Rare Ethnic Clothing Exhibited in SW Province

A skirt made of six detachable layers, the shortest of which is a mere 20 cm, is being shown at the First Chinese Nationalities Costume Exposition in this capital city of Yunnan Province.

The unique black mini-to-full-length skirt, made by the Miao nationality in the Leixian County in Guizhou Province of southwest China, is collected by the Beijing Palace of Ethnic Culture.

He Yanwen, a researcher from the palace, explained that girls of the Miao nationality in the area prefer to wear only the shortest layer or layers of the skirt when climbing mountain roads that call for freedom of movement.

More than 50,000 rare dresses and ornaments of 56 Chinese ethnic groups are on show at the exposition, which is jointly organized by the State Ethnic Affairs Commission and Yunnan Provincial People's Government and continues through July 16.

Other unusual pieces include a four-meter-wide skirt made of hand-woven cloth, also from the Miao people. The 50-year-old garment is in remarkable condition.

A skirt with more than 600 pleats hand-made by Yi women, dresses made of fish skin from people of Hezhe nationality in northeastern China, and a suit of elephant leather armor, which is over 600 years old, are included in the show.

All ethnic costume are decorated with ornaments. But the most attractive one is a Tibetan suit for man. The gown of the suit, made of tiger, leopard and otter fur and equipped with gold waistband and pearl necklace, takes the owner two hours to wear it.

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