Clothes and silver ornaments of the Miao ethnic group are on exhibition at the Shenzhen Museum on Tongxin Road. The exhibits are modern products provided by museums in Guizhou, Guangxi and Yunnan. The entry is free.
The Miao people are members of one of China’s largest ethnic minorities who live primarily in Guizhou, Hunan, Yunnan, Sichuan, Guangxi, Hainan, Guangdong and Hubei. Traditional Miao attire, featuring fine embroidery and silver adornments, has been passed down well into today. The ancient Miao had no written language of their own, so they expressed themselves through bold and colorful embroidered motifs full of symbolism, metaphors and exaggeration.
At the exhibition, visitors can admire different types of embroidery. Two-needle embroidery is the one most commonly used. Like it sounds, the weaver uses two needles to embroider at the same time. Another one commonly used is plaited embroidery, which is to plait eight to 12 colorful silk threads into a braid and sew it through the cloth.
Cross-stitch work used to feature a single texture in silver color, but in the late 1960s, it became rich in texture, bright in color and a variety of patterns gradually developed. Animals, plants, snowflakes, copper drums, lanterns, the sun, rivers, pavilions and bridges are all frequently used cross-stich patterns.
The Miao embroidery is artistically pleasing, but the number of Miao embroidery masters has decreased as fewer young people wear traditional costumes. Faced with the possibility of dying out, Miao embroidery samples are housed in museums to preserve it.
Silver ornaments are also indicative of the Miao people. The silver ornament tradition of the Miao has been handed down ever since the Qin and Han dynasties, and today it is ever more colorful.
The Miao women usually wear their silver crown, circlet, clothes, bracelets and chains all over their body, the more and heavier the better, to show off their wealth. The silver ornaments on a Miao woman in a magnificent costume can be as heavy as 10 to 15 kilograms. The ornaments can also be used as love tokens or talismans for children to ward off evil forces.
Dates: Until Nov. 5
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Mondays
Venue: Shenzhen Museum, 6 Tongxin Road, Futian District (福田区同心路6号深圳博物馆老馆)
Metro: Luobao or Shekou Line, Grand Theater Station (大剧院站), Exit B(SD News)