The “Mosts” in Apparel and Ornament of Miao Minority of Guizhou
◇The most splendid Miao apparel is the one worn by the Miao women living in Shidong, Taijiang County, which is famous for its delicate embroidery and numerous silver ornaments. It is also called embroidery apparel for the delicate embroidery patterns on two sleeves, the collar, the lapels and two shoulders. It is also called silver apparel for there are design silver pieces, silver bulbs and silver bells embedded on the back, the front part and the cuff. It is the exquisite work of Miao apparel.
◇ The Miao women living at Qiaogang, Leishan County wear the shortest skirt which is not more than six inches. It is such a rare miniskirt in the world but it is the most favorite of the Qiaogang Miao women living in remote mountains. The Miao women at Qiaogang wear tight traditional garment of blue cloth inside and crimson short silk garment outside with a six-inch skirt in fine folds, wrapping around the waist again and again and making the bottom look rather big. In addition to the short skirt, the front corset can reach the knee and the back one the heel. They also wear damask belt with eight laces at the back looking like the feathers of a golden pheasant. They wear tight trousers and warped embroidery shoes, a big topknot and phoenix-bird silver hairpins in the head and various kinds of silver ornaments in the garment.
◇ The Miao women living in Yanban, Taijiang County wear the most skirts. They wear short garments with buttons on the right lapel. They wear 30 to 40 pieces of short skirts in fine folds, which are made by themselves and about 40 centimeters thick, to show their wealth and intelligence. They often wear a long damask belt in the front suspending to the shoe tops, four to five laces around their waist knotted at the back of their bodies, gaiters and embroidery shoes. This style of apparel is very special.
◇ The most splendid men’s apparel is the one worn by the Miao men living in Bakai Area, Rongjiang County on occasion of making sacrifices to the ancestors. It is gorgeous and strongly characteristic of their minority. They wear silver-tack head hoop symbolizing the lightening, which is said to own the power of scare away evil spirits.
◇ The most traditional men’s apparel and ornament is worn by the Miao men living at Biasha, Congjiang County. Since childhood, they have their hair on the front part of the forehead shaved off and save the hair on the brain hanging over their shoulders. They begin to save the hair on the forehead till adulthood and gradually bind up a topknot on the top, wear a hand-stitching cloth scarf on the forehead. This kind of apparel remains unchanged till now.
◇The longest scarf is the one worn by the Miao men in fine apparel living at Jiuyang, Jianhe County. It is three to four meters long, which wraps the head again and again so as to form a grail adorned with fresh flowers or feathers. It is very special.
◇The most famous silver ornament is the brilliant head ornament worn by the Miao women living in such two places as Taijiang and Leishan. The Miao girls living there often wear silver crown, silver horn and silver phoenix-bird in the festivals. Even the little girls wear the beautiful silver crown.
◇The biggest silver-horn of Miao people is the one worn by the Miao girls in fine apparel living in Xijiang area, Leishan County. It is about 70 centimeters tall, about 50 centimeters wide with a delicate design of two dragons snatching the treasure carved on it. There is a very big silver fan plugged between the silver horns. It is called a palm-leaf silver flower by the local people.
◇ The most ancient silver ornament is the hill-shape head ornament and pillar-shape twisted design neck ornament worn by the Miao girls living at Daluo Village, Leishan County. It is said that this type of ornament is as old as Lusheng.
◇The heaviest silver ornament is the silver ornament in fine apparel worn by the Miao girls living in Xijiang area of Leishan County. They wear delicate and beautiful silver ornaments all over their body and on the head. Meanwhile they wear necklace-style neck ornaments and dragon-bone chaplet and silver lock over their chest with designed silver pieces, silver chains and bells adorned at the back of their garment. The total weight of the silver ornaments all over their body is more than 10 kilograms and they are very splendid.
◇The Miao girls living in Shidong, Taijiang wear the most silver ornaments. They wear silver ornaments all over their body. They can simultaneously wear many chain-style silver chaplets and piece-style ones, a heavy and big silver lock over their chest and several pairs of silver bracelets in different styles on their wrists. They belong to the branch of Miao people who wears the most silver ornaments.