Hair Today, Still Hair Tomorrow

Of the many minority ethnic groups laced among the 1.3 billion people of China, the Longhorn Miao (or Changjiao Miao), located in the mountains in the south, is one of the more unusual. It was only in 1994, with the building of a highway, that the Miao and their elaborate headpieces were revealed to the world.

For special occasions, Miao women construct the headpieces using a large animal horn, which is first affixed to the women’s real hair, around which a complex decorative bun of linen, wool, and ancestral hair is tied in a figure eight. The hair is finally wrapped with a white ribbon, completing a tonsorial work of art that’s passed down through generations of women. 


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