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    A “pouch,” or “hebao” in Chinese, is a kind of adornment of traditional Chinese clothing, used for carrying odds and ends by the ancient Chinese, something like today’s purse. They are usually made into various beautiful shapes, such as rotund, oblong, peach, ruyi and guava, and different areas have their distinctive forms.

    The pouch was developed from the “nangbao,” a kind of small bag kept for containing one’s money, handkerchief and other little things, because there were no pockets on ancient dresses. The earliest nangbao could be carried by hand or by back. Due to the inconvenience of carrying it, later people improved on it by fastening it to the belt. The most common material for making the nangbao was leather.