Moe (抹额), a kind of Chinese traditional clothing accessories, was popular in the Ming Dynasty. Moe tied on the forehead, usually decorated with embroidery or pearl jade.
The application of Moe in the ancient army
In the Tang Dynasty, Moe often appeared on the warrior’s forehead. On the murals of the tomb of Prince Zhang Huai in the Tang Dynasty, there are warriors wearing red Moe.
In the written records at that time, the word “Moe” appeared. Li He, a poet in the Tang Dynasty, once wrote a poem describing the drill of the water army: “water splashes on the Moe, flags, and drums will greet the tide at night.”
In the Five Dynasties, there was a “military Moe” clause. At that time, different colors were used as marks in the military to distinguish different armies.
Moe – the mystery of women’s beauty
In the Song Dynasty, it was more used by women who loved beauty. Women’s Moe in Song Dynasty became more exquisite in production. Historical materials also recorded that “ordinary families can’t decorate jewelry, clothes, earrings, Moe and so on with pearls”.
Although women of ordinary status are not allowed to decorate Moe with pearls, their Moe styles are very rich. For example, cut five color brocades into various shapes and add colored embroidery on them. With this decoration on the forehead, it not only makes the forehead neat but also helps to lower the hairline.
Ming Dynasty is the period of Moe’s prevalence. Women at that time, regardless of their dignity or inferiority, were decorated with Moe between their heads, and the forms of Moe were more diverse. Generally, they were decorated with embroidery or pearl jade, and Moe made of animal skin materials increased the heating function of Moe.
In the Qing Dynasty, both noblewomen and common people were popular with Moe decoration. Moe became a necessary ornament for men, women, and children. We can see that among the photos preserved in the Qing Dynasty, Moe was very common, and most of them were inlaid with pearl, precious jade, and other ornaments.
The most typical one is the aforementioned TV drama “Dream of the Red Chamber”. Almost everyone wears a Moe with a similar shape, but the texture and production are different.
Since the past dynasties, the forms of Moe have varied. At first, wide and later narrow are popular, and two more earmuffs are worn on both sides. Its production process is also from simple to complex, and it starts from a simple cutting of cloth and silk. Later, beautiful and handywomen use needlework or pearl jade to decorate the forehead surface, making it gorgeous and beautiful.
Its texture developed to later, more with otter, mink, fox, and other fur made of the warm forehead. Of course, this kind of Moe is not available to ancient ordinary people.
More about Chinese Traditional Clothing Accessories.