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Manchu Dress

Typical Manchu dressing traditions were composed of long, full length gowns with sleeve bands. Over their long robes Manchu men would occasionally wear a detailed sleeveless jacket that was quite short. Manchu women of royal or high standing would use wooden foundations to put their hair up into elaborate styles with tassels and other ornamentation.

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Imperial Yellow Dragon Robe
Kesi Tapestry Silk
WMA 1948.2.1

Yellow symbolizes the natural color of land signifying an eternally dominant position. Yellow dragon robes were made to be worn by imperial household primarily the emperor and empress. 

                                                Yang Xu ‘22

Formal Bridal Robe 

Kesi Tapestry Silk
WMA 1948.2.5

This bridal robe is decorated with eight rondels of phoenixes.  The traditional Manchu horseshoe cuffs have been widened and the color red has been adopted, evidence of Han influences to Manchu apparel

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Imperial Yellow Semi-Formal Robe

Kesi Tapestry Silk
WMA 1948.2.6

The yellow marks this robe as a garment to be worn exclusively by the Imperial family. The decorative motifs  honor the celebration of the New Year. They are the Narcissus flower, bamboo, a fungus known as Lingzhi, and the character Shou.  Combined these symbols denote the wearer’s hope for a long and prosperous life.

                                                              Macie Janes ‘24

Manchu Semi-Formal Robe
Embroidered Silk Satin
WMA 1943.2

Long robes were worn by Manchu women. This unique robe with a blue satin background embroidered with pink begonias and pointed foldable sleeves with the edge of the interior sleeve embroidered with flowers and butterflies in shades of blue, white and gold thread, most probably belonged to a high class woman.

                                     Hardika S. Kashyap ‘22