Changjiao Miao girls playing with mirrors, Longga, China
© Kieron Nelson
The Changjiao Miao got their name from their special custom of using horns as head ornaments (changjiao means “long horns”).
Changjiao Miao people live in the mountains 2,000 meters above sea level in 12 villages located close to each other with a total population of 4,000.
On ordinary day, the women simply wrap their hair behind their head around a sharp-ended wooden board. They wear long horns only on holidays and during festivals, together with the decorative hair bun made of linen, wool and hair three meters long and weighing 2 kilograms. They first fix the horns with their real hair and then wrap the “decorative hair” around a wooden frame into the shape of a horizontal “8” and tie it to the horns with a piece of white cord.
Due to poor access, the Changjiao Miao had little connection with the outside world and could preserve their unique communitarian culture.