The object of August
Miao silver festive headdress. Guizhou, South China. 20th century. Donated by Ioanna Koutsoudakis (45472).
The traditional silver headdress of the Miao living in Guizhou province, one of the 56 recognized by the People’s Republic of China minorities, is considered to be one of the most central components of the female festive dress. With at least two hundred silver bells and small metal sheets printed with diverse motifs (flowers, leaves, birds, butterflies, animals, mythic animals, fish and other), the hat functions as a symbol of social progress and as an element of cultural authentication of the Miao ethnicity, even beyond the limits of their society: with respect to the rest of China and with respect to the rest of the world.