The Miao Hmong embroidery has its unique features strongly influenced by Miao Hmong aesthetic and culture. Most embroidery has geometric patterns with compact designs, sharp contrasting colors and strong local flavor.
One of the characteristics of the Miao Hmong embroidery is its color is rich and bright which makes people feel cheerful and passionate. Red and green are main colors in the Miao embroidery and they are used in addition with other colors. Mostly, the colors are light for young girls and dark for middle-aged women. In southwest Guizhou province, for example, the girls use dark blue fabric and embroider mainly with red thread while adding white, yellow and green threads to make their costume more splendid and eye-catching. Whereas, the embroidery on the costume of middle-aged women also use dark blue fabric but embroider with indigo thread in line with orange, green and white to represent mature and elegance.
Another feature is the geometrical and symmetrical patterns. Diamond shape is the solid pattern. Small diamond within a big one is popular. Small diamonds are consisted of square, circles and triangles with different colors. The embroidered piece is based on the length and width of the clothes. The embroidered piece, for example, on the back of the clothes, usually uses the patterns of diamond and square. At the first sight, the colors seem disorder, but actually they’re well structured.
The third feature is the motifs are exaggerated and vivid. Miao Hmong women love nature and they use their creativity and imagination to their designs. They also adopt the images of the nature to their embroidery. For example, they embroider fish with petal and transform butterfly to fruit, with megranate as the body and leaves as antennas. They create vegetable as a human face and add a flower as tail to a dragon. These designs are abstract and symbolic and have specific meaning. The designs also keep their aboriginal aesthetic.
Different from Han Chinese embroidery which mainly uses satin stitch technique and straightforward in design, Miao Hmong embroidery is brave in colors, abstract in designs, symbolic in meaning and diversified in techniques. Miao Hmong embroidery is like Miao Hmong people passionate, brave and positive.
by Xiao Xiao @ InteractChina.com
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