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you are here: Home - China travel guide - Guizhou
 

Guizhou -

Guizhou

Guizhou is a province of China located in the southwestern part of the country. And it is provincial capital is Guiyang.

Guizhou is one of the provinces that contains the most minority groups. The minority groups account for more than 37% of the total population and they include Yao, Miao, Yi, Qiang, Dong, Zhuang Buyi, Bai,Tujia, Gelao and Shui. 55.5% of the province area is designated as autonomous regions for them.
The province has many covered bridges, called Wind and Rain Bridges. These were built by the Dong minority people. And they are the symbols of Dong People. The southeastern corner of the province is known for its unique Dong minority culture. Towns such as Rongjiang, Liping, Diping and Zhaoxing are scattered amongst the hills along the border with Guangxi.

The rich population of minorities in Guizhou allow for a great many ethnic festivals throughout the lunar calendar. During the first lunar month (usually February), the early festival in Kaili (east of Guiyang) celebrates local culture with acts of bullfighting, horse racing, pipe playing, and comedy works.

Guizhou Highlilghts

 

[Datang Miao Village] Datang is well known for their traditional dance performances, with an aquatic granary as well as the Miao version of the miniskirt.

Dances are held in the village square. A huge gong is tied to a wooden post in the middle of the square. An all-male band of Lusheng players, with the bandleader also in charge of striking the gong, plays for an all-female group of dancers.

The lushly dressed female dancers, whose total number can reach 100, move in lines and circles, forming different patterns. Their bodies, adorned with silver headwear, necklaces, bangles, and anklets become musical instruments as well, emitting a metallic melody in sync with the rhythm of their footsteps.

The most popular dances include "The Pheasant Dance", "The Wooden Stool Dance", and "The Joyful Children Dance."Guests can participate in the dances.

Besides dancing, the Miao women of Datang Miao village are also known for their tradition of wearing miniskirts. The Miao miniskirt, measures 16 centimeters in length, but is made from 7 meters of local cloth.

Kaili Minority Museum

[Kaili Minority Museum] Kaili Minority Museum has fully described Guizhou area's geography and the local custom of Minority People. It had rich minority dress and cultural artifacts on display. The most interesting parts of this museum, however, were the women artisans who were working on traditional arts and crafts. They were the weavers, silversmiths and batik artists. They are really great!

There are twelve halls in all and now only four are opened, while the Minority People's Custom Hall and Dragon Boat Hall are worth with visiting.

Chejiang Dong Minority Drum Tower, Guizhou

[Chejiang Dong Minority Drum Tower] Chejiang Dong Minority is the place is also called "Thousands of Dong Families", where the most Dong People reside. Chejiang Dong Minority Drum Tower is the oldest and best-preserved Dong drum tower in China, dated 400 years ago.

The village head disclosed the secret of its longevity. Every year after the humid and rainy season, some experienced old men set fire under the tower for several days to dry the tower and prevent it from damage by moths. Such practice already used for centuries was recently forbidden by some high but blind officials from the city with nice intention to protect the tower. But the village head wondered if such measure might eventually kill the tower.

The drum tower plays an important role for people of the Dong nationality. It not only serves as a political center for assembly, but also as a multi-functional place for sacrificial ceremonies and other recreational activities. The tower also acts as court to settle disputes. During an emergency, it also serves as a command post where the leader beats the drum to assemble the villagers. Every Dong village has a drum tower, which has become an important symbol for its people. The town also symbolizes Chinese traditional architectural features and arts.

Zhaoxing Dong Village, Guizhou

[Zhaoxing Dong Village] Zhaoxing is famous for its Dong Villages which is the largest in China. Zhaoxing Dong Village is located in the Southeast of Kaili. Each village here has at least one drum tower, a wooden structure built without nails and can erect as tall as 30 meters.

As the focal point of the whole town, it is the place villagers holding the special events and ceremonies such as the wedding and public meeting. Dong people have a long history as long as the Qing Dynasty. Because there is no written language, the songs have become a very important part in their daily life.

National Stadium, Beijing

[Basha Miao Village] Basha Miao Village is 7 kilometers from Congjiang County. It is the most ancient Miao village keeping the vast majority of its original character.

The custom of drinking a bowl of mandatory rice wine has been remained among Miao villages. One of the distinguishing features of Miao's culture is that they pass down their history by embroidery for there is no available written language. The Miao woman, known for her fine embroidery skill, begins to make her ceremonial clothing since she has fully learnt the art. Lusheng, a kind of Chinese wind instrument, is highly developed by Miao. The other unique feature of Basha people is that they are allowed to carry guns. It is the only such kind of tribe in China.

Guizhou Shi Cave

[Shi Cave] Shi Cave lies 35 kilometers from Taijiang County in Guizhou Province. It is a good place where most Miao People live in China. Here not only has the beautiful natural sights, but also has rich minority people's culture and relics. The Miao People's local customs are colorful and have attracted a number of people all over the world to come here for a visit.

Shi Cave Pier, built in the end of Ming Dynasty, was the most important pier for water transportation.

Miao Sister Festival and Dragon Festival are the most interesting also have the most features which show Miao people's life and culture. Shi Cave nation has long national history. It is regarded as the home of Chinese Kirigami, Stitchwork Art and Silver Decoration Art.

 

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