#101 Follow Me to a Typical Miao Village in Southwest China(1) - First Impression 🇨🇳 苗寨印象(一)| 摄影月旦评 — Steemit

#101 Follow Me to a Typical Miao Village in Southwest China(1) - First Impression 🇨🇳 苗寨印象(一)| 摄影月旦评

in cn •  6 months ago


Hey my Steemit friends, I hope you are all having a lovely weekend so far? =) I haven't blogged for a while since I have been tied up with a project at work for the past week, and now I'm happy to be back! This time it's not my feet itchy to travel around, but my hands itchy to write travel posts! ;)

So now let's visit a typical Miao minority ethnic region in Southwest China. Considered to be the largest living museum of the Miao primitive culture, this group of small villages - Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village is located in the mountainous region in Guizhou Province. I reached this place from Kaili, a nearby city known as the cradle of certain ethnic minorities in China.

各位周末愉快!这刚过去的一周多一直在连夜赶工一份技术专利校对和翻译,眼珠子都快掉进厚厚一沓设计图纸里了,现在终于有空来写文,手痒痒得不行啊。=) 对,一般是脚痒痒想四处旅行,但这些年满世界走动,输入很多,觉得有不少内容亟待输出,很开心能在这里和大家分享。今天就请跟我去中国西南最典型的苗寨一探究竟吧!西江千户苗寨位于贵州省凯里市附近的雷公山,包括十余个依山而建的苗族小村落,是全国乃至全世界最大的苗族聚居区,来到这里仿佛置身于一座巨大的苗民生活博物馆。





Its name Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village literally means "a thousand household(Qianhu) by West River(Xijiang)". Since it's a well-known consolidation of typical Miao communities, the main village here can get pretty touristy. Yet it's a great cultural destination with particular charm, especially when you go to explore the less-visited surrounding hills.

The locals have been living for centuries in those wooden houses on the slopes of hills. Look at how people's residences blend with the natural settings! I was amazed by such perfect harmony. From my photos, you can see the idyllic scenery, which is even more breathtaking when all the houses are lit in warm lights at night. By then it's more obvious to tell the outline of the whole village that resembles a buffalo head. Miao people see buffalo head as an auspicious totem that wards off evil spirits. I've found this shape and symbol widely used in patterns and decorations in the village, such as the top of the traditional headpiece I tried out (pictured below).

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Generation after generation, the people here work in the surrounding rice paddies and make exquisite Miao silverworks, batiks and embroideries. They chase away bad spirits with silver jewelry, and cure their illness with all kinds of Miao herbal medicine from the dense mountain forests.

They celebrate life events with plenty of local festivals, when people (mostly women) put on their finest silver jewelry and embroidered costumes. I tried out one copy with fake silver jewelries (pictured above), and it's not that easy to walk around with the huge headpiece and all those bling bling decorations. You can imagine how heavy it is when it's genuine silver all over your body, but well, like always, many are willing to pay a price for looking good. ;) Plus it's a cool tradition to wear this on festive days, and the girls might be happy to dress up when there were not many choices in clothing or accessories in deep mountains in the early times...

In events like wedding, celebration of new-borns and village gathering, Miao people have a traditional way of sharing food called Long Table Banquet. The hosts are supposed to sit at the left side of the table and the guests at the right side. Besides enjoying the delicious local delicacies like fish in sour soup, cured meat, ham and sausages..., the hosts toast the guests with rice wine and folk songs. Imagine hundreds of people sitting around a long table to share all the food and joy. Sounds fun, isn't it? :) I didn't get the chance to witness a big event like that, but only found this dining etiquette being applied in many restaurants in the village.

In these festivals and celebrations, Miao people is also known for their colorful traditional singing and dancing. In my coming posts I'd love to share the video clips of their lively performance.

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The most typical architectures in Miao villages are the wooden stilted houses(Diao Jiao Lou 吊脚楼) and Wind & Rain Bridges(Feng Yu Qiao 风雨桥), as you can see from my photos below.

Like most visitors, I stayed in a beautiful guest house modified from a local building. The wooden stilted houses are usually built on a 30-70 degree mountain slope without any nails and rivets. What a smart way to fit into the environment, and it creates the magnificent views for both the inhabitants and people watching from afar.

There are normally three floors in a building for different uses. The lowest floor is for raising poultry and livestock, storing tools, etc. The second floor is the living space, with central room, bedroom, kitchen and place for making embroidery. The top floor is used to store grain, fodder and other goods.

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The five Wind & Rain Bridges are crossing the main river in the village. They are popular venues for villagers as well as visitors to have a rest. Just like the rest, I loved enjoying the different but equally fabulous views from these bridges both during daytime and at night. They are built based on “Feng Shui” (风水) in Chinese culture to bring good luck and convenience to the locals. These bridges used to be built in wooden structures without any nails, but now they are rebuilt in more sturdy concrete and wood to withstand floods.

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I was walking along the Xijiang river that snakes through the village, and it's sad to see the polluted unclear water. I witnessed some restaurants by the banks directly discharging waste water into the river:

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Tourism has brought new opportunities for the Miao villagers, but I've seen locals stick to their traditional ways of living, not just for the tourists.

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I had a chat with the sweet old lady from this hilltop guest house and batik workshop. She told me some interesting old traditions in their Miao villages, such as the sacrificial ceremony and agricultural meetings hosted by hereditary heads. She also recalled how she met her husband from her village nearby and moved here after marriage, and how things have changed since this place was listed as a cultural heritage site.






All content by @itchyfeetdonica
图文 by Donica多

Thank you for reading. Please tell me what you think in the comments. Until next time! =)

感谢阅读!你的关注/点赞/留言/转发就是对我最好的支持~ 下次见!:)

Here are some screenshots from my Instagram. Follow @ItchyfeetDonica for more adventures around the globe !

!steemitworldmap 26.490989 lat 108.173168 long Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village, China d3scr

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谢谢夸奖 🙂



贺老师过奖啦 说得对 有些污染还挺严重

Wow the pics and the village really give a genuine traditional feel, and it seems that there aren't that many tourists but I may be wrong.

Waiting for the video clip on next post :)


There were many tourists in the main village, but much less in the smaller ones. Thanks for your visit and comment! :)

Do this ethnic minority speaks a different dialect or Chinese Mandarin in comparison with the rest of China? It is pity the waste in the river remind me something similar in India and even sometimes in some part of my country.... By the way I found funny the sense of humor concerning the itchy hands to write posts :) :) Thanks for sharing


Thanks Phil for stopping by! Yes the river pollution is a serious problem in many places. This minority group has their own dialect, but most people can speak Mandarin too. :)


I see so it is a dialect of Mandarin thanks for your response

你這麼年輕就滿世界走動呀?羨慕~ 喔,不!是嫉妒!哼!


不年轻啦 😄 怎么没有你可爱的招牌动图?哈哈


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哇塞!我敬佩你... 那么厉害...


笑渣波不厉害吗 😂


哈哈哈哈哈哈 笑渣波没有威严啦……😝

Amazing article and picture ! Love it !


Heya, just swinging by to let you know you're being featured in our Daily Travel Digest!






😄 很美的地方

你今天过的开心吗?客官渴不渴,有没有去 @laodr 老道茶馆喝口热茶啊?如果不想再收到我的留言,请回复“取消”。

Congratulations! Your image was just posted as a winning one for the daily 7 World's Continent Photo Challenge. See if you can attend the post and answer some of the congratulation comments for your increased engagement. Thank you and have a great day. Tomas

7 World’s Continents Photo Challenge – South American Saturday week #36 – winner announcement!



我每次看你旅游贴就是这么想滴~ :D








对 那张妈妈背着孩子的就是这里拍的 孟母里还有一张是斯里兰卡一处佛寺拍的

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You’re pictures really capture the feel of the people and the place. Thanks for sharing!


You are very welcome. Thank you for commenting!




Dear @itchyfeetdonica,

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对呢 在苗寨几天也就一天天晴 大都是阴天 而且天气变化快 不过贵阳那边避暑很好 呵呵 想起他们的招牌 -- 爽爽的贵阳 :)



You did a great job on the post and I really loved that I got the chance to discover the little village through your writing.
I do like to learn different things about the culture from a country or another but I got really interested in those costumes and the silver jewelry that woman are wearing on festivals or different important events. I can only imagine how hard is to keep one of these masterpieces on your head, but overall it's how they keep their tradition alive and that's really nice :)


Thank you Gabriela for your lovely comment! :) Yes learning about different cultures is fun, and I'm also into the costumes and accessories, maybe it's a girl thing, haha.


Hahaha, yeah, maybe :D