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Entries in Xijiang (16)


Road to Xijiang

On traveling in southeastern Guizhou:

"Obliquely implanted, the tapering mountain summits are strangely shaped and placed;
Hanging in balance, the precipice walls form multiple fortress gates.
Disordered pine trees hug the slopes, as the first rain clears away;
Before the old postal relay doors, fog makes the hour seem late.
Lightning strikes on the tops of the crags, pouring down hundreds of streams; 
The blue-green confusions of sunken depressions are filled with millenial trees

-Jing Daomo, et al.
Guizhu Tongzhi (Comprehensive Gazetteer of Guizhou), 1741 C.E.

The road from Leishan to Xijiang through the morning fog (shown above) is not trivial.


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)]. 


Fields of Gold

The rice fields around Xijiang have turned a beautiful golden color. There is a frenzy of activity as the Miao farmers work to harvest their fields and transport the grain back to the village. And it just keeps raining... 


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]. 


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].


Images of Xijiang

Xijiang is a large Miao village located southeast of the city of Kaili in Guizhou, China. Beautiful wooden houses, exquisite silverwork and embroidery, gorgeous setting - and many Chinese tourists. The image shows the traditional Miao dress with silver jewelry and headpiece, and asks the question "which of these women is Miao"?  The photographer or the subject?  [NOTE: They both are.  After being photographed so many times by others, they were giggly happy to photograph each other. And to have me catch them doing it...]  

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