About this object

History of use

The Miao people live in various parts of southern China, Thailand, and Burma. Meo weave and dye their own cloth which is usually of cotton or linen. Meo women's clothing and accessories are richly decorated with patterned designs. Also, men wear colourful jackets on festive occasions. Costumes are distinguished by ethnic characteristics and local features. Form and style differ also according to sex, age, social status, religion, and everyday or gala dress. Silver is a symbol of wealth and beauty.

Physical description

Square bag made with cotton appliqué. The surface is decorated with an orange square border followed by four concentric squares in orange, light orange, green and white. The middle has a dark blue cotton square with multi-coloured stripes embroidered in various patterns. Central square is bright orange. Arranged symmetrically at corners of appliqué design are small semi-spherical silver ornaments, two of which have a string of white shells, a blue bead and brown seeds hanging down. Tassels of multicoloured wool, strings of white-glazed clay beads, brown seeds, shells and squares covered in multicoloured thread hang from two corners of bag face. Two ends of black looped strap form sides of bag; finished off in orange appliqué and multicoloured tassels on the bottom edge.