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The Miao are one of the most fascinating ethnic minorities in China. Recently, I found a Miao handicrafts shop on Yandai Xiejie. I was impressed by their silver ornaments and wax printing works.

 

The shop owner Mr. Zhang was dressed in the Miao traditional dress. He told me that Miao silver ornaments have a history of 400 years. The Miao have a variety of items that can brighten up your look from head to toe: silver headdresses, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, clothing accessories, waistbands, and anklets.

 

Miao girls are very partial to silver jewelry, as they see silver as a symbol of purity. And according to Miao customs, the larger, heavier, and more plentiful silver ornaments are considered the most beautiful.

 

Mr. Zhang showed me a pair of silver earrings. They feature long, beautiful twin birds. The silver threads are as thin as hair. Every detail is so fine.

 

The headdresses looked pretty heavy. I was afraid to wear any one of them, and it¡¯s not a good idea if you have a slender neck.

 

The blue cloth items with white patterns are actually wax printings. The patterns show beautiful flowers and Miao girls.

 

The cloth is made in a unique way: they draw an image on a piece of fabric with wax, and dip the fabric into a vat that contains dark blue dye. The parts of the fabric with wax cannot be dyed, so it will show off a gorgeous white pattern when the wax is removed.

 

At last, here¡¯s a tip to identify a real wax printing: Take a close look at a real wax painting work, you will find a number of fine, irregular blue crackles on the white area. They are caused when folding the wax-covered area, and the blue dye seizes the opportunity to permeate through the cracks.

 

What I appreciated

Unique arts and crafts of the Miao minority, the Miao silver jewelry

 

What customers appreciate

Exquisite silver ornaments, superb craftsmanship


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Beijing Shopping: The Miao are one of the most fascinating ethnic minorities in China. Recently, I found a Miao handicrafts shop on Yandai Xiejie. I was impressed by their silver ornaments and wax printing works.