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Handmade Silver Jewelry Or Handmade Bird Dresses?

08.23.2009 · Posted in Home and Garden Articles

Living in the mountainous region of southwestern China, the Miao ethnic group includes lots of different tribes featuring unique costumes. Some tribes are noted for their extraordinary silver jewelry. The Magpie Miao, with a population of 8600, reside in six villages on the mountain. Their name “magpie” comes from their interesting costume which is like the plume of a magpie.nnWomen’s clothes are distinguished by two contrasting main colors: white and black. Their pleated skirt from the waist to the bottom have three parts. The top blue part represents the sea and the sky. The batik middle part displays lovely designs of rivers, lakes, and fields in their hometown. And lowest embroidered part has patterns of pathways, mountains, and rivers their forefathers ever crossed.nnBefore the age of 16, girls wear a black-and-white cloth band attached to their shirt. When they reach 16, they will make their long hair into a hair bun and decorate it with a comb on the top.nnMen’s shirts feature two long tails behind, like the tail of a magpie.nnThe local people love magpies and they forbid the hunting of this bird.nnIt is said that in ancient times the ancestors of this Miao tribe were defeated in a war and had to leave their hometown for the south China. They were forced to move to a remote mountainous area by their enemies. On their way, they were stopped by a torrential river. nnWhen thinking about how to cross the river, they heard the sounds of magpies. They decided to follow the sound, which led them to a forest. There were trees in the forest, so they cut down the trees and used the wood to make rafts. With the rafts, they were finally able to cross the river. Later, to show their gratitude to the magpies whose songs saved their lives, they named their tribe The Magpie Miao. nnThe local people are leading a simple, peaceful life. Men farm, and women do embroidery work.nnThey have a tradition to make wine at home. The wine is made of honey and glutinous rice. It tastes sweet and yummy. When tourists visit their villages, the local people will serve them this wine.nnThe villages are not far from other Miao tribes where you can see glittery silver jewelry.

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