Among the 55 ethnic groups in China, the Miao are known for elaborate embroidery and exquisite work with silver. Nowadays, they can flaunt their own handwork at the Miao Silver Accessory Festival in Southwest China.
The Miao people have been deeply enamored with silver since ancient times. For more than 400 years, it's been the custom to decorate oneself head to toe, with silver. A full set can weigh up to ten kilograms. The purpose of wearing all this silver is of course primarily aesthetic, but they are also worn as amulets to ward off evil, and as symbols of wealth. The clothes bear strong cultural message. The patterns range from ancient totem to historic legend. Historians view it as the "Wearable History Book". Each ornament is an exquisite work of art and sparkles with the wisdom of the Miao people. The fancy Miao silver accessories include silver hat, silver horns, silver comb, silver ear-rings, neckband, necklace, bracelet, etc. Silver takes special importance in Miao culture. The craft has developed into a unique art form, and a carrier of the culture. Now besides for their own use, the Miao costume and accessory have developed into unique form of folk art and become a collector's item and tourism souvenir.
If your silver accessories are turning tarnish, please rub the piece gently with a silver-cleaning cloth, or clean it with a soft-bristle toothbrush using a little silver-cleaning paste. Please rub gently with a back-and-forth or up-and-down motion (not in circles), rinse, then blot dry with a clean, soft cloth.