Textiles like this can be seen in the Republic of Korea. Not so often anymore but some women elders use this method to carry heavy stuff or to deliver a tray with a lot of food on top. It is mostly women who use this method. Scientifically and according to human bone structure, our bone joints divide our bodyweight. By that I mean it is better for your back to stand, rather than sitting because when you stand up your upper body weight will be divided to you lower back joint, knee joint and ankle. On the other hand if you sit your upper body weight only depends on your lower back joint which may lead to back problems if you sit too long. As a result, I can guess that many women use this method so that their body weight divides. Also, women may have weak arms so they have to limit the lifting of heavy stuff with their arms.
Here is a link to an image of a Korean woman using this method to carry something: http://img.blog.yahoo.co.kr/ybi/1/b7/97/gsnam/folder/1712960/img_1712960_821301_33?1091398732.jpg