Ancient China is linked to our notions with the Great Silk Road as, starting from the II century BC, camel caravans were moving along this road laden with precious Chinese silk. In ancient Rome one pound of silk was estimated at one pound of gold.
Since ancient times the main occupation of the inhabitants of China was agriculture. Even the emperor himself ploughed up three furrows every spring. From time immemorial in China flourished art crafts. During its long history the vast country was united in a powerful, centralized state ruled by dynasties, then broke up into small kingdoms, frequently exposed to foreign invasion. Culture and costume of the country were constantly changed under the influence of many local cultures within China, as well as violent reforms of the foreign invaders. However, the characteristics of the socio-economic development of the nation, its philosophical doctrine about the nature identified the main features which characterized the symbolism of shape, ornamentation and colors of Chinese clothing throughout centuries.


    Chinese belong to the East Asian Mongoloid group, characterized by short stature, somewhat flattened face with a high forehead, which has often been compared with the "bright moon in the middle of autumn” in Chinese poetry, dark skin, constricted shaped eyes, and straight black shiny hair.
In the process of stylization, typical high-raised eyebrows are often portrayed obliquely like the eyes with soaring outer ends. Over the centuries the ideal of beauty was changed more than once, and men's appearance was often highlighted with a special, hidden grace, elegance, and intellectual qualities: learning, refinement of feelings.
The ideal of Chinese woman was changed more frequently. During the Tang (VIII cent.) plump, round-faced girls considered beautiful, later on, femininity, elegance, small size hands and feet (In the XII century there was a widely spread custom of bandaging girls feet to stop their growth.), restraint movements, gestures and gait valued highly.


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Aesthetic ideals, symbo-
lics and the costume of China

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