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Dragon Robe and Crown

In the feudal society with rigid hierarchy, costume was an important symbol for distinguishing the noble and humble as well as class differences. Dragon robe and crown is a symbol of the highest power and social status. It is a sort of costume can only be worn by emperors in feudal China. Dragon robe refers to the royal dress ornamented with rolling dragons while dragon crown is the noble hat.

China has been paid great attention to different kinds of amenity-related activities since ancient times, hence being a world-famous country of etiquette. Consequently, costumes prepared for different amenity-related activities have developed into a clothing system peculiarly owned by China. Crown-costume have been existed since the early Shang Dynasty, due to archeological discoveries. In the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, it was a kind of grande toilette worn by the emperor and supreme officials on official sacrificial occasions. Owning to the increased centralization in later dynasties, dragon robe and crown became the costume exclusively prepared for the emperor, and gradually, served as an essential token of the emperor. Making dragon robe and crown secretly at that time sentenced seriously as rebellion.

Sophisticated dragon robe and crown is a quintessence of Chinese ancient costume with profound cultural connotation. The dragon embroidered on the robe symbolizes the worship of dragon totem in ancient China, while the shape of the crown (slightly round front and square rear) reflects the cultural content of "Round heaven and square earth". Now in the Palace Museum, there still preserved  exquisite and graceful dragon robes and crowns, which are incarnates of superb dressmaking technique in ancient China as well as the aesthetic consciousness in traditional Chinese culture.