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Datang Short Skirt Miao Village

Datang short skirt villageDatang short skirt village

Datang Short Skirt Miao Village (or Datang for short, no pun intended) is located about 15 kilometers from Leishan county town. Datang stands out from other Miao villages in the region for the distinctive style of dress worn by its females: they all wear extremely short skirts; as short as 10 centimeters (make that "short!") in some instances. The most extraordinary thing about this is that the females of Datang wear their short skirts all year round, even in freezing winter. While the sight of "miniskirts" is not unusual for Westerners – at least not during summer – for many Chinese people of varied ethnic origin, it takes some getting used to, as it contrasts sharply with the more staid, mainstream Chinese practice of modesty (perhaps exaggerated modesty).

The origin of the "miniskirt" among the females of Datang can only be guessed at (the logical guess is that it was an act of defiance that predated the Women's Liberation movement in the West by about half a millennium). During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD), that is, some 600 years ago, females throughout the realm were, by tradition, required to cover practically every inch of their bodies – nothing was meant to be exposed to a man's view. The Miao females of Datang, however – in contrast not only to women of other Chinese ethnic groups, but also to their own Miao sisters elsewhere – began to wear the "miniskirt" they have since become famous for; for reasons completely unknown, or which, at best, can only be guessed at. Perhaps theirs was indeed an act of defiance against Ming Dynasty "Victorianism".