National Costumes

Dong Village Playing Lushen Flutes

Gejias Dancers

Dong Village

Gejia Tribal Women

Pheasant Miao - headresses flying

China is humming
the economy
the people
the land
are all bursting to move forward.

From the villages to the small cites…

I was mainly in the remote areas but know the bigger cities are certainly growing as fast as they can…

I read  this week, the invitations  for the royal wedding, invited guests to come in their national costume.

It struck me
because during the whole trip I was impressed by the incredibly ornate National Costumes worn in SW China and especially in Guizhou.

I was experiencing the effects, the beauty and changing traditions within the tribes – Miao, Dong, Shui, Gejias, and more, through their dress and whether they were still wearing and making by hand their National Costumes which  are so much a part of the fabric of their lives.

This tribal area of China
is unique – with 57 different minorities.
Each one wears a different costume
that is handmade by the women-
either woven, batiked and usually hand embroidered.
Each village chooses different patterns and colors and designs even within the tribal groups. There are White Collar Miao,Long Skirt Miao,Pheasant Miao and so many more…

The older people are still wearing their National Costume every day but the next generation is only wearing the colorful garments and the amazing graceful head dresses for the festivals. The young girls of the next generation do not all want to farm the land and embroider their costumes in the doorways (the interiors do not have enough light). They want a better and different life and want to move towards the more urban areas and work in factories.
I went to one local marketplace where they had some of the beautiful embroidered jackets that were machine made and maybe that is the future.

Traditions and rituals are still points in a turning world, they are our histories, our roots and our connections to the past, and they are our future as well.

I remember reading a line from a Rumi poem once

“we are the still cool water and the jar that pours

always duality

it certainly keeps life interesting…

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