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"Children of the Horn"

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 a typical day, the women simply wrap their hair behind their head around a sharp-ended wooden board. They wear the long horns only on holidays and during festivals, together with the decorative hair bun made of linen, wool and small amounts of ancestral hair. 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. The heavy ornament places extra strain on their neck and waist, leading to their typical walking posture. The hair bun can weigh up to 2 kilograms. The most precious dowry gift a mother can give to her daughter is ancestral hair. The reason for the horn is still unclear. A village elder told me that both men and women at one time wore real buffalo horns. He said it was used as a form of camouflage while they were hunting.
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