Thursday, August 27, 2009

Clothing of Lahu Na

Traditional Lahu Na clothing is made of their own homespun indigo-dyed cloth. The woman's ankle-length tunic is trimmed with applique patch-work. Generally it opens down the right side; some open down the front. The sides are split to the waist and edged with bands of predominantly red and white applique which consists of triangles, squares, and strips with a double row of scallops in red and white. The hemline at the back is embellished with a border of embroidered designs. The sleeves have narrow bands of red and other colour edged with scalloping. A broad band of blue cloth and narrow bands of variour colour from the cuffs.
The banded piece which goes diagonally from the throat to just under the right arm and the stand- up collar are encrusted with many rows of silver half-sphere buttons; silver dangles hang from the bottom row. At the back. Groups of silver buttons are arranged around the yoke in triangular designs, with more dangles hanging from them. The tunic closes at the throat, shoulder, and under the right arm with round silver buckles.
The black sarong is decorated with strips of brightly-coloured cloth stitched in zigzags and other patterns. A black turban decorated with beads and tassels completes the outfit. Women wear either wide engraved or narrow molded silver bracelets. Their earrings are similar to those of the Lahu Nyi. For ceremonial occasions the more affluent add heavy silver chains and necklaces with pendants of wheels, fish, butterflies, bells, and tiny grooming tools.
Lahu Na men wear suits of homespun black cloth. The jackets open either in front or down the right side, and the full-cut Chinese pants are ankle-length. Both jackets and pants are decorated with embroidered lines in predominantly red thread. Black turbans worn for festive occasions. A black shoulder bag with patch-work appliqued designs similar to those on the women's tunic is the most distinctive type for this group. Bags of a variety of woven designs are also popular. They like to decorate them lavishly with bright-coloured wool tufting and pompons, those worn by men for the New Year's dancing being especially ornate.

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