Hui'an maidens

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Hui'an maidens
Hūi-oaⁿ cha-bó͘
Hui`an girl.JPG
Hui'an maidens with traditional attire in Hui'an County, Fujian, China.
Total population
(C. tens of thousands)
Regions with significant populations
Quanzhou, Fujian, China
Southern Min, Standard Chinese
Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity

Hui'an maidens or Hui'an women (Chinese: 惠安女; pinyin: Huì'ān nǚ; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Hūi-oaⁿ cha-bó͘) are a major Han Chinese subgroup that are a part of a distinct Han community residing in Hui'an County of Quanzhou, Fujian, China. They have a distinct dress and marital customs that have been the focus of both anthropologists and governmental censure.[1]


Statue of Hui'an maidens, taken in Quanzhou, Fujian, China.


Knitwear exhibition ONTRAFEL at the Modemuseum Antwerpen (MoMu), Belgium. The central design is a dress by Walter van Beirendonck, inspired by the colourful clothing of the Hui'an women.

Typical Hui'an maidens wear short cyan jackets and skintight black hiphuggers which flare out at the legs and they cover their heads with colorful scarves and conical hats. The government describes them as having "feudal heads, thrifty jackets, democratic bellies, and wasteful trousers",[2] part of a project to forcibly assimilate the Hui'an community since the early days of the People's Republic.[1]


Hui'an maidens have very distinct customs regarding their marriage. Newlyweds are not allowed to stay together on their wedding night, so the groom stays in a friend's house. On the second day, the bride pays respects to the groom's family and gives gifts to the elders. On the third day, the groom's sister leads the bride to the communal well to draw two buckets of water. After five days of obeying various customs, she returns to her parents' home. The bride and groom are forbidden to live together or even talk to each other until the bride bears a child.[3] Younger generations no longer practice these customs.[4][5]


The majority of the Hui'an people have the same religious practices as other Han Chinese.[6]


  1. ^ a b Tsai 2004, p. 98.
  2. ^ "Hui'an Women". Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  3. ^ Brown, William N. (2007). Discover Quanzhou (2 ed.). 厦门大学出版社. ISBN 9787561521069. 
  4. ^ Qiu Huanxing, Lu Zhongmin. "Unique Chinese Customs in Hui'an, Fujian Province". 
  5. ^ "Don't Get Married in Hui'an". China Expat. 5 March 2009. 
  6. ^ "Han Chinese, Hui'an in China Ethnic People Profile". Joshua Project. 


Tsai, Kellee S. (1 March 2004). Back-alley Banking: Private Entrepreneurs in China. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-8917-2. 

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