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"Buddhas want gold vestments, humans want clothing." This sentiment extended to all kinds of decorative accessories. In the Tang era, bird-and-flower designs were carved into the heads of thin jade hairpins that gave a touch of high style to any hairdo. When tassels were added to the ends of hairpins, they became buyao which swung enchantingly with each footstep the wearer took. With the constantly changing tastes in clothing and adornment, it is sometimes difficult for the people of today to appreciate the fashions of yesterday. If you saw the movie The Last Emperor, weren't you curious about the long fingernail sheaths that the Empress Dowager wore?

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