Hero knot and trousers with wide leg
The basic style of the Yi men's clothes is wrapping long cloth on head, wearing close-fitting garment with wide front, covering a wool cloak "Ca'erwa" or felt cloak out of the garment and wearing long trousers. This kind of dress has very distinctive national characters.
Looked from the head, Yi men mostly wear long hair, which is coiled at the top of the head, and wrap black or dark blue cloth around head. The cloth is several meters long. In addition to wrapping the head, the end of it should be bound into an awl-shaped black horn, which is set up above the forehead to show soldierly bearing. It is called "Zuotie" in Yi language and "Hero knot" in Chinese. The coil and the hero knot are regarded as holy things and others can't touch it wantonly. Besides, men regard themselves beautiful without beard, and some wear big bead down the left ear as decoration.
Being looked from the upper body, men in Liangshan region like to cover a cloak "Ca'erwa" out of the garment. The shape of Ca'erwa is like a cape, and it reaches the underneath part of the knees with long tassels sewed at the edge. It is woven by thread made from wool, and is usually black. It can cover shoulders, back, arms and even breast and legs when being covered on body. It can keep out sunshine in sunny days and resist water in rainy days; it serves as a kind of clothes when going out and a quilt when sleeping. It is not only beautiful and useful, but also can present qualities of bravery and great-heartedness.
Being looked from the lower body, trousers of Yi men are also very characteristic. What is unique is that the width of leg is much different. It is divided into three kinds: large, medium and small, and the difference is taken as a symbol to divide clothes style of the Yis. Places including Meigu, Ganluo, Leibo, Ebian, Mabian in Sichuan and Qiaojia, Yongshan in Yunnan are commonly called "large leg" region. Men's trousers legs are very wide there, and the widest is about 170 centimeters, which is wider than normal women's skirt. If you grab the edge, you can draw it up to the side of head and it forms a shape of fan. The quantity of cloth for making it is 7-8 times the cloth used in making normal trousers. Yi places including Mianning, Xide and Yuexi in Sichuan are called "medium leg" region, but the leg is still very wide. It is usually 60-100 centimeters wide and looks still like a skirt. Even in so-called "small leg" region including Puge, Butuo and Jinyang in Sichuan, though the trousers leg is very narrow, the waist and crotch are still very wide which looks like riding breeches when being worn. These reflect unique aesthetic psychology of the Yi people.
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