Dong Village in SW China's Guizhou Shows Unique Charm

June 21, 2018  By Zhang Ping  Editor: Qiao Ziyu
Dong Village Shows Charm in SW China's Guizhou
Young women at the Hantian Festival. [Women of China/Zhang Ping]

 

Since the implementation of reform and opening-up policies in China 40 years ago, many areas with traditional buildings and customs have been impacted by different lifestyles in modern society.

However, Huanggang Village, located in Shuangjiang Township in Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Prefecture, southwest China's Guizhou Province, maintains its original scenes and culture.

The village is composed of wooden complexes, with five drum towers at its center. Everything in the village still keeps its original look, such as the wooden buildings, stages, bridges, and even toilets.

Even in their daily lives, villagers still wear their traditional ethnic clothes, which declare you have entered a traditional Dong village.

Geographically, Huanggang is surrounded by mountains on all sides and is 20 kilometers away from the nearest township.

There are 1,700 residents of 370 households in the village, who mainly grow crops and raise fish and ducks.

The villagers also plant pines, bamboo and hickory nuts. With the help of the Grain for Green Project in recent years, the mountainous forest areas have gradually grown larger there.
 
All villagers still maintain the traditional lifestyle of working from dawn to dusk and enjoy a self-sufficient economic status, reflecting the harmonious coexistence between nature and humans.

In June, 2011, its primary symbiotic system, incorporating paddy fields, fish, and ducks, was listed as an important global agricultural cultural heritage by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO).

In 2012, Huanggang was added to China’s list of traditional villages.

The stilted buildings of Dong people lined the village and the locals use the Dong language.

The traditional costumes for women can be divided into four categories of doubled breasted skirts, left cross-collar skirts, right cross-collar skirts, and right cross-collar pants.

Meanwhile, their accessories mainly include headwears, necklaces, waist accessories and belts, which are commonly made of silver.

This area is also an important producer of sweet rice and many other glutinous rice species which were on the verge of extinction. So, their agricultural customs have been totally preserved and locals still enjoy the custom of eating glutinous rice as one of their three meals.

There is also some special food in the village, including glutinous rice wine and salty duck eggs, a kind of Chinese traditional egg product.

Furthermore, because of its remote geographic location, there exist many distinctive cultural aspects, among which the most famous one is the Grand Song, performed without a music conductor or accompaniment.

The village was renowned as the most famous, traditional and well-preserved Dong village during the development process of the Dong .

They also have many distinctive ethnic festivals, such as the Hantian Festival on the 15th day of the sixth lunar month, and the biennial Singing Festival of the Drum Tower, which falls on the fifth day of the first lunar month.

Meanwhile, the fast development of traffic has closely connected the village with the outside world, which has also provided an opportunity for tourists to appreciate the traditional Dong village.

 

Dong Village Shows Charm in SW China's Guizhou
Villagers chat with each other alongside a bonfire. [Women of China / Zhang Ping]
Dong Village Shows Charm in SW China's Guizhou
An elderly woman wears traditional clothes. [Women of China / Zhang Ping]
Dong Village Shows Charm in SW China's Guizhou
A young woman wears silver ornaments. [Women of China / Zhang Ping]
Dong Village Shows Charm in SW China's Guizhou
Villager Chen Luyan's family members pose for a photo. [Women of China / Zhang Ping]
The wooden complexes. [Women of China / Zhang Ping]
Dong Village Shows Charm in SW China's Guizhou
Men play the traditional folk instrument, Lusheng. [Women of China / Zhang Ping]
Dong Village Shows Charm in SW China's Guizhou
Two women hang up traditional Dong cloths. [Women of China / Zhang Ping]
Dong Village Shows Charm in SW China's Guizhou
Young women dress up to attend the Duige Festival. [Women of China / Zhang Ping]

 

(Source: Women of China/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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