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Yi people hold annual costume contest

Updated:2016-02-26 11:09:58   CCTV.com

In Yong’ren County, in southwestern China’s Yunnan province, the Yi people of every age adorn themselves with splendid attire at Lantern Festival for a joyous costume contest.

Yi people hold annual costume contest

With singing and dancing, the costume contest is more like a festival gala. And men and women of all ages are thrilled to take part in the fashion show. Each piece of clothing is designed and made by the wearer, and prizes are awarded for those deemed the most beautiful.

“It took more than a month to get the embroidery done for my entire outfit. We have several ways to do the needlework: needle on papercut patterns, drawing the patterns, or sticking a cotton pattern on the clothes,” said Qi Qiongcui, Yi costume competitor.

“I went with the papercut on cloth and embroidered the design. It took more time but result was much better.”

This annual tradition has a history of 1,351 years and is called “the oldest catwalk in the world.” Yi people from Guizhou, Sichuan, and Guangxi also come to take part in the competition and festival.

“Embroidery and costumes are an important part of our Yi ethnic minority’s culture. We have maintained it for more than 1,300 years, and its future development is promising as we now have so many favorable policies in this area,” said Xu Xiaomei, director of publicity, Chuxiong County, Yunnan province.

The Yi ethnic group has a population of more than 7 million distributed across several provinces. 

Keywords:   Yi people costume contest