ma mian qun (Apron Skirt)

About this object

History of use

Han-style plated apron skirt known as Ma Mian Qun (馬面裙/马面裙) (literally, ‘horse face skirt’) typically worn by Han women and originated during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644).


The donor, Mary Stimpson was born in China in 1920 and lived there with her family until 1938. Her father was a US citizen who originally worked in the import/export business. Her parents arrived in China around 1915.

Physical description

Red silk ma mian qun (馬面裙/马面裙) or apron skirt with a dark blue border that is heavily embroidered with flowers in various shades of blue. The front and back decorated panels are embroidered in the lower portion of the skirt with multi-coloured designs edged by a thin off-white floral and butterfly ribbon. There are also small multi-coloured flowers embroidered on the red silk within each area delineated by blue ribbon. The skirt is pleated and flares out toward the hemline. It has a wide blue waistband, with thin red ribbons attached for tying. Interior lined with a light green silk.