Study on the Prohibition of the Purple Costumes in Ancient China

Xiaomeng Qu


In ancient China, the color of the costumes was closely related to the social position of its wearer. It was such an intuitive and effective way to maintain the ruling order by distinguishing hierarchy according to the color of the costumes. As one of the important types of costume color in ancient China, the symbolic meaning of the color purple had went through the changes from the humble secondary color to a color representing honorable position. The prohibition on purple costumes had become an important part of the prohibitions in costumes in ancient China. This paper aims to probe into the transmission and changes about the prohibitions on purple costumes in ancient China by listing the regulations on wearing prohibition for its social members in different dynasties.

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Asian Social Science   ISSN 1911-2017 (Print)   ISSN 1911-2025 (Online)    Email: 

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