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Cloth dyeing custom of Landian Yao people

By Feng Lu
Updated: 2015-12-29

The Landian Yao ethnic group is a branch of the Yao nationality.

At present, more than 1,700 people of the group live in Fengshan county in Hechi, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. They still maintain the custom of planting indigo plants and using them to dye cloth.


A Landian Yao woman shoulders indigo plants back to home to be used as the raw material of dye at Fengshan county, Hechi, Guangxi. [Photo by Zhou Enge / provided to]

The newly picked indigo leaves should first be soaked for two to three days. After that, the leaves can be taken out. The most important step is to put some lime powder into a sock and rub the sock in the light blue water. The chemical reaction makes the water fill with bubbles. After one or two days, the indigo is deposited. After filtering the residue and throwing away the water, the cloth dye is ready to be applied.


A Landian Yao woman dips the indigo plants into water as part of the production of cloth dye. [Photo by Zhou Enge / provided to]

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