Traditional Dress of Northern Ethnic Groups

22 ethnic groups live in northern China, this exhibit showcases traditional dresses of 9 ethnic groups among them

By Museum of Ethnic Cultures, Minzu University of China

Museum of Ethnic Cultures, Minzu University of China

Embroidered Red Gauzy Silk Qipao with Horse-hoof-shaped CuffsOriginal Source:

Red Silk Robe Embroidered with Lotus and Butterfly MotifsOriginal Source:

This robe was worn by Manchu women in the Qing Dynasty. The robe is silk and emboridered with lotus and butterfuly motif, while the collar and cuffs are decorated with needlework on black satin.

The Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908) was called "Lan'er" (meaning Orchid), and was given the title "Elegant Orchid" as the Emperor's concubine. Her affinity for orchids extended to her clothing, and during her reign, she alone could wear robes decorated with orchid motifs.

Man's Blue Gauzy Silk Robe Embroidered with Eight Pythons Designs and Horse-hoof-shaped CuffsOriginal Source:

The long silk robe was worn by Manchu or Han officials during the Qing Dynasty (1636—1912). This blue collarless robe features horse-hoof-shaped cuffs.

This robe can be worn alone or worn as a coat in festivals. The color of the robe and the number of pythons(“Mang” in Chinese) correspond to the officials' ranks.

Purple Silk Robe Embroidered with Circular Flower MotifsOriginal Source:

Robes like this were worn by Manchu women of the Qing Dynasty. The robe has silts on both right and left sides, with braided silk trim in a colorful cloud motif.

This particular garment is somewhat formal, and would have been worn by women of higher ranking households in their daily life.

Bluestone silk Xiapei embroidered with dragon and cloud patterns and a square sliver pheasant decorationOriginal Source:

Red Satin Court RobeOriginal Source:

This is the court robe of a 7th Ranked civil servent (the top rank being 1). It is made from red satin and lined with blue silk.

The patch of a "Xichi" bird is to indicate the rank of the official wearing it. It is embroidered with motifs of cranes, peonies, camellias and orchids.

Red Satin Robe Decorated with Eight Circular Patches depicting Scenes of People and LandscapesOriginal Source:

Each of the eight roundels depicts a life scene emphasizing a different flower, each flower representing one of the eight Banners of Manchu military and administrative officials in the Qing Dynasty.

Side-opening Embroidered Gauzy DressOriginal Source:

Woman's Embroidered ClothesOriginal Source:

This is an outfit for a Han woman in the Qing Dynasty, which shows great influence of Manchu culture.

“Hai Shui Jiang Ya” (sea water and overlapped hilltops which look like ginger buds) pattern was common in ancient architectures, porcelain, stone carving, garments or even furniture. It symbolizes everlasting ruler ship.

The “Horse-face” skirt is one of the traditional Han garments, and is made of four overlapping pieces of cloth in the front and back. The central piece of cloth is called the “horse face”.

Children's Embroidered Satin ClothesOriginal Source:

This is an outfit for children during Qing dynasty

This red satin children's jacket has a floral-patterned lining, and trim. It is buttonless and instead is tied with straps.

The matching green satin open-seat pants also have floral-patterned lining.

Undergarment Covering the Chest and AbdomenOriginal Source:

This undergarment is made of blue silk, with embroideries of a baby playing with lotus.

Bamboo UndergarmentOriginal Source:

This is an undergarment made of over 10,000 small bamboo beads, which form little squares.

In the past, only the rich and aristocrats could wear such undergarment during summer to keep cool and prevent clothes sticking against sweaty skin.

Men's Salmon Skin Robe with Applique by Wenfeng YouOriginal Source:

This is a salmon skin suit, the traditional garb of Hezhe (Nanai) men. Making clothing from fish skins is a tradition unique to the Hezhe.

Fish skin clothing is waterproof, which is important as the Hezhe hunt and fish in the wet, cold forests of Manchuria along the Amur River (Heilongjiang River).

Roe Deer Leather RobeOriginal Source:

This is a robe worn by Oroqen men that is decorated with a cloud motif. The fur trim on the front and around the cuffs has been dyed yellow by boiling it with deadwood. There are slits on the front and back of the robe to make riding and hunting more conveient.

Woman's Dress with Colored SleevesOriginal Source:

This is a Tu (Monguor) woman's robe. The colors of those stripes - red, green, blue, yellow, and white - represent the sun, the grassland, the sky, grain, and milk. As a result, Tu women are known as "the women with rainbow sleeves."

Men's Striped Silk Robe with Crossed CollarOriginal Source:

This is a multi-colored Uygur robe. Its is made of striped silk with an embroidered lining. It is brightly colored and would have been worn for festivals and special occaisions.

Stitched Waistcoat with Crossed CollarOriginal Source:

This is a robe worn by Uygur men. It is made of yellow satin embroidered with floral motifs. It has a white cotton liner, and it is tied with a scarf around the waist.

The artistry on this robe is of the highest quality, and it would have been worn by someone of the upper classes.

Uzbek Cloak with Crossed Collar and Decorated Long SleevesOriginal Source:

This is a cloak worn by Uzbek men. It is made of striped cloth, with an embroidered lining. It has a buttonless crossed collar, lace embroidery, and, long, narrow sleeves. This type of cloak would be worn by elders and releigious leaders.

Man's Velvet Clothes Embroidered with WoolOriginal Source:

These are traditional Kyrgyz wedding clothes. It has crossed collar and no buttons with an opening in front. It is made of flannel and decorated with colorful embroidery.

Deer Leather Trousers with Embroidered LaceOriginal Source:

The trousers would have been worn by Kazakh men. They are made of brown deer leather, embellished with yellow strips and embroidered with circular patterns.

Woman's Green Satin Double-layered Robe Embroidered with Circular Flower DesignsOriginal Source:

This is a robe worn by Daur women. It is made of green satin and embroidered with circular flower designs. Before the Qing Dynasty, the Daurs were pastorialists and their traditional clothes were mainly leather. In the Twentieth Century the Daurs settled and began to adopt other textiles such as satin.

Mongol Woman's Ornate Robe with Brocade Waistcoat and Coral Head OrnamentsOriginal Source:

This is the clothing of a Mongolian woman from the Qing Dynasty. It consists of a robe made of red damask, a brocade waistcoat and a headdress decorated with coral, precious stones and silver.

Costumes like this varried according to region and social status. For example, girls from the region of Ordos wore a long robe with a belt, while in general waistcoats were only worn by married women.

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