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Entries in Guizhou (27)


Going to Work

The day that we were trudging up the hill behind Xijiang (see Xijiang Landscape) in the rain to get to the forest to layout a transect, a lot of other folks were also walking up that hill to get to work. The first image shows a man with baskets (for forage) and a hoe; the second shows a farmer with his sickle and minimalist wooden scabbard on his way to harvest rice. [NOTE: I was the only one breathing hard - and occasionally stopping to take photos - as we climbed].

Milling Around

A group of older Miao women in all of their finery gathering in front of a local bookstore in Xijiang before heading off to a performance. It is pouring down rain. Look for the lady in the background at about 0:15 putting on her silver necklaces. [NOTE: We were heading out to run a transect in this weather (see Counting the Rings)]. 



Many of the Miao families in southeastern Guizhao cook and heat with firewood. Household interviews (see Wudong and Tao Jiung) suggest that a family harvests about 75 kg of firewood a week, and twice that amount during the winter months. Taken together, this represent about 1.2 tons of wood per family. Villages with 100 families, e.g Taojiang and Wudong, may remove over 100 tons of firewood a year from local forests. This material reportedly comes from fallen or dead trees, or live broadleaf stems less than 6 cm in diameter (such as those shown in the image above). This annual creaming of small diameter broadleaf trees is undoubtedly having an impact on the floristic composition of the forest. Conifers are being planted, while the regeneration of broadleaf species is continually eliminated through firewood collection. [NOTE: Among other things, our research in Guizhou will asses the impact of firewood collection on the structure and composition of local forests.]


Field Notes

I couldn't resist posting this. This is what the field notes look like from the Wudong transect (see Transect at Wudong).  In spite of the rain, everything is perfectly readable. And Zhiyao Lu's Chinese characters make the whole thing a work of art. Yang Chenghua from the Guizhou Academy of Forestry added the Latin binomials in the margins. My field notes have never looked this good. 


A Good Bowl of Noodles

Breakfast in a small Miao cafe in Xijiang, Guizhou.  Delicious noodles. [NOTE: Very few of us answered in the affirmative when asked if we wanted chili sauce with our noodles.  The Miao have killer hot chili peppers]. 


Fire Hydrant

When you live in a village made entirely of wood (Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook wood, to be exact), the last thing that you want is a fire.  Image shows one the fire hydrants scattered throughout the 700 year-old Miao village of Lang De in Guizhao, China.  


Room With A View II

This little back room was in one of the Miao houses in Wudong village where we did an interview.  Can you imagine brushing your teeth every morning with this view in front of you? [NOTE: See Room With a View for another beautiful dwelling vista]. 



A group of older Miao women enjoying the afternoon in the main plaza of Lang De village in Guizhou province, China.


Miao Seamstress

Our last interview in Xijiang yesterday was with a women who makes embroidered panels for traditional Maio garments. The amazing skirt that she is holding took over a year to produce.  A detail of one of the panels is shown below.

When combined with the blouse, the necklaces, the bangles, and the headress, the whole Miao ensemble looks like this:

[NOTE: The women shown above are from the Miao village of Lang De].


Miao Decor

Interior of one of the Miao houses in the village of Wudong where we did interviews. How many clocks can you find in this picture?  [HINT: There are as many clocks as posters of notable Communists.]  If you zoom in, each clock shows a different time.