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Yao Women’s Black Handspun Square Bellyband in the Dog-tail Outfit Front

Museum of Ethnic Costumes, Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology

Museum of Ethnic Costumes, Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology

The traditional Yao-style dog tail outfit, named for its dog-tail-like belt that hangs from the back of waist, is usually composed of a blouse, a bellyband and a pleated skirt. Made of black homemade cotton cloth, this piece of the outfit is worn inside the blouse but outside the skirt. With a height of 75cm and width of 69cm, one corner of the square foundation fabric was made into the collar with a height of 10cm and width of 11.5cm. In order to save fabrics sometimes, the Yao women would piece together a square foundation for a bellyband out of leftover patches.
When wearing the blouse of a dog tail outfit, the belly of the wearer is easily to be exposed as the front panel is shorter than the rear one. That’s why a bellyband becomes a necessary piece for the outfit. Usually large in size, the bellyband is used to cover the belly and the waist of skirt, going very well with the short blouse. This piece of bellyband was hemmed with white, red and light blue strips, with two bottom corners decorated with embroidered geometric patterns in colors of blue, white, red and purple, standing in harmonious contrast with the entire bellyband in terms of palette.

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