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The Costumes in Remote Ages and Shang Dynasty

Nowadays, we can see all kinds of colorful costumes in the daily life. About the origin of the costumes, it should be in the process of doing farm work. It is said that the image of the Yan Emperor was like this: wearing a red short thing, something like armlet in the arms, wearing a bird feather hat and the leather shoes. However, those who learn Chinese in China may hear that the common people were not like that.

The common people didn’t wear a bird feather hat but a pointy hat or round one. This legendary description may come from the analysis of the images appeared in the unearthed historical relics. However, it is hard to believe because there is no evidence to prove it. Therefore, it may be the guess by the later generations.

When it came to the periods of Huang Emperor and Yan Emperor, people began to have clothes, putting an end to the state of sheltering with something else. People at that time wore such clothes to worship the ancestor and heaven and earth. People who study Chinese in China should know that they knew the color of the sky in the morning is black and the earth was yellow. Therefore, the clothes were black and the trousers were yellow.

They wore like that because they intended to show their worship to the heaven and earth by that way. In the remote ancient time, some of the clothes and trousers were separated and some were connected. Foreigners who study Mandarin in China should know that there was no difference between men and women in costumes that time.

The written language began to appear in the period of Shang Dynasty. However, the language at that time were mostly pictographic characters, some of them even the drawing. From the inscriptions on bones or tortoise shells of the Shang Dynasty, we can see the models of written characters to describe different parts of the costumes.

From the images of persons unearthed, we can see many delicate decorations and exquisite clothes. However, foreigners who learn Chinese in China should know that they were mostly possessed by the noble. Nowadays, as different kinds of costumes appear, people’s understanding to costumes is improved. We emphasize decoration more.

We can see that the costumes in the remote ages and Shang Dynasty were very simple in forms and functions. People emphasized practical functions at that time. Now we intend to wear it as decoration.

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