The Costumes of the Dong People

The Dong people's costumes have a long history, being colorful and varied. They generally value simple and unsophisticated designs. Males wrap their heads with long handkerchiefs, wear left-buttoned symmetrical coats with a waist belt, and trousers with leg wrappings. Females roll up their hair in a bun or coil, wear silver hairpins, earrings or ear pendants. Their coats are symmetrical and feature decorative patterns embroidered with two red ribbons arching over the backs and then tied behind the back. Colorful belts decorate the waste. The attire is completed by pleated skirts and leg wrappings.

A pretty Dong girl in traditional ethnic costume is doing sewing. Fine dressed young Dong girls are preparing to perform chorus for tourists.

The Dong's costumes also have common varieties and extra fine versions that are saved for the most important occasions. Some young women tie their pigtails on their heads with kerchiefs. When the special costumes are worn, silver jewelry including: bracelets and earrings are a must. Other notable necessities include a new purple symmetrical coat, fine pleated skirt, boat-shaped embroidered shoes, silver crane feather on their heads, a silver basket with red ribbons, and an apron with mosaic pieces. The men's holiday best consists of a black cloth cap with no brim (tied with a silver hoop on which there is a fish-shaped silver basket full of silver flowers and white crane feathers), white collar symmetrical coat, silver-button red mandarin jacket, silver chains, a red waist ribbon, white trousers, and cloth shoes.

The fabrics used to make Dong people's costumes are all hand-woven by the local women.. A Dong woman is airing out her home woven cloth.

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