Lecture: Art of Miao Costumes in Guizhou

The exhibition of Miao Costumes in Guizhou opened on March 16 in China National Silk Museum. In order to interpret the exhibition deeply, Zhang guilin, the researcher from Guizhou Provincial Museum, brought a lecture entitled “Art of Miao costumes in Guizhou” to visitors.


Zhang guilin has been engaged in work for nearly 40 years, focusing on the study of Guizhou ethnic culture and the protection of culture relics in Guizhou. The lecture contents are divided into five parts: Introduction of Miao Nationality in Guizhou, Miao Costumes Modeling in Guizhou, Guizhou Miao Costumes with Historical and Cultural Customs, the Decoration Craft of Miao Costumes in Guizhou, and the Costumes and Silver Ornaments of Guizhou Miao Nationality.


Miao is an ancient nationality. With a population of Miao nationality about 9.42 million people, Guizhou as the most populous province in the miao ethnic group has 4.19 million people. The main cultural features of Miao nationality in China, such as the numerous dialects, basic customs, and important forms of art, have been concentrated in Miao nationality in Guizhou.

Costumes is an important symbol of national image and national characteristics, called as “national flag”, is the object demonstration of national history, culture, customs and national psychology, is also the main method to distinguish between different ethnic groups and the same nation different branches. 

Through a lot of physical pictures, speaker introduced the costumes of different branches of the Miao nationality in Guizhou.


“Hundreds Birds Dress”, Xin hua Miao nationality, Rongjiang County


Men’ Costumes, Xin hua Miao nationality, Liuzhi Special District

In order to maintain national identity, Miao ethnic groups in Guizhou all use costumes as their external characteristics, and also use the costumes to define the indication of the scope of marriage within the clan. The significant activities of the clan, such as sacrifice, marriage, are carried out in the clan of the same costume.

Miao nationality do not have its own words, the legends, history, and literature of this ethnic group pass on in oral form. In order to maintain the national memories, the ethnic history, culture and customs are recorded on costumes, making the costumes become the history books. Therefore, Miao costumes in Guizhou is full of abundant cultural connotation.


Da tang Miao nationality, Pingtang County

The decoration craft of Miao costumes in Guizhou is complicated, include embroidery, weaving, batik, silver ornaments and so on. Due to the different regions and different techniques, the decoration crafts form a variety of different styles, some simple, some sophisticated, some use a single embroidery or batik, some use a variety of skills together.


All ethnic groups in Guizhou have their own silver custom, so there are many styles, which not only show the traditional classic beauty, but also show the beauty of the national character for every ethnic groups. Especially the silver ornaments of Miao nationality, follow the traditional aesthetic law of large and heavy. Due to the need of silver jewelry processing, many silversmith villages and silversmith families have appeared. Some Miao women have become experts in silver jewelry processing, making silver ornaments more and more used in costumes.


The speaker quoted many traditional stories of Miao nationality, interspersed with various life scenes, making the lecture content full and interesting. After the lecture, the audience asked questions and had in-depth communication with the speaker. The atmosphere was very lively.

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