The Silver Accessory Culture of Miao Minority

Among China's 55 ethnic groups, the Miao are known for elaborate embroidery and exquisite work with silver. They now get a chance to flaunt their handiwork, at the Miao Silver Accessory Festival in Southwest China, where many ethnic groups live in compact communities. Over a thousand women, dressed in traditional garb, presented the show.

Silver accessories are a standard for the Miao people. For more than 400 years, it's been the custom to decorate oneself head to toe, with silver. A full set can weigh up to ten kilograms. The purpose of wearing all this silver is of course primarily aesthetic, but they are also worn as amulets to ward off evil, and as symbols of wealth. The clothes bear a strong cultural message. The patterns range from ancient totems to historic legends. Historians view it as the "Wearable History Book".

The tradition of wearing silver is preserved by a great number of craftsmen, scattered through the Miao villages. Most of the silver accessories are made by hand in a traditional way. A silver headpiece takes a couple of months to finish. In some villages, every male is trained in silver work. Each ornament is an exquisite work of art and sparkles with the wisdom of the Miao people. The fancy Miao silver accessories include a silver hat, silver horns, silver comb, silver earrings, neckband, necklace, bracelet, etc.

It is a tradition that, when a girl is born, her parents will start saving money to make and collect fancy silver ornaments that can weigh several kilograms. And on the wedding day, the girl will be wearing these beautiful silver accessories, adding a joyful atmosphere to the happy event.

The Miao people have been deeply enamored with silver since ancient times. Silver takes special importance in Miao culture. The craft has developed into a unique art form and a carrier of culture. Now besides for their own use, the Miao costume and accessory have developed into a unique form of folk art and become a collector's item and tourism souvenir.

To better serve our customers' interests and needs, China Odyssey Tours has investigated and explored the ethnic tour routes in Southeast Guizhou Province and Guilin Longji Rice Terraces. Even for most Chinese people, Guizhou is kinda mysterious where most people are from many different Minorities. Among them, Miao and Dong are the two biggest that they occupy over 60% of the population. Apart from the silver accessory culture, there is much more than we expected. Due to the diversity of folk customs between different groups, there's an abundance of festivals throughout the year. And this has been the main attraction to outsiders. We were warmly welcomed by the local people and amazed by the great diversity and versatility of the customs and habits. We got the first-hand life experience of ethnic minority people and left, knowing that they are part of this world.

Ethnic villages in Guizhou spread on the border and in the remote mountain areas. Road conditions can be difficult. The fresh mountain air, beautiful natural scenery and lots of fun climbing always make it a physically demanding but exhilarating day. Southeast China is a place where many ethnic groups live in compact communities. So Guilin and Guizhou, both of which are famous for their unique landscape as well as a mysterious minority culture, are also ideal places for an ethnic tour.

Start tailor-making your own China tours with us.

Find more special topics on:

Chinese Royal Architecture   Beijing 2008 Olympic Games   Famous Ancient Cities

Traditional Chinese Painting   Silver Accessory Culture of Miao   Sceneries on CNY Banknotes

Colorful Culture of Tibet   Silk Road   Shanghai Old Town   Characters & Calligraphy

How to Make Jiaozi   Beijing Hutongs   The China Red

Chinese New Year   Traditional Sichuan Food   Lijiang Step Back in Time

National Centre   Huangshan Lover Locks   Chinese Buddhism   Tulou   

Leisure Life in Sichuan   Peacock Dance   Changing-face Performance 

What Our Clients Say

"Great Customized Service", "Trip of A Lifetime", "Exceed All Expectations"
travel expert


1-to-1 Service | Reply within 24hrs | Expert's Advice

Essencial Info of China

Posts Update

Others You May Like


Subscribe to our newsletter so we can provide you with insider travel information, exclusive offers, and discounts.
We respect your privacy. You could unsubscribe at any time.