Some ancient mummies of women are so well-preserved that we can see they were real beauties in life. No matter how wealthy these ladies were – and this can easily be determined by their burial outfits – their beauty seems surreal and timeless, especially when you realize that they lived thousands of years ago. Although for us, traditional clothing lovers, the attire of these famous mummies is far more interesting than their facial structure. So, let’s look closer at two wonderful mummies in their ancient apparel – the Beauty of Loulan and the Beauty of Xiaohe.
The Loulan Beauty
This mummy, found in China, is preserved beautifully. The lady lived about 4,000 years ago, during the Bronze Age. She belongs to Uighur people, Turkic-speaking people of Asia, and is believed to have come to China from Siberia. The Beauty of Loulan was 152-155 cm (59.8-61 inches) tall, pretty, but lived a hard life, which the scientists found out from her worn clothes, health problems, and lice-infested long hair. This lady died somewhere between 40 and 48 years old.
The outfit of the Loulan Beauty is preserved nicely by the soil where she was buried, but it was worn and in really bad condition when she was still alive. This woman was dressed in linen, cowhide leather, and wool. Her garments had been fixed repeatedly. She was found wrapped in a hand-woven (obviously!) woolen cloak, a middy skirt, a felt & wool hood topped with a decorative feather, and with cute leather shoes on.
Her cloak survived all these millennia under the ground so well that we can clearly see the weaving pattern, which is so wonderful! Her white hood is gorgeous. As are her leather shoes with warm fur turned to the inside, fur trimming on the outside, and a leather strap above the ankle.
The Loulan Beauty. From Xinjiang Region Museum
The beauty of Xiaohe or Xiaohe Princess
This mummy was also found in China, but, unlike the Loulan Beauty, this lady had had a wealthy life. It can be seen from her nice outfit, jewelry, and also her intricate coffin. The Beauty of Xiaohe lived about 3,800 years ago. She had blonde hair and Indo-European features (high cheekbones and pale skin). Her height was 152 cm (59.8 inches). And this woman was buried in a boat-shaped coffin with a standing wooden pole above it.
The burial attire of the Xiaohe Princess consisted of a white woolen cloak with tassels, a striking white felt hat adorned with a decorative feather, a string skirt, and fur-lined leather boots. She had a red rope necklace and a bracelet with one jade bead on her right arm. On her chest, there were wooden hairpins that she probably had been wearing in her daily life.
Her white felt hat looks royal – it’s large, lush, and embellished with a big decorative feather. The hat is tied under the chin with a cord.
We can also distinguish the textile pattern of her clothing and the cloak she was wrapped into. And this is great because there are not many samples of original 4-millennia-old weaving items today.
The Beauty of Xiaohe. From Xinjiang Institute of Archeology and Cultural Antiquities