“Hao hat” and “headkerchief” of Dongxiang Ethnic Group

Dongxiang nationality was mainly engaged in the sheep husbandry industry in early stages, and wore the brown shirts woven by wool spin threads and the gown made by sheep fur. By the modern and contemporary times, with the development of agricultural production, the raw materials and styles of clothes also changed gradually, and the cloth materials increased a lot. Most of the women wear the clothes with round collar, front, wide sleeves, and the long trousers and leggings. On holidays, they generally wear the embroidered clothes, skirts and shoes, with cloth on their heads. The men wear the oversized gown and waist belts, and some men also wear the long shirt with no buttons down the front, which is called as “zhongbai”.

After the 18th century, Islam gradually became the national belief of Dongxiang nationality. Because of the integration of religious belief and the long-term contact and living of them with the Hui, Han and other nationalities, the clothes of Dongxiang nationality changed a lot, and were gradually similar as those of the local Hui nationality. The characters are mainly expressed in the head ornaments. The men generally wear the little white or black hats with no brim, which are called as “hao hat”, while most of the women wear the “headkerchief”. The headkerchief is the scarf that is made of gauze, silk or cotton flannel, and similar as the cloak hat, generally is very long until the waist. When the women wear them, their back heads and necks are both covered; only the faces can be seen. The colors are different according to the ages, the young girls and young married women wear those in green, the middle-aged women wear those in black, and the old women wear those in white.

At present, the clothes of Dongxiang nationality are simple and frugal. Most of the women wear headkerchief, underclothes, front, right front and knee clothes, and long sleeveless jackets. The men wear “hao hats” on the head, white cloth shirts with buttons down the front. They like binding embroidered triangle cloth around the waist. On holidays and the days of jubilation, some people still wear long shirts.

The evolution and changes of Dongxiang nationality’s clothes react the changes of their social economy, culture and religious belief.