Costume of the Hui ethnic minority distinguishes itself from others chiefly by the head part. In areas inhabited by the Hui people, men usually wear a round brimless white cap.
According to some scholars, it is for the convenience of kowtow that Islamite wears the brimless white cap: to let the forehead and the nose tip touch the ground easily, so as to make body and soul concentrate on one point. As the bookOrigin of the Huisays: "When you kowtow, your soul returns to the Earth." While kowtowing, the Huis realize that people live on the earth and will die on the earth, too, which is a law no one can defy; Allah bestow us life, so we should requite Him. So, the brimless white cap has been called "cap for hierurgy" or "white cap of filial piety". Afterwards, in accordance with living needs, the Hui men think the white cap is light, thin, cool, inexpensive and easy to make, thus, it has become a common headwear of male Muslims.
In addition to the white cap, in areas of the Hui people, there is also a custom of wearing the sleeveless jacket in some remote mountain areas: in summer, they put on a black sleeveless jacket on the white shirt. Black and white make a great contrast, showing a sense of comeliness, and a simple but elegant air.
The custom of wearingGaitou(veil covering the head) originated from the rule inThe Koran: "letting them hang their headcloth down to the collar", meaning that, to cover the hair, the ears and the neck so as to concentrate on the divine service without seeing, hearing and speaking any improper things. Later, it developed into a common dress for women in some regions of the Hui ethnic minority.
Usually,Gaitoufalls into three kinds: the greenGaitoufor young women, which looks very fresh and comely; the black kind for middle-aged women, which looks very elegant and solemn; the white kind for old women, which looks very clean and pure. In the past, some young and middle-aged women often wore a round-topped white cap embroidered with patterns of flowers on the side, looking very delicate, smart and pretty. Old women often wore a black or brown headband, and in summer they wore a white gauze kerchief. Middle-aged women wore a red, green or blue headband in winter and a light and thin red or green gauze kerchief in summer. When Moslem women are in colorfulGaitouor gauze kerchief, they look very pretty and charming.