Vintage Miao Hmong Ceremonial Collar Necklace #428
428. Incredible rare vintage Miao Hmong ceremonial collar necklace.. This necklace was used ceremonially, often for weddings and probably dates to the early 1950's. This piece was probably originally destined for France because the Miao silversmiths often melted French silver coins to make the necklaces or repair existing ones. This one could also be made of "bai tong" or white copper which is a cupro nickel. Without doing proper tests it is virtually impossible for the lay man to distinguish it from real silver. The material has been used in China by the Miao and others since around the 12th century by those whose status has not allowed them to use real silver.
It measures approximately 12" x 12" and is extremely heavy. The red stamp in the center of the bottom is the original Chinese custom stamp, allowing it out of the country into Tibet. Excellent condition for its age and journey through time. Comes with a stand. A real piece of stand alone art.
Miao, mountain-dwelling peoples of China, Vietnam, Laos, Burma, and Thailand, who speak languages of the Hmong-Mien (Miao-Yao) family.
Miao is the official Chinese term for four distinct groups of people who are only distantly related through language or culture: the Hmu people of southeast Guizhou, the Qo Xiong people of west Hunan, the A-Hmao people of Yunnan, and the Hmong people of Guizhou, Sichuan, Guangxi, and Yunnan (see China: People). There are some nine million Miao in China, of whom the Hmong constitute probably one-third, according to the French scholar Jacques Lemoine, writing in the Hmong Studies Journal in 2005.
The Miao are related in language and some other cultural features to the Yao; among these peoples the two groups with the closest degree of relatedness are the Hmong (Miao) and the Iu Mien (Yao). (Source: Encyclopedia Britannica)