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The Unique Magpie Miao: Uncommon Clothes To Match Silver Jewelry

08.13.2009 · Posted in Home and Garden Articles

Residing in the mountainous areas of southwestern China, the Miao minority group are divided into many different tribes with their distinct costumes. Some tribes are famous for their beautiful silver jewelry. The Magpie Miao, with a small population of 8600, live in six villages on the mountain. They got their name magpie from their unique costume which look like the plume of a magpie.nnWomen’s clothes have two striking colors: black and white. Their pleated skirt from the waist to the bottom includes 3 parts. The top is blue, which stands for the sky and the sea; the batik middle part highlights various, beautiful patterns, which represent fields, rivers, and lakes of their hometown; the embroidered bottom is about 15cm long, which indicates mountains, paths, and rivers their ancestors ever crossed.nnGirls below 16 years old have a black-and-white cloth band bound on their shirt. When they reach 16, they will make their long hair into a hair bun and adorn it with a comb on the top.nnMen’s shirts have two tails at the back, like the tail of a magpie.nnThe local people love magpies, so nobody is allowed to hunt this bird in their villages.nnLegend has it that in ancient times the ancestors of this Miao tribe lost a war and had to move to the mountainous area of southern China. On their way, a big river stopped them.nnWhen they discussed about how to cross the river, they heard the songs of magpies. So they follow the sound to a forest, where they cut down the plants to make rafts. Finally they crossed the river. To show their gratitude to the magpies, they decided to name their tribe The Magpie Miao.nnThe local people are leading a simple, peaceful life. Men farm, and women do embroidery work.nnTheir homemade wine has a history of hundreds of years. It’s usually made of glutinous rice and honey. Once visitors come to their villages, the locals will serve them this sweet and delicious wine.nnThe villages are close to a few other Miao tribes where you can enjoy beautiful silver jewelry.

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