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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Cultural blackout

By Sun Li (China Daily)

09:11, November 26, 2011

Dark Cloth Zhuang youth Liang Yunzhong (left) poses with his mother and wife, an ethnic Han woman.(China Daily)

Few among the Dark Cloth Zhuang still wear the ethnicity's namesake sable clothing.

The Dark Cloth Zhuang branch of the Zhuang ethnic group has been characterized for centuries by their namesake sable clothing and taboos against marrying outsiders.

But that's changing as relentless waves of modernization wash over this remote mountainous swath of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Chief of Napo county's Gonghe village Liang Jincai says the more than 51,800 locals used to wear black clothes year-round.

"They used to always wear their black kerchiefs, long-sleeved black shirts and wide-legged black trousers - no matter what," the 72-year-old says.

"But now, only old men wear black clothes all the time. The youth only wear them on important days, such as weddings and Spring Festival."

The Dark Cloth Zhuang came to be as a people when they sought refuge in the secluded mountains as war refugees.

According to legend, the chief was critically injured while battling invaders and treated himself with indigo. After surviving to lead the victory, the chief ordered his people to grow indigo and use it to dye their clothes black.

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Leave your comment2 comments

  1. Name

Raymond Payne at 2011-11-2785.211.11.*
An intriguing article.England
Stana Fio at 2011-11-2646.115.39.*
I am sorry _ it looks sooo ellegant that black cloths !

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