Ethnic Embroidery of Qiang – A Miracle in Chinese Folk Art (4)

Paper-cutting and embroidery are both folk industrial art forms of China, they both are indivisible parts of Chinese folk culture. As a wonderful art miracle of Qiang nation culture, Qiang embroidery, in terms of design, color, form or stitch styles, are all imbued with rich deposits of the ancient Qiang nation’s millennium culture and Qiang people’s ideas for life.

The author believes that the merits and meanings to dig out the Qiang nation’s folk embroidery and paper cutting art are not only exists in art scope, for us it’s undoubtedly valuable and significant to learn more about the history of this nation and be aware of the relationships between the Qiang folk art and that of other nations.

Qiang nation, also be called "the nation stay in clouds ", mainly live together in the Mao county of Aba prefecture, Wenchuan county and Li county, as well as the Beichuan autonomous county of Qiang nation in Mianyang city in Sichuan province China. "Qiang Embroidery" is a subsistent heritage of Qiang nation culture that most lively so far and closest to Qiang nation people’s life, it also is the best art communication bridge to the real-world, its forms, color matching and stitching styles are featured with significant ethnic characteristics.

Qiang nation people’s costume are gorgeous as well as simple, and whether men or women in Qiang nation are all prefer to wearing headscarves, they are accustomed to wear long linen gowns that woven by themselves, wear long cloth gowns, coats, sheepskin vests too, and ”Yunyun shoes" (a sort of Qiang nation’s embroidered cloth shoes) on feet. A variety of geometric patterns of embroidery are familiar on Qiang women's clothes and they usually wearing silver jewelry such as earrings, silver plates and so on, and wearing embroidered shoes with sharp hook toes. Men in Qiang nation generally tie hanging knives and leather wallets on the waist, they wearing fabric shoes or straw sandals, and wrapping wool puttees, also with waist belts tied on. Today, in areas close to the cities and towns of Han people, affected by the Han people’s clothing, Qiang people mostly wearing Han apparels and only wearing Qiang costumes in holidays.

Through the changes of history and turns of times, with the developing of Chinese cities, modern people favorite for going after changes and curious about adventures, as life styles and aesthetic concepts transformed, traditional folk embroidery appeared in cities from the countryside gradually, not only the sentiments and aspirations of citizen members have been infiltrated with embroidery art, but also thousands of families effected by and began to practice the skill of embroidery together.

Qiang folk art could switched to response the times, thus naturally to regain a new life. In particular, as in this prosperous millennium, people greet the occasion and are all eager to be rich, the embroidery art should to catch the popular fancy and focus on displaying the connotations of people’s hopes that praying for rich, profit, good luck and safety. So, as served as a national product, Qiang embroidery could be descended and developed at the same time. Therefor, we can conclude that there is potential large market for the national folk art’s enhancement and development.

In 21st century the most promoted idea we referred is innovation, we believe that based on maintaining the Qiang embroidery’s traditional essences and integrated with our rich and profound culture deposits and modern styles, thus produced works combined with modern fashion elements, we are able to obtain a broader space for development and display Qiang embroidery art’s unique charms.

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