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Traditional dresses for Yugur women
Release time: 2016-07-23【Font-size:big   middle   small

"Some jewelry on this dress was passed down from my granny and mama. The whole suit weighs more than 10kg. Some people think it's too heavy and troublesome, but it's our Yugur people's culture. I would love to take them all the way," said Naoer Jisi, an inheritor of the Yugur ethnic group culture in Gansu province.

Her own traditional dress was made by her mother and the pearls and agates were saved up one by one over time.

Yugur people are ethnics who live in Gansu province. According to statistics in 2010, the population of Yugur people is about 14,378. They have their own language but no written words. Due to their migration history and cultural background, not many tangible or intangible cultural relics were preserved.

However, their traditional dresses for women have been retained after many generations, especially the head decorations.

The decorations are exquisitely made by connecting red coral beads, white seashells, pearls, agate beads and silver pieces with colored thread on a red or blue cloth or red cow leather. Traditionally, Yugur maidens needed to wear head decorations.

Yugur dresses for women feature a high collar and a hat with tassel. Each Yugur woman has her own traditional dress that was made bit by bit when she was still a child.

For example, a woman's parents might exchange the livestock for some pearls first and then buy some cloth and silk thread when they accumulate more money. It often takes years for the completion of a traditional dress. And the dress is not only a gift from parents but also a symbol of the fortune of a woman's family.

"Now Yugur women prefer lighter and more convenient clothes and only wear the traditional dress occasionally, say, on festivals or ceremonies. It has turned from a necessity into a decoration to Yugur women," Naoer Jisi said.

She came to Lanzhou in 1983 to promote Yugur culture by establishing a Yugur choir. Members would wear the traditional dress, narrate Yugur tales and sing Yugur songs.

"The traditional dress is materialized Yugur culture. We want to show it to the public and let people know more about our tradition and culture," she said.

A group of Yugur women in traditional dresses.

A group of Yugur people in traditional dresses.

A Yugur bride takes head decorations before her wedding ceremony.


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