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Wafang hat: Yunnan granny passes on tradition for 70 years

Updated:2018-03-12 15:51:16   english.yunnan.cn

The Wafang hat, or the tile-house hat, is a children’s traditional headwear of the Bulang people who reside in Manghuai Township, Yun County of west Yunnan Province. The hat is so named because of its resemblance to the roof of a tile house. Yang Guangju, a local hat maker, has been dedicated to the craft for more than 70 years.

Yang Guangju started to learn  hat-making from her mother when she was eight. She explained that to make a Wafang hat, one needs to draw the patterns on a piece of paper first and glue tiers of cloth with the paper, followed by cutting, embroidering and sewing. It takes several days to complete the whole process.

Besides designs of flowers and plants, patterns of small balls are also embroidered on the hats. They are often stuffed with peach seeds, symbolizing blessings in the Bulang culture. 

Yang said that the craft of making the tile-house hats contains centuries-old traditions. She has taught the skills to her daughter. And the Manghuai government has also established a professional cooperative to turn the hats into souvenirs, while passing on the tradition.

Editor: Wang Shixue

Keywords:   Wafang hat Yunnan tradition