A Yao woman smile
The Yao nationality (its great majority branch is also known as Mien; Traditional Chinese: 瑤族, Simplified Chinese: 瑶族, Pinyin: Yáo zú; Vietnamese: người Dao) is a government classification for various minorities in China. They form one of the 55 ethnic minority groups officially recognized by the People’s Republic of China, where they reside in the mountainous terrain of the southwest and south. They also form one of the 54 ethnic groups officially recognized by Vietnam. In the last census in 2000, they numbered 2,637,421 in China, and roughly 470,000 in Vietnam.
The men and the women cover their heads with a black or red scarf. Some women substitute this scarf by a turban that can adopt different forms. The traditional suit of the women is of bright colors. They also decorate their shirts with decorations made out of silver.