Category: History

Hello! I was wondering if I could ask you a qu…

Hello! I was wondering if I could ask you a question about something I noticed in post 136427994491 (and in tradition Chinese photography in general). I've noticed that there are sometimes a red marking on a women's forehead. Do these markings mean anything? I'm particularly curious about the one that looks like a flower and the ones that are a dot

Hi, of course I’m happy to answer your question!

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The forehead markings are called “huadian/花鈿", and they are a purely ornamental type of accessory that was most popular during the Tang Dynasty. Huadian came in a variety of colors (red, green, yellow – but mostly red), shapes (flowers/petals, animals – birds/fish, etc.), and materials (paint, paper, gold, pearls, petals, fish bones, seashells, feathers, etc.). Nowadays it is usually painted on/a temporary tattoo. Fouryearsofshades has a write-up on huadian here. Below – historical huadian:

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Huadian can be worn on the cheeks, as seen in the two left pictures in the 2nd row above – these are called mianye/面靥 or xiaoye/笑靥. They usually took the form of a dimple about one centimeter from each side of the lips, and came in a variety of shapes, including coins, peaches, birds, and flowers.

There is a legend about the origin of huadian, recounted by Hua Mei in the book Chinese Clothing (pdf):

“The Huadian or forehead decoration was said to have originated in the South Dynasty, when the Shouyang Princess was taking a walk in the palace in early spring and a light breeze brought a plum blossom onto her forehead. The plum blossom for some reason could not be washed off or removed in any way. Fortunately, it looked beautiful on her, and all of a sudden became all the rage among the girls of the commoners. It is therefore called the “Shouyang makeup” or the “plum blossom makeup.” This makeup was popular among the women for a long time in the Tang and Song Dynasties.”

The flower/petal shapes typically represent the plum blossom. I’m not sure if the dot represents anything significant, besides being a common shape.

Below – actresses wearing huadian and mianye in film/tv:

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Hope this helps! 🙂 

Edit: See here for post identifying the the actresses/films/tv series in the compilation above.

Is 璎珞 always worn on Ming dynasty Hanfu?

Is 璎珞 always worn on Ming dynasty Hanfu?

Hi! No, Yingluo/璎珞 is worn with many other Hanfu styles besides that of the Ming dynasty. As I mentioned in my previous post, Yingluo became fashionable during the Sui and Tang dynasties, and has been a popular ornament since then. So it can be worn with many different styles of Hanfu, including Tang, Song, Ming, etc. 

Some examples of Yingluo worn with non-Ming dynasty Hanfu styles via Niki-镜子:

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Hope this helps!

Is 璎珞 always worn on Ming dynasty Hanfu?

Is 璎珞 always worn on Ming dynasty Hanfu?

Hi! No, Yingluo/璎珞 is worn with many other Hanfu styles besides that of the Ming dynasty. As I mentioned in my previous post, Yingluo became fashionable during the Sui and Tang dynasties, and has been a popular ornament since then. So it can be worn with many different styles of Hanfu, including Tang, Song, Ming, etc. 

Some examples of Yingluo worn with non-Ming dynasty Hanfu styles via Niki-镜子:

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Hope this helps!

Hi! I was wondering if there's a specific…

Hi! I was wondering if there's a specific word used for those large ring-like necklaces sometimes worn with hanfu?

Hi, thanks for the question!

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The large ring-like necklaces sometimes worn with Hanfu are called Xiangquan/项圈 (lit. “collar”). There’s a specific variety of Xiangquan that‘s often worn with Hanfu called Yingluo Xiangquan/璎珞项圈, which is fancier and involves more pieces than standard Xiangquan. Yingluo/璎珞 originates from ornaments called Keyura, which were made of gold, jade, and other valuable materials and worn on the head, neck, chest, arms, and legs by royalty and the wealthy in ancient India. The Sakyamuni Buddha was said to have also been adorned with this auspicious ornament when he was a prince, as was his mother when she gave birth to him. Keyura gradually came to adorn statues and paintings of Bodhisattvas and Buddhas:

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Later, Keyura was introduced into China with the spread of Buddhism, where it was called Yingluo. During the Sui and Tang dynasties, it was imitated and adapted by fashionable women, becoming a piece of high jewelry. Below – Yingluo in Chinese art (note: it was worn by children as well as adults):

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You can often see Xiangquan and Yingluo Xiangquan in Chinese dramas. For example, they are commonly used in drama adaptations of the classic novel Dream of the Red Chamber:

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Boys/Men wear them too!:

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Due to the Hanfu revival movement, Xiangquan and especially Yingluo Xiangquan are making comebacks as gorgeous and versatile Hanfu accessories:

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Please see my Yingluo tag for more resources. Hope this helps! 

All product photos are from Hanfu accessories brand 青荷记忆国风首饰.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

fuckyeahchinesefashion: eastasianstudiestumbl…

fuckyeahchinesefashion:

eastasianstudiestumbl:

mingsonjia:

佚名 – 仙鹤仕女

Unknown Artist

And the top part reads: Anonymous, Crane Women. 

I found this on an auction site here though *MISFORTUNE* I don’t happen to be Mandarin literate and Google translate function only gets you so far. Maybe some of you will get more out of the link than I did.  

The only thing I can gleen is it is on paper not silk so it is post Song. But the translation implies silk despite it looking paper-y. However, on the auction site there is a lot more historical damage on it then what is shown here-like that massive crease mark across -Let’s just call her Ms. Peony- Ms. Peony’s head. Thus I can only say: Maybe she’s born with it … Maybe it’s photoshop. Cause I mean shoot that’s a forehead line that I don’t even think Botox could lay out flat. I guess that’s why IMO guys if you’re into collecting guys go do it IRL cause seeing is believing. Or if you’re balling: send someone for you who knows their Owls from their Fowls.

And I totally think the two figures are all like : GO HOME CRANE YOU ARE DRUNK. Also how on trend is that back pack?! #WANT Also how modern does that be-backpacked figure looks. Even though not, my knee-jerk reaction is she looks quite 30′s.

That backpack though. 

the coolest painting I have ever seen

Recreation of the Hanfu worn by a female devot…

Recreation of the Hanfu worn by a female devotee in the famous Chinese Buddhist painting Avalokiteshvara as Guide of Souls (Five Dynasties period):

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hanfugallery: Recreation of authentic Chinese …

hanfugallery:

Recreation of authentic Chinese hanfu by 装束与乐舞

historyarchaeologyartefacts: A pair of gold c…

historyarchaeologyartefacts:

A pair of gold crowns with dragon and phoenix imagery to represent the Emperor and Empress, Liao Empire – (c. 907-1125 CE), [1002×668]

dressesofchina: cfensi: Ni Ni as Feng Zhiwei’…

dressesofchina:

cfensi:

Ni Ni as Feng Zhiwei’s male alter-ego Wei Zhi

The Rise of Phoenixes Tang-dynasty inspired costumes designed by Zhang Shuping. The upright collar is the only one that’s pretty rare in the Tang dynasty. 

shewhoworshipscarlin: Change purse, 1900-29, C…

shewhoworshipscarlin:

Change purse, 1900-29, China.