Hi! I love your blog! I have a question about a type of accessory that I frequently saw in dramas. (Tried to find out about it myself but I can't read chinese.😣) Can you tell me what those beautiful hanging pendants of jade and tassels, tied to the waist, are called? Thank you for any information you have!
Hi! I’m glad you love my blog, and thanks for the question! (Illustration Via)
Yaopei/腰佩 (lit. “waist wear”) is the general term for traditional Chinese waist ornaments, of which there are several types. Yaopei are typically decorated with jade (Yupei/玉佩), as the Chinese have revered jade since ancient times, and would (and still do) adorn themselves with it in various forms, including jewelry, hair ornaments, and waist ornaments.
Those beautiful long pendants of jade and tassels
hanging from the waist that you see in Chinese dramas are a type of Yaopei called Jinbu/禁步. An accessory worn since ancient times, Jinbu was initially used to hold down the skirt. Below – Jinbu in the Chinese drama series Nirvana in Fire.
Jinbu typically consists of one or more jades hanging in combination with beads and a decorative silk tassel (Liusu/流苏). Some of these jade stones are in the shape of bi-discs and Huang/璜, an arc shape with one hole on the top and two on the sides.
Apart from the symbolism of the jade and the beauty of the stone, the ancient Chinese appreciated the delicate tinkling sound the jades made as they touched each other when the wearer moved. Below – historical Ming dynasty gold-and-jade Jinbu (left), modern Tang-style gold Jinbu (right).
Worn by men and women, Jinbu served as symbols of virtue and emblems of rank. Below – illustrations of ladies from the Han dynasty (left) and Ming dynasty (right) wearing Jinbu.
Beautiful and versatile, Jinbu are a great way to accessorize any hanfu outfit.
For more posts on Jinbu and other types of Yaopei, please see my waist ornament tag.
Hope this helps!