Category: China, 2012

Slices of Life in Four Villages

November 8

Bring down our laundry, which we hope this time will be delivered tonight, dry, and we set out at 9:30. The day is overcast, but not rainy, and warmer than yesterday.

I think the group is still winding down from the presidential election, and following the aftermath with interest. Quite a contrast to be in China at this time, which coincides with their once-a-decade change in power that seems to be of little import, and at best passing interest to the populace here. The forces of globalization and the Internet are changing things here, but not very damn fast, in a political sense, at least.

No festivals today, but we stop and walk around four different villages. Just walking around and photographing is quite interesting and satisfying. All of the villages are inhabited by Long-skirt Miao people. In general, everyone is very friendly and inviting, though, not surprisingly, occasionally people do not want their pictures taken.

In the first village, on the outskirts of Leishan, we see people making simple clay bowls. Unlike other trips, when going to see a craft means attempts to sell you the crafts, this is not the case in any of the villages we visit today. I am with Nevada and watch where and what she shoots. She is happy to talk to me about what she is thinking/doing, which is helpful to me.



In the next village, Paiki, we see people making lushengs, the wooden-piped musical instruments played in the festivals we’ve been to. This is literally cottage industry, as it’s made by people in their home. One of the craftsman plays Auld Lang Syne for us. Across from this very lovely village a huge instruction project that looks like apartments is going up. In a couple years, this area may have changed pretty dramatically. China is focused on developing its western region and in moving people from the country into cities.



We walk around a third village, then stop for lunch at a restaurant, before heading to Zhang-Ao, which is known for copper drum dances. There Lee arranges to have the headman assemble a group of dancers and a drummer to perform for us. The costumes are quite wonderful and the dance interesting. Many in our group enjoyed this more than I did. Although the dance is an authentic dance that is still performed, the whole thing felt (and was) staged.






I far prefer the scenes we see walking around villages. People sitting about, the rice being separated from the chaff in a dusty old house, a shaman singing a melody and performing a ritual to help the son of a family, whose soul has been stolen by a demon, a man with his song bird in a cage and a lady with her cat. Here are some of those photos, taken from various of the villages we visited.







Again, we arrive back at the hotel by five and have two and a half hours before dinner, which we again have at the hotel.

3 comments to Slices of Life in Four Villages

  • Eve Lecvine

    Thanks for sharing your trip. I enjoy each day. Eve

  • fred gordon

    little girl with handbag is precious, and the craftspeople at work are awesome

  • Wendy

    I really like the photo of the bowls and especially like the photo of the woman making a lusheng where you can see through the doorway endless stacks of logs, presumably there to be made into more lushengs. Girl with handbag is totally delicious!
    I’m playing catch-up on your blog now and looking forward to getting up to speed . . .

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