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From tradition to fashion, Guizhou's Miao embroidery goes global

eguizhou.gov.cn| Updated: 2023-09-26 Print


An embroiderer of the Miao ethnic group introduces Miao embroidery to tourists. [Photo by Liu Qing/ddcpc website]

In recent years, Southwest China's Guizhou has strived to explore and improve the national cultural treasure represented by Miao embroidery. This has transformed it from tradition to fashion and taken it from mountainous areas to the world.

Miao ethnic costumes in Guizhou have more than 100 subtypes and the Miao embroidery style of each subtype is different.

Miao embroidery patterns include animal patterns, plant patterns, human patterns, and geometric patterns. With their ever-changing shapes and vibrant colors, they have a strong visual impact and rich decorative meaning.

At the beginning of this century, Miao embroidery was included on the national intangible cultural heritage list. In 2006, Huaxi Miao embroidery, Leishan Miao embroidery, and Jianhe Miao embroidery were approved by the State Council and included on the first national intangible cultural heritage representative project list.

Kaili Miao embroidery, Taijiang Miao embroidery, and Songtao Miao embroidery were later included on the list.

In recent years, Miao embroidery patterns have started to appear in designs of top luxury brands. Related public service advertisements have appeared on the large screens of Times Square in New York, and Miao embroidery-themed exhibitions and fashion shows have been held at exhibition halls and runways around the world.

Guizhou's culture and tourism departments have made strong efforts to promote the R&D of cultural and creative products related to Miao embroidery. Top designers from Suzhou, Beijing and Guangzhou were invited to collaborate with Guizhou's intangible cultural heritage enterprises to drive the research, design, production, sale, and brand promotion of Miao embroidery products.

Efforts have also been made to cultivate Miao embroidery experience centers, which have been set up at major tourist attractions and become intangible cultural heritage tourism experiential spaces that integrate Miao embroidery craftsmanship experiences, product displays, and interactive social activities.

In addition, the Guizhou Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism has also led the digitization of Miao embroidery records and the assessment of its current status. According to statistics, Guizhou is currently home to 17 national-level projects and 54 provincial-level projects related to Miao embroidery. There are seven national-level inheritors and 47 provincial-level inheritors of Miao embroidery.

The inheritance and development of Miao embroidery in Guizhou are flourishing, not only promoting traditional culture but also driving rural vitalization. Inheritors such as Shi Liping, Wang Qiping, Pan Yuzhen, and Yang Li have helped rural women increase their incomes by making Miao embroidery.

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