Nu Distinctive Costumes

Women wear distinctive tunics and skirts made from hemp that the Nu grow and strip and spin into cloth. Often times their families wealth is measured by a woman's silver, coral, cornelian and turquoise jewelry. The Nu have traditionally worn a long robe made of flax or cotton. Women like to wear a skirt, head ornaments and necklaces stringed with coral, plastic beads and shells. Men traditionally have carried a knife or machete in their belt and slung a crossbow over their shoulder. According to the Chinese government: “Until the mid-20th century, both men and women wore linen clothes. Girls after puberty wore long skirts and jackets with buttons on the right side.

Nu women in Gongshan wrapped themselves in two pieces of linen cloth and stuck elaborately-worked bamboo tubes through their pierced ears. Married women in Bijiang and Fugong wore coral, agate, shell and silver coin ornaments in their hair and on their chests. For earrings they used shoulder-length copper rings. Besides, all Nu women like to adorn themselves with thin rattan bracelets, belts and anklets. Nu men wear linen gowns and shorts, and carry axes and bows and arrows."

According to Chinatravel: “Anu and Nusu men have long hair. Some wear braids. Headmen and the rich men often wear coral in their right ear. Anu and Nusu men wear loose, knee-length unlined, linen long gowns that have no collar and button on the right. There are two pockets sewn onto the front of the garment that are black and white or black and blue stripes. Anu and Nusu men wear short linen trousers. They often go barefoot. Adult Anu and Nusu people wear shin guards woven from thin bamboo strips to protect themselves from snakes and bugs. On their left shoulders, adult men often carry crossbows or their beloved Dabiya, a kind of lue-like stringed musical instrument, special to the Nu, and hang machetes kept in bamboo baskets or sheaths on the right side of their waists.

Girls wear linen skirts after they are eleven. They wear white gowns, which are buttoned on the left, sometimes with dark red or dark blue lined jackets over the gowns, and dark long skirts, which have wide lower hems. Married women wear skirts sewn with laces of contrasting colors, and carry Nu bags or sewing kits woven from thin bamboo strips. Their beautiful headwear consists of plastrons of strings of corals, agates, shells, pearls and silver.

Adult Rouruo men wrap their heads with black turbans. They wear edge-to-edge jackets (a kind of Chinese-style jacket with a buttoned opening straight down the front), trousers, and straw sandals or are barefooted. Women wrap their heads with small wraps. They wear blue coarse linen clothes, the front hems of which are shorter than the back ones, and trousers, straw sandals or go barefoot. Men from rich families wear bigger headdress or satin caps, unlined long gowns with short coats over the gowns, and cloth shoes. Women from rich families also wear bigger headdresses, as well as earrings, eardrops, and bracelets. The necklines and wristbands of their clothes are rimmed with satin. They usually wear embroidered shoes.

Along women wear scarves over their hair and tie the scarves with long braids woven from colored wool. They wear linen gowns, and dark vests over the gowns in winter or when it rains and it gets cold. Women wear strings of red or green beads as necklaces. Along women don't wear skirts; they wear trousers, around which are wrapped Nu blankets for warmth. Young women also like to wear colored Pulu (Tibetan wool) skirts on the front of the blankets. Some old women like to wrap themselves with black Naxi-style pleated aprons. Men's clothes are similar to those of other Nus.

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