Women of Kashgar


One of the things which I found endlessly fascinating in Kashgar, China was the variety of womens’ dress. In the photo above, you can see plenty of Uzbek ikat-patterned sik in blue and purple. Every woman is either wearing a long skirt or has leggings on to cover her legs. Yet even as you notice this, look at the little girl on the left, she’s in a frilly, flouncy red dress.

Curious, the next day I took myself and my camera to the main square. It took a little time to find a spot in the shade in front of the mosque given that this is where the town elders seem to congregate. They stared a little as I sat there snapping but returned to their own conversations pretty quickly. For all I know, they could have been discussing the people I was photographing walking across the square.

kashgar-china-women-2The young women in the photo to the left were most typical of the women who passed by that day. Conservatively dressed in rich but heavy fabrics, heavy tights and with scarves of the most outrageous colors tied back to cover their hair. Many of these women wore the tails of their scarves over their shoulders maybe as a replacement for the plaits that were tied up behind.

I found the woman in the photo on the right most intriguing. Her clothing is very stylish and she’s wearing high heels but the only the upper part of her face is visible. I wasn’t sure if the white mask was for religious reasons or just to keep the dust off.


In the heart of Old Town Kashgar most women are dressed like this: with an overdress and a heavy brown woolen veil over their heads. I had a hard time not staring: how does she see? that wool is not even close to transparent. And check out the pink frilly skirt just showing beneath her overdress and her daughter’s brightly-colored dress and pants. I think this is a woman who likes pretty things. How sad that she can’t preen when she’s out in public.

Like what you’ve read and interested in reading more? Subscribe to the WanderMom rss feed, follow me on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.

Information on traveling to China with Children.

Related Posts

[catlist tags=China]


Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
This entry was posted in China and tagged , , , , on by .

About wandermom

". . .life is short and the world is wide" - Simon Raven I'm not sure I've ever consciously planned a trip based on this sentiment, but it definitely influences my subconscious! I've been traveling as frequently and widely as possible since I finished school. And I love it. I love the research, the planning, the fervent packing and the curiosity of exploring somewhere I've never been before. My husband & I are both Irish - as in born-in-Ireland. But we live in Seattle. We have two boys: wild, boisterous, regular boys. So, since becoming a Mom, I've been a WanderMom. Given our slightly-unusual family situation, routine "visits-to-Grandma" are international trips requiring passports, 10hr-flights and (oh joy!) airport transfers. I have rants, raves and opinions about how, where & why to travel with kids (start them as young as you can, I say!). I hope to learn even more by researching topics which other wandermoms may be interested in reading about on this blog. Passports, pacifiers, diapers and gameboys at the ready - off we go! Contact Info: Email Michelle: michelle (at) murphnduff (dot) org

2 thoughts on “Women of Kashgar

  1. Bluegreen Kirk

    Is there a reason for the difference in appearance. Is it a religion/law that some take serious while others dont? I always wanted to know why such a big difference within the same culture.

  2. Pingback: Weekend Links « The Travel Pen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *