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Silver Ornaments of the Miao Ethnic Group

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

( Chinaculture.org )

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Silver Earrings

There is a much greater range of silver earrings than any other type of Miao silverware. The Museum of Guizhou Province alone has, nearly one hundred kinds in its incomplete collection. There are four types of earrings: drop, circle, hook and wheel. Drop and circle types are the most popular types and earrings use other patterns besides the usual flowers, birds, butterflies and dragons.

Silver Bonnet Ornaments

The Miao people regard silver as talisman against evil spirits, so people living around the Qingshui River have a custom of decorating their children's bonnets with silver ornaments. Traditional bonnet ornaments include lions, fish and butterflies.Chinese characterssuch as fu (prosperity), lu (high position), shou (longevity), xi (happiness) and changming fugui (longevity with wealth and honor) are also used because of the influence of dominant Han Chinese culture.

 Chest and neck decorations

Silver Neckbands

The Miao people have always attached great importance to neck embellishments. Chains and loops are the two basic kinds while some pieces combine the two, for example the chained rings in some regions.

Silver Collars

Silver collars are popular in the south ofHunan Provinceand the Qingshui River delta area of Guizhou Province. They evolved from the longevity clock, and retain the original rectangular shape with inscriptions like "Chang Ming Fu Gui" (longevity and wealth). They are usually worn with necklaces.

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