Horsetail embroidery creates jobs, strengthens families in Guizhou

By Yang Jun, Ma Rui and Wang Songsong | | Updated: 2023-10-27 20:12
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An exhibition of horsetail embroidery in the Sandu county intangible heritage projects' experience center for the Sui ethnic group in Sandu Sui autonomous county, Guizhou province. [Photo by Wang Songsong/]

The development of the horsetail embroidery industry in Sandu Sui autonomous county, Guizhou province, has led to the crafts being exported to European countries including France. Its success boosts the economy and provides job opportunities that keep workers in the region, enabling mothers to stay with their children.

Pan Yao, associate researcher for the Sandu county intangible heritage projects' experience center for the Sui ethnic group, said that currently there are around 20,000 professional embroiderers in the county and about 3,000 to 4,000 of them are skilled workers.

"Embroiderers' incomes vary. Part-time embroiderers can earn 1,000 yuan ($136) per month, modest but enough to cover daily expenses. The salary of professionals can reach around 5,000 to 8,000 yuan every month, based on their skills," Pan added.

Apart from employment, what makes horsetail embroidery important for local residents is its social significance. In 2006, horsetail embroidery was listed as a national intangible cultural heritage. Before that time, many young Sui women left the area to work as migrant workers.

Now, after training, they can produce horsetail embroidery at home without leaving their children behind.

Wang Jin and Luo Siyang contributed to this story.

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