Ethnic Clothing and Decoration
you see minority women in the villages, the first thing that will
catch your eye is the decoration on their clothes.
The clothes of the Yunnan minority
people come in several hundred varieties, many inspired
directly from nature, like the bamboo leg wrappings
of the Nu ethnic group, the linen capes of the Dulong
minority people, the Yi ethnic group's fire weed garment,
the tapa coats of the Kemu people, the feather hats
of the Jingpo group, the wooden sandals and palm capes
of the Hani ethnic group, the rattan hoops of the De'
ang ethnic group and the yak capes of the Naxi ethnic
group, to name but a few. They are dyed with plants
or ores in various colors like indigo blue, alizarin
red, and jasmine yellow. The traditional handicrafts
used in making their clothes and decorations include
the wax printing of the Miao and Yi ethnic groups, tie-dying
of the Bai group, and water soaked cloth of the Dai
group as well as the embroidery, including cross-stitch
work, satin stitch, and cut weaving and flat weaving
of other minorities.
decorations on the clothes, referred to as " historical records
" carry many symbols and mysterious meanings. From the embroidered
cloaks and pleated skirts worn by the Miao ethnic group, the older
generation can " read" the epic of ancient expeditions
and migrations. The decorations worn on the head of the Hani master
of sacrificial ceremonies carry the history of the migrations of
their ancestors to the south and the enigmatic language of Creation.
The white triangular handkerchiefs worn on heads of Jinuo women
imitate the Goddess of Creation and the red and black stripes on
their clothes and hats symbolize the number of souls. The Yi group'
s cockscomb hats and round felt hats with eyes on them are the magic
key to drive away evil spirits. The decorations worn on the heads
of the Hani girls indicate love. Some minority people prefer black.
They believe black is elegant and resembles the spirit of their
ancestors. Some prefer red. They believe red is the color of Heaven
and must be worn on head as a sign of respect.