Shama Clothing

You see color from afar, pattern nearby.   - Nuosu proverb
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Women

Two-Piece Set by Lege Vugo


Chinese Influence

Though this set comes from Leibo, it shows the same kind of influences from Han or Manchu courts that are found in the domain of the ruler known as Shama Nzymo, today's Jinyang county.  This two-piece ensemble would be worn by a middle-aged woman.

Description:
A. Outer Jacket: Short sleeved jacket made of black rayon fabric open at front center. Neck opening accommodates standing collar. Couching in red, blue,green and white yarns encircles neck, shoulder, back and front opening. This is set against a trim of commercial ribbons in floral patterns. The two side vents are highlighted by a semi-circular design at the top of the vents. This design consists of a red inset finished with black applique rimmed in yellow couching and hand stitched "blanket" stitch. There is a vent in the back center, 20cm long, treated with the same design elements as at side vents. The sleeves are set in and show a cuff, 13.5cm wide, of a fabric patterned with balloons and a blue strip with stars on a red background. The cuff repeats the red, white and green couching seen on body of jacket.

B. Inner Shirt: White cotton with a 15cm wide section of black rayon placed over the cotton, going around neck, shoulders and back, following the opening to right side closure. There is a design executed in red, yellow and green couching. Next to the black section are two rows of red and green couching, followed by a band of commercial trim, 4.5cm wide, mainly in purple. Side vents, 36.5cm long, are decorated with black rayon, couching and commercial trim, like at top of garment and continue along front and back bottom of shirt. The front and back corners of bottom of shirt show a triangular design executed as a red inset under the black, the spiral design outlined in black with hand-stitching in yellow. There are two "frog" closures at neck, one at the side. The neck "buttons" are set off by two rows of cording wrapped with green and red yarn. The sleeves are set in. The cuffs show a 20cm wide decoration done in maroon colored commercial fabric, couching, and a repeat of the black rayon panel around neck of garment. This is placed on the inside of the sleeve so as to show when cuff is turned up over cuff of outer garment.

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Chinese influence

In the domain of the ruler known as Shama Nzymo, today's Jinyang county, Nuosu seamstresses evolved a style of clothing that blends native design elements with features borrowed from Han or Manchu court dress.  This two-piece ensemble, worn by a middle-aged woman, is an example.

Description:
Machine sewn middle-aged woman's upper garment suit in two pieces with a front panel and buttons on the right. It is daily dress worn all year round in the Shama ruler's domain of Jinyang district. Black with , commercial floral ribbon applique and handmade spiral applique at bottom sides, diagonal closure with 3 cloth knot buttons.

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Purse and Needle Case


Function and Decoration

To be fully decked out, a woman in the Shama ruler's territory, today's Jinyang county, should hang both a triangular purse or tobacco pouch and a needle case at the right side of her skirt.  This rather subdued set probably would be carried by a middle-aged or older woman.

Description:
1. Purse: Triangular purse made of black and blue twill fabric. Purse is lined with white cotton. Center of diagonal fold shows one half of circular design inset in yellow, appliqued in black fabric edged in red. Circle is divided into four fields each showing identical placement of design elements.

Each side of the purse shows a large field of blue fabric with five "cow's eyes" designs executed in black fabric couching. Bottom and two sides of triangle have a small inset in the form of four leaves, hand embroidered along outlines.

Seven streamers are attached at bottom of purse with red string. Each streamer is sewn of blue cotton fabric in arrow shape, and consists of two sections: one lined in green the other in white, stitched together at the top. The top corner of the triangular purse is held by an arrow shaped flap, folded around a small piece of bamboo, 6cm long. The flap is white on the outside with a black tip and rows of braids for decoration. The inside is black cotton fabric.

2. Needle case: attached to this purse is a half-moon shaped disk done in black and white applique and padded. It is attached by a green cord going through a bead, through the disk and ending in a tassel of green wool strands, 38cm long. A blue fabric loop is tied around the bamboo piece at the top for attachment to a belt.

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Men

Pants or Skirt?


These pants, from  the domain of the ruler known as Shama Nzymo, today's Jinyang county, closely resemble a Nuosu woman's skirt, with their horizontal bands, the middle and  lower ones pleated. 

Description:
Machine sewn Shama man's pants, synthetic fabric, gathered and pleated.

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