During a Longsheng trip, the long-haired Yao women with red clothing will light up your eyes. They refer to a sub-group of the Yao ethnic minority in Longsheng, and have been named “Hong Yao” beacuse the women wear red clothes. Typically, a national costume of Red Yao features bright red clothing and dark blue knee length skirts. Red Yao women are expert in weaving, dyeing and embroidery. Then, how do they hand-make their clothing?
The red clothes of the Hong Yao are either woven or embroidered. The woven clothes are sewn with old-styled looms – white threads as warps and red threads as wefts. Many decorative designs can be seen on the clothes, which is believed to carry some good blessings.
Certainly, the embroidery of their clothing is predominantly colored in red. Red Yao women have the white hand-woven cloth dyed dark blue or black with indigo plant, and then embroidered with multi-colored silk threads – mostly red. There are a wide range of embroidered designs, and the wedding dresses are always elaborately decorated with lotuses and butterflies.
Among Longji Rice Terraces area, most of Red Yao people live in Dazhai Village and Huangluo Yao Village. Every year, on the 6th day of the 6th lunar month, people gather together to celebrate the annual Hongyi (Red Clothes) Festival. To them, it is a most important festival just after the Red Yao’s New Year. Moreover, Red Yao girls will hang out all the clothes to expose in the sunshine. Wander around in a Yao village, and you will be standing in a red ocean.
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