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Silver Ornaments of the Miao Ethnic Group

Updated: 2014-12-02 11:02:18

( Chinaculture.org )

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The design of the silver decorations is largely inspired by other art forms such as embroidery andwax printing. The silversmiths consistently improve and enrich the patterns while keeping the traditional designs.

The rich varieties, elegant patterns, and exquisite craftsmanship not only demonstrate the colorful world of Miao people's art, but their spiritual life as well.


The Miao ethnic minority mainly lives in the border areas of provinces in southwest China where they speak their own language. Farming is their main source of income supplemented by hunting. Their cross-stitch work, embroidery, brocade, batik,papercutouts and handmade ornaments, etc are world-famous for their elegant techniques. The headwear of the Miao ethnic minority is made entirely of silver, with many varieties.

Their headwear includes silver horns, fans, caps, kerchiefs, silver hairpins, pins flowers, chains, combs, earrings, and bonnet ornaments.

Silver Horns

Silver horns are usually decorated with a raised pattern of twodragons playing with a ball. Girls put chicken feathers on the two ends of the silver horns which look beautiful blowing in the wind and increase the height of the wearers.

Silver Caps

Elegant silver caps are used by the Miao ethnic minority for dressing up. They are made from numerous silver flowers and silver bells with various patterns such as birds, butterflies and animals, giving an impression of pearls and jadeall over the head.

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