Ryūkyū-bingata is the only traditional dyeing technique remaining in Okinawa. The “bin” of bingata is a general term for coloring while the “gata” means patterns. The term is believed to refer to stencil dyeing in which patterned stencils are applied to the fabric using rice paste and then brushed with colored dye. In the days of the Ryūkyū Kingdom it was worn by the aristocracy and by samurai families and was also used as costumes for dance during festivals and at ceremonies to welcome foreign guests. Design motifs include the ocean and clouds as well as animals and plants such as birds, flowers, dragons, phoenixes, and butterflies. Patterns that imbue a sense of the wild within the noble seem somehow to reflect the strong sun of southern lands.