Object Title

Leather cuirass (pixiongjia)

Leather cuirass (pixiongjia)



Object Number



Purchased 17 March 1986. Brought back by a French missionary from south west China, c. 1920.

Physical Description

Composed of a chest defence of laced panels, and a lamellar skirt, opening at the right. The plates are of leather, lacquered black on the outside with decoration in red and yellow, and lacquered yellow ochre on the inside.


Dimensions: height 51.3 cm (20.2 in), width 46 cm (18.1 in) Weight: 3.49 kg (7 lb 11 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks




These armours were used by the Yi people, formerly called the Lolo, of Sichuan province. A complete equipment is illustrated in Yang Hong, Zongguo ge bingqi lunzong, Beijing, 1980. One from a Chinese collection is illustrated in Zongguo bingqi shigao, Beijing, 1957, pl.72 nos 2-3. There are three in the Field Museum, Chicago, together with a helmet and a round shield (G.C. Stone, A glossary of the construction, decoration and use of arms and armor repr. New York, 1961, fig. 76; one of these was acquired in Chengdu in 1908) ; one more was in the Diener collection (see inv. file); three or four are in the Musée de l'Homme, Paris; and there is one in the Ethnographical Dept of the British Museum (no. 1921.10-29.1).