The "Hakkas", whose name means guest people, speak the Hakka dialect. Coming mainly from Fujien, Jianxi and the basins of the East, North and Han rivers in Guangdong, they usually live in or near the hills in Taiwan. The practical and thrifty ways of the Hakkas can be best illustrated by their style of clothing which shows a high degree of simplicity and little adorement. The shanku is the outfit most commly worn by both men and women. Plain colors, usually blue and black, were usually preferred.

Coats and Trousers

Hakka people in Taiwan usually wear coats, trousers and skirts. Their clothing are usually made of cotton, linen and silk. Silk clothing are usually worn in weddings or some other important places. The main difference of Hakka clothing between other ethnic groups is the color and style they use. The colors are usually black and blue, and the styles are usually very simple.

Blue cotton women's coat Blue linen women's coat Blue satin womenss coat with floral pattern

Blue cotton trousers Men's trousers of black banana fiber


Hakka women usually do not Chang-zu (Using artifical methods to make feet small) like other Chinese people, so special shoes for Chang-zu are not popular in Hakka people. Hakka people usually do not wear shoes in the day when they are working in the farms. Women usually wear slippers after they take a bath in the evening. The shoes Hakka people wear are quite similar to other Chinese people.
Orange cotton women's slipper with lotus design


Tu-tou, meaning underwear, is worn by Chinese women. They are used to keep the body warm and protect chests. To-tou used by Hakka people are usually less colorful and are simpler than other ethnic groups, but they are not very different. To-tou plays an important role in weddings. The bride puts two oranges, a calendar, some sugar, a mirror and some money in her to-tou, and take them out in the evening with her husband. The oranges mean lucky, the sugar means sweet, the money menas together, and the calendar is used to keep evils away. The new couple then eat the oranges and the sugar.

The to-tou are usually made of silk. The shape is usually like a fan. Belts are used to tie them to the body. Some to-tou also have pockets on them.
From Miao-li. One of the features
of the Hakka to-tou is the cloth which
protects the belly under the to-tou
From Miao-li, with embroidery on it.
From Miao-li From Liu-dui, the embroidery is Xi-la-ya
(one of the aboriginal tribes in Taiwan) style.

Hair Ornaments

Fa-chai are put on women's hair for decoration or are used to fix their hair styles.
Orchid-vase shaped Fa-chai
(From Miao-li Nan-zhuang)
Flower-shaped Fa-chai
(From Xin-Zhu)

Mei-le is a belt tied around the forehead and the ears. They are used for decoration or to keep the ears warm in winter.
Mei-le with flower and bird embroidery
From Miao-li
Mei-le with flower, bird and human figure embroidery
From North Taiwan Hakka


Collars are used by women for decoration or to keep coats from being dirty.
Cotton collar with blue flowers
(From Miao-li)
Leaf-shaped collar
(From Liu-dui)
Peach-shaped two level collar
(From Xin-Zhu)
Peach-shaped collar
(From Miao-li)

Other Ornaments

(From Liu-dui)
Fan bag
(From liu-dui)
Money pocket
(From Miao-li)
Money pocket
(From liu-dui)
Sword-shaped girdle
(From Miao-li)
Sword-shaped girdle
(From Nei-pu)

Embroidery Characteristics

The embroidery style of Hakka people are quite different from other ethnic groups in Taiwan. Hakka clothing are usually simple, but their embroidery is complex and fancy. Hakka people who live in northern Taiwan like to use golden-threads in their embroidery to encircle the main figure. They usually use violet or blue with red colors in their embroidery and make it very colorful. Southern Hakka(also called liu-dui) like to use orange or yellow with green or red colors in their embroidery. The figures are usually traditional Chinese figures. Because southern Hakka live between many other ethnic groups, their embroidery also has characteristics from other ethinic groups and are full of varieties.


It is hung on the door of the room to keep other people from looking inside.
From Xin-zhu From Tai-zhung From Liu-dui

They are used in religious ceremonies.

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