Cockscomb hat and pleated skirt
Yi women often wear scarf, wrap cloth or wear hat. They wear clothes with wide front and long pleated skirt reaching the ground.
Yi girls in Honghe region in Yunnan begin to wear cockscomb hat since 3 years old, and change to wrap scarf after they get married. Their cockscomb hat, which is quite elegant, is made by cutting hard cloth into the shape of cockscomb and sewing more than 1200 silver bubbles with different sizes on the hard cloth. Now many people like to embroider with colorful silk thread instead of silver bubble, and the top of the hat is decorated with colorful knitting wool. The girl wearing it is like a crowing cock. There is a moving legend about the origin of cockscomb: long ago, there was a couple of Yi youth who were in love with each other. On a night with bright moon and quiet wind, they came to forest to make a date, and were discovered by the devil king in the forest. In order to get the beautiful girl, the devil king killed the fellow. In order not to be humiliated by the devil king, the girl fled away for all she was worth, and the devil king chased after her closely. When the girl fled to the edge of the village, she suddenly heard loud crow of cock. The devil king heard the crow and stopped chasing, and the girl succeeded in escaping. The girl knew that the devil king was afraid of cock, so she held a cock and went to the place where she and the fellow had made a date. At the moment, the cock crowed loudly and her lover came back to life miraculously. So they got married finally, and started to live a fine and happy life. From then on, local girls started to wear cockscomb hat, which symbolizes good luck and happiness. It is said that the silver bubbles on the hat stand for stars and moon, and also symbolize eternal light and happiness.
Pleated skirt of Yis is out of ordinary. The body of the skirt is pieced with 2 or 3 sections of cloth with different colors, which has a sharp contrast of color and is gorgeous and bright. For example, in Meigu, Ganluo, Leibo, Mabian, Ebian region, that is the "large leg" region, children's skirt usually has two sections: red and white, and the skirt is edged with one thick black strip of cloth and one thin black strip of cloth. When they are fifteen or sixteen and the skirt-changing rite has been held, they change to wear adult pleated skirt with three colors connected from the top to bottom. Adult skirt is generally about 90 centimeters long. The upper section is waist, the middle section appears tubular, and the lower section is the skirt wave. The three sections all have pleats and the lower section is wide and has more pleats. They are mostly red, yellow, green, pink, blue or black. The pleated skirt of the medium leg region, such as Ninglang in Yunnan, is almost the same as that of the large leg region. Young women's skirt is often pieced with red, yellow, jade green, rose-red and pink cloth alternating with white cloth, which has gorgeous colors. The skirt reaches the ground without showing the feet, and wipes the earth with sound when they walk which shows an awesome bearing. There is a triangle-shaped tobacco pouch embroidered with appliqu¨¦ hanging on the waist, and colorful streamers with the shape of arrowhead are hung down the pouch. It is not only an adornment but also a pouch for holding tobacco or other sundries. The color of middle-aged and old women's skirt is not so strongly contrasted and is plain and neat. Especially old women's skirt is generally pieced with black or blue alternating white. In the medium leg region and the small leg region, such as Butuo, Puge, Jinyang, Ningnan, Huidong, Huili in Sichuan and Yuanmou, Huaping in Yunnan, there is a kind of wool skirt woven by themselves. The waist of the skirt is made of white double-layered coarse cloth, and the middle and lower sections are made of cloth woven with thread made from wool. The quality of the skirt is soft and thick. The middle section is often dyed into red or yellow, and the lower section retains the original color or is dyed into black. The upper two sections have no pleat or have a few pleats, and only the lower section has fine and close pleats. It is slim and graceful when being worn, and it demonstrates further the lithe and graceful figure of the Yi girls.
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