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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The long and braided ponytails of Chinese Men

Ever wonder what the long braided ponytail of the Chinese Men are for? These are the artificial braided ponytail you often see on Traditional Chinese Dress for Men.

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Boy's Blue Traditional Chinese Pants Set with frog buttons (embroidered), mandarin collar, dragon brocade, golden edging, and includes a hat with a pigtail!

The hairstyle is called Queue or cue. This was imposed to be worn by all Chinese men during the Jin Dynasty and Qing Dynasty. They were ordered to shave their hairs just above the temple every 10 days and gather the remaining hair to a ponytail and braid it. The Chinese were made to wear the Queue by the Manchus who defeated the Ming Dynasty at the time and the hairstyle symbolizes the submission of the Chinese to the Manchu. Those who were caught not wearing it were executed.

When the Manchu were defeated and the Chinese got their country back (after revolutions), the Queue immediately lost its popularity. In fact it is also associated with a fallen government.
As it is part of the Chinese history, the Queue is often added to the hat of the Traditional Chinese costume for boys as seen on the photo above.

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