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Costumes of the Bouyei ethnic group

By Yang Fan ( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2016-10-26

For many of the Bouyei ethnic group, mostly located in Southwest China, making and wearing traditional clothes when occasion permits is a rite of passage.

Traditional clothes of the Bouyei people are made from homespun fabric, which is usually cyan, blue or white.

Traditionally, men wear gowns and trousers, while women wear jackets and pleated skirts, or trousers with loincloths. The cuffs of the clothes and loincloths are usually decorated with elegant embroidery patterns.

Bouyei women are intelligent and like to be busy with weaving and clothes-making. They make headscarves and sheets during the slack season.

On festivals or large gatherings, women dress up with extravagant silver ornaments, embroidered shoes and delicate bags. It is tradition for single women to gift self-made clothes, handkerchiefs or shoes to beloved boys as the token of love.

The girls have pigtails covered with scarves before getting married and they unlock their pigtails and cover their head with “fake shells” when they move to their husbands’ home. The shells are made of bamboo and are covered with cyan clothes and colored scarves.

Bouyei costumes entered the list of national intangible cultural heritages on Nov 11, 2014, upon the approval of the State Council.

Costumes of the Bouyei ethnic group

An unmarried girl (L) and a married woman of the Bouyei ethnic group chat to each other at a festival gathering. [Photo/zgqxn.com]

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