Embroidered clothing is an essential part of the Yao identity. Women embroider colourful geometric patterns on their garments and accessories. The embroidery work on these loose-fitting, full trousers are intricate and covers most of the leg section. The decorations comprise two to five main designs of weave and vertical/horizontal stitches that begin from the bottom up. These embroidered panels are sewn together on plain indigo cotton parts that are the trousers.The Mien or Yao as they are often called, probably lived in southern China about 2,000 years ago and are related to the Hmong. They write in Chinese and speak a language derived from the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. The Yao migrated during the mid 19th century from Laos to Thailand

Mid 20th century, c.1960s
Northern Thailand
Object size: 81 x 131.5 cm
Accession No.
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Garments and Accessories