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 The Silver Accessories of  the Naxi and Miao Ethnic  Minorities
 The Silver Accessories of the Naxi and Miao Ethnic Minorities  
The Naxi and Miao are two ethnic minorities in China who have shared a similar sartorial culture of wearing distinctive silver accessories in a range of colors and styles. There are varied ways of putting silverwork on their heads or children’s hats, and adorning themselves from head to toe. A variety of the exquisite artisanal handicrafts, including headwear, necklaces, brooches, bracelets, as well as other ornaments on their backs and waists, all combine to paint a thousand years of their culture as not only a magnificent artistic world but also a highly sophisticated, fecund and inspiring spiritual world. Silverwork both in the Naxi and Miao are forged and crafted by hand within the family – operated workshops, fine-cut with the hallmark of a coarse texture finish to indicate the naturalness and originality. However, the distinctive features of silverwear in these two ethnic minority groups primarily lie in the different aesthetic outlooks across the cultures: the silver ornaments of the Miao tend to be large in size and heavy in weight, and the Mia often adorn themselves with various items from their ears down to their feet. In the Naxi culture the flowers, plants and birds are valued as symbols of nature and life; this is the case with the botflies in particular which are considered to be their ancestor mummy, and used as a decorative pattern of distinguished characters in shapes and styles of their silver accessories.
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