- MEDIA CENTER
Miao embroidery is a national intangible cultural heritage item. [Photo provided to eguizhou.gov.cn]
In the remote region of Shibing county, Qiandongnan Miao and Dong autonomous prefecture, Southwest China's Guizhou province, Miao embroidery has not only lifted Miao people out of poverty, but also gained attention from people both at home and abroad.
In Qiandongnan's Miao community, it is said that Miao girls can embroider as easily as they can write. Almost everyone possesses the talent and skills for embroidery. They weave their ancient ethnic history into colorful threads, stitching hopes for a better life.
"Miao embroidery is the treasure of the Miao ethnic group. I learned Miao embroidery from my family when I was young. To me, this beautiful art form needs to be seen, praised, and loved. The skills of Miao embroidery need to be passed down and protected," says Long Luying, a representative of the intangible cultural heritage item.
The longer she is involved in Miao embroidery, the more she feels the weight of her responsibility. Her goal in establishing the Miao embroidery brand "Wushui Yuntai" is to enable Miao women to support themselves and their families.
"The name 'Wushui Yuntai' is derived from Shibing's Wuyang River and Yuntai Mountain. It signifies the development of local ethnic culture and the collective prosperity of the community," explains Long.
Data shows that Long has conducted 48 training sessions on employment skills and intangible cultural heritage skills for rural women, training over 6,000 people. She has established four intangible cultural heritage Miao embroidery training bases and nine village production workshops, providing employment and increased incomes for over 1,000 women in rural areas.
A Miao woman wears a traditional Miao costume. [Photo provided to eguizhou.gov.cn]
Like Long Luying, there are many others who skillfully incorporate Miao embroidery into fashion and bring a new vibrancy to this thousand-year-old craft.
Pan Yuzhen, a representative inheritor of Miao embroidery, is one such person. Since being invited to Singapore in 2000, Pan has visited more than 10 countries, including the United States, France, and the United Kingdom.
In December 2018, she even walked the runway at Court of St. James's in London, wearing her own handmade Miao traditional clothing to showcase the beauty of Miao embroidery to the world. Pan says, "The Miao ethnic group's craftsmanship was a sensation in the UK, and everyone wanted to take photos with us."
To further protect and develop Miao embroidery, the Guizhou Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism has implemented various measures.
These include promoting the construction of intangible cultural heritage workshops for Miao embroidery, expanding the number of inheritors, promoting the R&D of cultural and creative products related to Miao embroidery, conducting digital documentation of Miao embroidery, evaluating the current situation of Miao embroidery, and building experience centers for Miao embroidery.