The Miao people 苗族 number about 10 million and live in Southern China, mostly in Guizhou, Hunan, Yunnan, Sichuan, Guangxi, Hainan, Guangdong, and Hubei provinces. Some Miao also live in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar. The Miao were among the first people to setting in the area that is now present-day China. Their origins can be traced back as least as far as the Shang Dynasty (1700—1045 BCE).
Miao costume 苗服 is very diverse, including over 200 kinds. It is decorated with woven patterns, embroidery, and dyed designs. They are characteristically rich in color, as can be seen from the pictures on this page. Many of the designs are intended to identity of different groups or have other symbolic meaning. Miao clothing includes both formal attire and casual dress.
Decorative patterns on Miao clothing includes dragons, phoenix, birds, fish, flowers, plants, and geometric designs. There are many regional differences.