是我的手指已经反复训练了50年了。"

On several occasions after Vigo extracted a thick tuft of fibres, she ordered me to close my eyes and extend my hand. Each time I felt nothing. After about 10 seconds, I’d open my eyes to see Vigo rolling a weightless cloud of sea silk back and forth on my palm.

维戈好几次提取出一簇厚厚的纤维,让我闭上双眼,伸出手掌感触。但我每次什么都感觉不到。大约10秒钟后,我睁眼一看,发现维戈拿着一簇极轻的海丝在我的手掌上来回滚动。

Next, she twists the silk manually around a small wooden spindle, usually singing in Sardo – the closest living form of Latin – during the process. When the fibres form a long thread, she grabs a jar of cloudy yellowish liquid from the shelf.

接下来,她手工将丝绸缠绕到小木梭,常常会一边用萨丁尼亚语唱歌——近似拉丁语。纤维形成长线之后,她从架子上抓起一罐混浊的淡黄色液体。

“Now, we’ll enter a magical realm,” she said, dropping the thin thread into a secret concoction of lemon, spices and 15 different types of algae. Within seconds, the thread becomes elastic and she excitedly ushered me outside to show how it shimmered in the sunlight. Vigo has an encyclopaedic knowledge of 124 natural dye variations made from fruits, flowers and seashells.

"现在,我们将进入一个神奇的领域,"她一边说着,一边把细线扔进由柠檬、香料和其他15种不同藻类调制的混合物中。几秒之内,线变得有弹性,她兴奋地把我引到室外,演示丝线在阳光下闪闪发光。维戈对水果、花卉和贝壳制成的124种天然染料了如指掌。

Finally, Vigo intertwines the spun silk into the linen warp using her fingernails. It takes 15 straight days of extracting and dying raw byssus to create enough threads to weave just a few centimetres. Some pieces, like a 50x60cm cloth of pure sea silk weighing just 2g, take six years to stitch. Others, like the larger tapestries draped atop her loom depicting Biblical passages and pagan deities, take even longer.

最后,维戈用手指甲将丝织成经纱。足丝原料的提取和染色需要连续15天时间,如此才能制作出可用于编织的长达几厘米的丝线。2克重、50x60cm的纯海丝布料等此类织物需要花费六年时间缝制。维戈织机上悬挂的大块挂毯,刻画了一些圣经段落和异教徒神像,这类挂毯则需花费更长时间。

“There are 140 patterns in my family, eight of which will never be written and have been passed down orally from generation to generation,” she said.

"我们家族有140种图案,其中8种图案没有任何文字记载,只是口头代代相传,"她说。

But after more than 1,000 years in the same matrilineal family tree, this ancient thread may soon unravel.

尽管如此,在同一个母系族谱中,经过了1000多年的发展这一古老丝线之谜可能很快就会解开。

According to tradition, the heir to the byssus secrets is Vigo’s youngest daughter, Maddalena. Like her own grandmother, Vigo began teaching her how to dive and embroider at an early age.

依照传统,足丝秘密的继承人应是维戈最小的女儿马达莱娜(Maddalena)。像外祖母一样,维戈从小就开始教小女儿潜水和刺绣。

“The only thing she’s missing is the formulas for the dye potions,” Vigo told me.

"她唯一不知道的就是染料药水的配方,"维戈告诉我。

But there’s a problem: “My mother and I are very different,” Maddalena said from her home in Dublin, Ireland, where she’s been living for the past two years. “People have always told me that I’d be a fool to allow this art to die, but I’m desperately torn. My life is mine.”

但有一个问题:"我和我母亲完全不是一类人,"马达莱娜告诉我,当时她正在爱尔兰都柏林的家里,她过去两年一直在那里生活。"总有人对我说,任由这种艺术消失是蠢人之举,但我真是受不了了。我的人生由自己掌握。"

What’s more, after creating the world’s only museum dedicated to byssus in 2005, Vigo awoke one day last autumn to find that the government of Sant’Antioco had unexpectedly closed her free Museo del Bisso, citing that the building’s electrical system wasn’t up to code.

另外,2005年世界上创建了唯一一个以足丝为主题的博物馆,维戈在去年秋天的某一天发现圣安蒂奥科政府竟突然关闭了她的免费足丝博物馆,声称大楼的电气系统不合标准。

“The ‘electrical problem’ was me!” Vigo snapped. “The municipality tried to force me to charge entrance fees and write down my patterns and secrets. But I will defend this sacred oath with my fingernails as long as I breathe!”

"其实我才是问题!"维戈厉声说。"市政府想强迫我收取门票费,要我用文字记录家传的编织图案和秘密。但只要我一息尚存,一定会捍卫神圣的誓言!"

The news drew national attention, spurring an online petition that garnered nearly 20,000 signatures – including that of the President of Sardinia – to no avail.

这一消息引起了全国震动,包括撒丁岛总统在内的近20,000人签名进行在线请愿,但都无济于事。

Recently, two young artists started a crowdfunding campaign to help Vigo rent the one-room studio where she now works. Ironically, it’s the same room where Vigo’s grandmother taught her how to spin sea silk 50 years ago. Unless they can raise 85,000 to purchase the rent-to-own property by November 2018, the town will evict her and the world will no longer be able to watch its last sea silk seamstress spin byssus into gold.

最近,两位年轻艺术家发起众筹活动,帮助维戈租用她现在工作使用的一室工作坊。可笑的是,50年前维戈的外祖母就是在这间工作坊教她纺织海丝。除非能够在2018年11月之前筹集8.5万欧元先租后买房屋所有权,否则小镇会驱逐维戈,那时世界上最后一位将海丝制成闪耀如金丝织品的裁缝将不复存在。

On my last evening with Vigo, she led me to a secluded cove where women in her family have prayed for as long as she can remember. As the sun melted into the sea, she stood at the edge of a tidal pool, closed her eyes and began a mystical, almost shamanic chant.

最后一晚时,维戈领我到幽静的小海湾,从她记事起家族女性都曾在这里祈祷。当太阳落下海面时,她站在潮池的边缘,紧闭双眼,开始了神秘的吟唱,像萨满巫师一样。

She then reached deep into a bag, pulled out a clump of 300-year-old byssus from a vial, and spun a long thread of sea silk.

然后,她从袋子深处掏出小瓶,瓶里装的足丝历经300年,被编织成了一根长长的海丝。

“The secrets may die with me,” she said, tying the thread around my wrist. “But the silk of the sea will live on.”

"秘密可能会随我一同进入坟墓,"她一边说着,一边把丝线缠在我的手腕上。"但海丝一定会永存于世。"

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