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Tibetan Costumes and Ornaments

-- Tibetan clothing conveys the habits, history, beliefs and character of local people

Tibetan costume and ornaments convey not only the habits, but also the history, beliefs, climate and character of the local people and it has undergone few changes throughout history. Typical Tibetan costumes include wide sleeved loose garments, caps, sashes, boots and aprons, etc.

Tibetan Costumes

The weather on the Plateau is extremely bad for the most of year and the temperature gap between day and night is large. To fight the coldness and make it easy for manual work, Tibetan people wear loose and durable fur garments with wide sleeves. They take off one of the sleeves to and tie it at waist to work freely in the daytime and to make them cool. When night is coming, it turns cold, they put on the sleeve then it will keep warm. Sashes are necessities for a garment. When the garment is tied tightly in the middle, it produces a large bag in the front to pack useful items. It is really very practical.

Tibetan Clothing

Tibetan Clothing

Caps are very important for Tibetans. It protects the head from cold and the Tibetan caps are of great aesthetic value. Tibetans wear various caps, and the caps made of sheepskin, fox skin, and Jinhuamao (a hat made of golden satin and golden ribbons).

Tibetan boots are so high that they sometimes reach the upper part of the leg, with a heel of about 2 centimeters (around 0.79 foot). The insteps are often embroidered with beautiful pictures.

Most Tibetan clothing is made of animal furs. Furs are soft, durable and warm and the sheepskin is most common in making of clothes. In the past, different furs indicated different meanings. For example, a hero of the war would wear tiger skin garments while a deserter would have to wear fox skin garments. Now the original meanings have been ignored and sometimes the fox skin garments are regarded fashion. There is a specific material in making cloth called Pulu, which is made of wool. It is fine and soft and suitable to wear all year round. Cotton is also favorable in making clothes and cotton garments are quite welcomed in summer.

Tibetan Costumes

Tibetan Costumes

The colors of Tibetan costumes are brilliant especially in the pastoral are women are fond of bright colors. the of Tibetans in the city prefer light colors while in the pastoral area women are fond of bright colors. They make their clothes, most usually aprons, with stripes of five different colors: white, blue, green, red and yellow, which represent the cloud, the sky, the rivers, the earth, and one of the gods in their religion. Often, they put two contrasting colors together. White and black, green and red are mixed pleasantly, which generates delicate artistic effects. The match of colors shows the specific sense of beauty of Tibetans.

Tibetan Ornaments

Tibetans love ornaments more than any other ethnic group. Ornaments are the symbol of assets and social status. They wear all kinds of ornaments, such as necklaces, hairpins, earrings, and bracelets. The ornaments are made of jade, pearls, shell, animal bones, gold, silver and other precious stones. The design of the Ornaments is related to their religion in the hope that they can always stay in the protection of the Buddha.

Tibetan headwear

Tibetan headwear

Some of the ornaments are mainly of practical use. For example, there is a kind of accessory named naigou (milk hook). When Tibetan girls milk the cows, they must use a hook with their buckets. After the milking, they hang the hooks on their clothes, so naigou plays a double role as a tool as well as an accessory. Now, as it is used more as an accessory, it is made more and more refined and luxurious.

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