Feudal headdress, liberal belly

Hui'an women 86

Women of Hui’an, 1986. My photo.

One of the delights of returning to Beijing after a stint in the countryside is catching up on the news. Our resident publication the English-language China Daily is full of gems, and it’s gratifying to find that my colleagues there don’t stint on documenting folklore:

The dress of Fujian women on show is also interesting. Perhaps most eye-catching is that of the women of the coastal Hui’an county. They adorn their hair with several combs or bows and wrap their heads in colourful scarves, sometimes topped with broad-brimmed hats made of bamboo strips or rice straw. Their coats, primarily black or blue, decorated with embroidery, are purposely short to reveal a bit of the midsection; the trousers, by contrast, are oversized and baggy. So there is a local saying: “Feudal headdress, liberal belly; thrifty coat, extravagant trousers”.

Catchy, eh…

For more on Hui’an, see here.

2 thoughts on “Feudal headdress, liberal belly

  1. Pingback: Some silly signs | Stephen Jones: a blog

  2. Pingback: Fujian, 1961 and onwards | Stephen Jones: a blog

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