There were some minority groups in ancient China that
had reached a fairly high level in handicraft manufacture.
Beautiful and elaborately-designed bronze drums were
made by the Luoyues as early as the Han and Wei dynasties.
Guizi, then known as an iron mining center, supplied
metal products to 36 states throughout the "Western
Regions." A people expert in mining copper, iron, lead,
tin, gold, silver and cinnabar, the Xinanyis particularly
showed advanced workmanship in making cast gold and
silver articles and jade-inlaid objects. In the north,
the warlike Xiongnus were noted for their skill in making
weapons, as were the Wuhuan people known for their embroideries
and carpet weaving. Brocades of the Zhuangs and Dongs
became known nationwide, and the cloth of the Dai, Miao
and Yao nationalities was on a high artistic plane.
Just as the woolen fabrics of the Tufans of Tibet found
their way into Bhutan, "Dali" knives of Yunnan enjoyed
a brisk market both in China and abroad.
ĦĦĦĦThe Li people demonstrated
a high skill in cotton spinning and weaving. It was
by learning from the Li people that Huang Daopo, a famous
weaver of the Yuan Dynasty, improved her weaving techniques
and popularized them among the people of the Han people.