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Miao (Hmong) costume and textiles from Southwest China: Part 1

The Miao are one of China's largest ethnic minority groups, living in Guizhou, Guangxi and Yunnan provinces. They are famous for their skills with indigo dyeing and embroidery. This is a relatively large minority group, so styles of Miao clothing and dress are very diverse amongst different sub-groups.


Embroidered jacket from Huaxi area of Guizhou province. Beautifully decorated with embroidered designs (see detail below). These jackets were amongst the first collected and traded by dealers from Guizhou and are consequently now scarce. 82cm tall.

jacket from Huaxi area of Guizhou province
(detail of embroidery on CET99)
detail of jacket from Guizhou, Miao

CET 416A Jacket from the Nandan area of Guizhou province. Indigo batik, silk embroidery on indigo and brown cotton foundations. First half of the 20th century.

123cm x 64cm.

Miao Nandan jacket

CET 416B Skirt from Nandan area: part of set with CET416A. Silk embroidery and batik on cotton foundation.

60cm long.

Miao Nandan skirt
detail of CET416A Miao Nandan jacket (detail)
reverse side of CET416A Miao Nandan jacket (reverse)

CET419 Ga Por Miao jacket from Guizhou.

These tiny (and very old) decorative jackets were worn with the head through the hole in the center. This sat on top of a plain indigo jacket and served primarily as a decorative detail and display of embroidery skill. The fine embroidery is worked in silk on an indigo cotton foundation (almost entirely covered) and is made entirely with natural dyes.

43cm x 66cm (laid out flat as in the photo).

embroidered jacket (Ga Por Miao)
detail of embroidery on CET419 detail of embroidery on Miao Ga Por jacket