Daoist Headdresses and Dress
Scarf of Original Chaos
The Scarf of Original Chaos ( 混元巾Hunyuan Jin ) is a kind of headdress usually worn by Daoists. It has a round hard brim of black silk and a hole in the top. When wearing this scarf, the Daoist wears a coiffure with a topknot through the hole in the top of the hat. Contemporary Complete Perfection ( 全真Quanzhen ) Daoists often wear this scarf in contrast with the Nine-Fold Scarf ( 九梁巾Jiuliang Jin ) of Orthodox Oneness ( 正一Zhengyi ) Daoists.
The Nine-Fold Scarf ( 九梁巾Jiuliang Jin ) is a kind of hat usually worn by Daoists. It has a lean top like the lean roof of Chinese tiled houses. The front has nine folds and nine beams. It is similar to the Chunyang Scarf ( 重陽巾 Chongyang Jin ) or the Nine-Fold Huayang Scarf ( 九轉華陽巾Jiuzhuan Huayang Jin ). The Chart of Three Rites ( 《三禮圖》Sanli Tu ) says, "The Chunyang Scarf, also named the Letian Scarf, is rather similar to the scarves of the Han and Tang Dynasties. Its top has an inch of silk folded like bamboo tablets hanging in the back. It is called the Chunyang Scarf after the immortal Lu Chunyang and the Letian Scarf after the poet Bai Letian." Wang Chongyang, the founder of the Complete Perfection Sect ( 全真派Quanzhen Pai ), also wore such a hat. According to the Pervasive Mystery Collections of Gold and Jade ( 《洞玄金玉集》Dongxuan Jinyu Ji ), "Perfect Man Chongyang Who Saves with Mercy and Subtlety ( 重陽憫化妙行真人Chingyang Minhua Miaoxing Zhenren ), then living in a hut on Kunlun Mountain, made a scarf with three and half feet of blue cloth with nine folds and nine beams on the top. He said he had seen this hat in dreams, named the Nine-Fold Huayang Scarf. The Master, looking dignified and alike to Immortal Zhongli ( 鍾離Zhongli ), with this scarf adding to his grace, was a true transcendent." So Complete Perfection Daoists wore a Nine-Fold Scarf at first. But contemporary Complete Perfection Daoists wear the Scarf of Original Chaos ( 混元巾Hunyuan Jin ), while Orthodox Oneness ( 正一Zhengyi ) Daoists wear the Nine-Fold Scarf in rituals, in order to differentiate themselves from Complete Perfection Daoists.
Ritual Dress ( 法衣Fa Yi ) is the general name of the clothes Daoists wear in rituals. Zhu Quan of the Ming Dynasty says in the Heavenly Emperor's Jade Book of Great Dao and Supreme Clarity ( 《天皇至道太清玉冊》Tianhuang Zhidao Taiqing Yuce ): Seeing a god wearing a golden lotus crown and golden stars and colorful clouds dress, the Yellow Emperor ( 黃帝Huangdi ) walked forward with a Jade Tablet ( 玉圭Yugui ) in his hand. He said, "It's so kind and virtuous of Your Holiness to take care of the world and of human beings." The Yellow Emperor then invented the Ritual Dress in imitation of the god's image, as the Daoist dress for worshiping Heaven.
Today, the term ' Ritual Dress' refers to what the Ritual Master wears, while the term ' Daoist Dress' refers to what ordinary Daoists wear. Compared with Daoist Dress, Ritual Dress is more colorful and magnificent.
The Scarlet Robe ( 絳袍Jiangpao ) is a kind of Ritual Dress ( 法衣Fayi ) which the Ritual Master ( 法師Fashi ) wears in large-scale rituals. Its two sleeves are so big as to touch the ground. When the ritual master opens his arms, the sleeves and the body form a square symbolizing the earth with four angles. The Scarlet Robe is embroidered with magnificent golden ornaments on the sleeves and body. In rituals, the Ritual Master often wears a Black Robe under the Scarlet Robe. Ritual masters of the Orthodox Oneness Sect often wear this in rituals for offering petitions. The Ritual Master, Pacing the Dipper ( 步罡Bugang ) with his scarlet robe flying, looks like a real Immortal communicating between Heaven and Man.
The term ' Daoist Dress' ( 道衣Dao Yi ) is the general name for the clothes Daoists wear in rituals and daily life. Nowadays it usually refers to what Daoists wear in rituals, including the Repentance Dress ( 懺衣Chan Yi ), the Daoist Robe ( 道袍Dao Pao ), the Ritual Dress ( 法衣Fa Yi ), and the Scarlet Robe ( 絳衣Jiang Yi ). However, in rituals, in contrast with the Ritual Dress of ritual masters, the term Daoist Dress refers only to the clothes of ordinary Daoists, which are inferior to Ritual Dress in look and quality.
The Repentance Dress ( 懺衣 Chan Yi ) is a kind of Daoist Dress ( 道衣 Dao Yi ), which ordinary Daoists wear when reciting scriptures for repentance in rituals. Of simple make, the Repentance Dress is scarlet in Golden Register Rituals ( 金籙齋 Jinlu Zhai ) and yellow in Yellow Register Rituals ( 黃籙齋 Huanglu Zhai ). It is made of cotton or linen, with few ornaments, except for an embroidered crane on the chest or back, and sometimes Trigrams5 on the sleeves.
Cloud Shoes ( 雲鞋Yunxie ) are a kind of shoe worn by High Priests ( 高功Gaogong ) in rituals. With low sides of colorful silk, a round front top and a thin sole, the shoes are embroidered with a cloud pattern on the vamp. According to the Commentaries of Chinese Ancients and Contemporaries, "In the Eastern Jin Dynasty, shoes made of grass were decorated as Phoenix Head Shoes, Cloud Shoes, and Five Flower Shoes. In the Song dynasty there were double-soled shoes. In the Liang dynasty, there were Jade Tablet Head shoes, Divided Head shoes, Standing Phoenix shoes, and Five-Colour Cloud shoes." In the Southern and Northern Dynasties, ritual masters were not allowed to wear shoes with colorful ornaments. So Cloud Shoes may have become popular only after the Song and Yuan Dynasties. In contemporary rituals, the High Priest often wears Cloud Shoes when he Paces the Dipper ( 步罡Bugang ) in rituals for offering petitions.
Pilgrimage Boots ( 朝靴Chaoxue ) are a kind of shoe worn by Ritual Masters ( 法師Fashi ) such as High Priests ( 高功Gaogong ), Chief Cantors ( 都講Dujiang ) and Fast Supervisors ( 監齋Jianzhai ) in large-scale rituals. They have thick white painted soles, high black sides, and long legs. The Ancients already had boots. The Commentaries of Chinese Ancients and Contemporaries says, "The boot was invented by ancient westerners. In the past, King Wuling of Zhao often wore short yellow leather boots in casual occasion. In Zhou of the Ma Family, men made long boots with felt inside and slips for all the officials and officers to wear in the royal court and when riding." It was after the Song and Yuan that Daoists used pilgrimage boots in rituals. Zhu Quan of the Ming Dynasty says in the Heavenly Emperor's Jade Book of Great Dao and Supreme Clarity ( 《天皇至道太清玉冊》Taihuang Zhidao Taiqing Yuce ), "Shoes with round heads and wide soles were called boots by the ancients. One who comes by dirty places should not enter Daoist halls, for boots are used by the profane world and are unfit for mountain people."