Colourful Yi Headgear

Updated: 2012-08-07 13:31


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Colourful Yi Headgear

Yi people have a tradition of wearing colorful headgear, which is part of their unique culture. Yi people have many sayings about the tradition, such as "Birds are pretty because of their features, and people are pretty because of their headgear,"and "Han people care about their footwear, while Yi people care about their headgear." Much of the headgear is derived from their original totems or their plant or animal worship.

Yi people, who inhabit southwestern China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and Yunnan, Sichuan and Guizhou provinces, account for more than 6.57 million of the country's population (based on the 1990 census).

A Yi woman's headgear reveals her age and social identity. A young, unmarried Yi woman wears a thick, ethnic cloth headgear that is in the shape of a cockscomb. The woman will pin silver decorations, such as a silver fower, on the headgear for decoration. According to legend, a cock rescued ancestors of the Yi people when they were young. The Yi believe the cock is auspicious, and wearing such headgear will help protect young unmarried women and keep them safe and happy. Cockscomb is also typical of a pattern frequently used in other parts of Yi costumes.

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