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Gan He village

(Gan He village is in Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. It is a Qing Miao - or Bouyei/Miao - village as there has been much inter marriage as is clear from the costume which has very mixed roots)

Gan He village is set against mountainous scenery with very well kep fields and near terraces using almost all available land. We stopped just before the village. People were arrving from a wide area and gathered around to welcome us. There were men with lusheng pipes and with very long (and loud) horns. A group of young girls danced to welcome us and led us into the open square for a performance of music and dancing.

The girls' skirts were long, pleated made of a patchwork of pieces of embroidery, appliqué, different weaves and wax resist and applied onto a dark indigo background with a length of pleated wax resist fabric at the back. It seems that such skirts had previously only been made to be worn at funerals but had relatively recently started to be worn by the girls at important festivals - weddings or funerals - or as dance costumes. The women normally wear trousers not skirts and the costume looks at first sight as if it is purely Bouyei.

We were given demonstrations of winding thread onto bobbins for weaving, making narrow braid on a braid loom, weaving a complex pattern on a back-strap loom and weaving plaid indigo cloth on an upright heddle loom. We saw three women straightening out cotton thread ready to thread up a loom. Women were working at wax resist on a cloth that looked like an unwashed and unbleached cotton which the women told us they washed before waxing and dyeing. As the wax was quite thick it did not fully penetrate the fabric. They were using different wax mixes: one was using a mixture of bees wax and buffalo fat and another a mixture of bees wax, buffalo fat and the resin from the 'god tree' - a maple or 'umber' tree. The mixtures were heated up and the resulting liquid was very dark. We were later taken along a path around the edge of some fields near the village to see one of the 'god trees'.

all text & images Pamela A Cross

Click on thumbnail to go to enlargement - click on enlargement to return to photogallery
to Jpeg 52K 0110D10 Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been much intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei which is evident from the costume of the women.
to Jpeg 48K 0110D12  Hay stacks of rice stalks in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been much intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei which is evident from the costume of the women.
to Jpeg 57K  0110E25 Villagers gathered together for our visit in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been much intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei which is evident from the costume of the women.
to Jpeg 52K  0110D25 Villagers welcoming us to Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. Musicians led by men playing on large lusheng pipes. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been much intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei which is evident from the costume of the women.
to Jpeg 55K 0110D20  Villagers welcoming us to Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. Musicians led by men playing on large lusheng pipes and followed by men blowing on very long (and loud) trumpets. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been much intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei which is evident from the costume of the women.
to Jpeg 56K 0110D19  Villagers welcoming us to Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. Musicians led by men playing on large lusheng pipes and followed by men blowing on very long (and loud) trumpets. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been much intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei which is evident from the costume of the women.
to Jpeg 56K  0110D31 Two trumpeters as part of our welcome to Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been much intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei which is evident from the costume of the women.
to Jpeg 51K 0110D15  Trumpeter blowing his welcome to Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. Note the complex weaving of the ends of his head-cloth. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been much intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei which is evident from the costume of the women.to Jpeg 51K 0110D15  Trumpeter blowing his welcome to Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been much intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei which is evident from the costume of the women.
to Jpeg 55K 0110D21  Trumpeter blowing his welcome to Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. Note the complex weaving of the ends of his head-cloth. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been much intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei which is evident from the costume of the women.
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to Jpeg 55K 0110D16  Trumpeter blowing his welcome to Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. Note the complex weaving of the ends of his head-cloth. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been much intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei which is evident from the costume of the women.
to Jpeg 58K  0110D30 Trumpeters blowing their welcome at Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. Note the complex weaving of the ends of the head-cloths.These long trumpets are very loud! The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao.
to Jpeg 51K  0110D29 Trumpeter blowing his welcome at Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. Note the complex weaving of the ends of the head-cloth. These long trumpets are very loud! The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao.
to Jpeg 57K  0110D18A Girls dancing as part of our welcome to Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been much intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei which is evident from the every-day costume of the women. The pieced skirts of applique and wax-resist being worn by the girls were originally only worn at funerals but today they are worn for special festivals and dance competitions.
to Jpeg 54K  0110D24 Girls dancing past the trumpeters as part of our welcome to Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been much intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei which is evident from the every-day costume of the women. The pieced skirts of applique and wax-resist being worn by the girls were originally only worn at funerals but today they are worn for special festivals and dance competitions.
to Jpeg 50K  0110D17  Girls dancing and trumpeters playing as part of our welcome to Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been much intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei which is evident from the every-day costume of the women. The pieced skirts of applique and wax-resist being worn by the girls were originally only worn at funerals but today they are worn for special festivals and dance competitions.
to Jpeg 52K  0110D22  Girls dancing and trumpeters playing as part of our welcome to Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been much intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei which is evident from the every-day costume of the women. The pieced skirts of applique and wax-resist being worn by the girls were originally only worn at funerals but today they are worn for special festivals and dance competitions.
to Jpeg 46K  0110D13 Women offering us alchohol as part of our welcome to Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been much intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei which is evident from the every-day costume of the women. The pieced skirts of applique and wax-resist were originally only worn at funerals but today they are worn for special festivals and dance competitions.
to Jpeg 56K  0110D32 Two old men watching our welcome to Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao.
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to Jpeg 49K  0110D27 Long trumpets being blown as part of our welcome to Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao.
to Jpeg 54K  0110D26 A trumpet being blown as part of our welcome to Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao.
toJpeg 52K  0110D28 Girls dancing and very long and loud trumpets being played as part of our welcome to Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been much intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei which is evident from the every-day costume of the women. The pieced skirts of applique and wax-resist being worn by the girls were originally only worn at funerals but today they are worn for special festivals and dance competitions.
to Jpeg 56K  0110D33 Women beating sticky rice as part of a dance programme in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been much intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei which is evident from the every-day costume of the women. The pieced skirts of applique and wax-resist being worn by the girls were originally only worn at funerals but today they are worn for special festivals and dance competitions. Note the bands of complex weaving on the sleeves of the women's jackets.
to Jpeg 56K  0110D34 Women beating sticky rice as part of a dance programme in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been much intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei which is evident from the every-day costume of the women. The pieced skirts of applique and wax-resist being worn by the girls were originally only worn at funerals but today they are worn for special festivals and dance competitions. Note the bands of complex weaving on the sleeves of the women's jackets.
to Jpeg 57K  0110D36 Girls beating sticky rice as part of a dance programme in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been much intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei which is evident from the every-day costume of the women. The pieced skirts of applique and wax-resist being worn by the girls were originally only worn at funerals but today they are worn for special festivals and dance competitions. Note the bands of complex weaving on the sleeves of the women's jackets.
to Jpeg 53K  0110D37 Musicians resting in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao.
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to Jpeg 53K  0110E04 Woman working on a briad loom in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been considerable intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei and the costume is very mixed.
to Jpeg 51K 0110E03  Woman working on some complex weaving on a backstrap loom in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The weaving will be cut into pieces to insert into the sleeves of women's jackets and to use on the ornamental ends of men's head-cloths. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been considerable intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei and the costume is very mixed.
to Jpeg 53K 0110E08  Woman working on some complex weaving on a backstrap loom in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The weaving will be cut into pieces to insert into the sleeves of women's jackets and to use on the ornamental ends of men's head-cloths. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been considerable intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei and the costume is very mixed.
to Jpeg 56K 0110E02  Woman weaving an indigo plaid fabric on an upright heddle loom in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been considerable intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei and the costume is very mixed.
to Jpeg 53K  0110E06   Woman weaving an indigo plaid fabric on an upright heddle loom in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been considerable intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei and the costume is very mixed.
to Jpeg 55K  0110E07   Woman weaving an indigo plaid fabric on an upright heddle loom in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been considerable intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei and the costume is very mixed.
to Jpeg 53K  0110E12 A long length of fabric hanging out on the line to oxidise in the indigo dyeing process in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been considerable intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei and the costume is very mixed.
to Jpeg 50K  0110E09 Long lengths of fabric hanging out on the line to oxidise in the indigo dyeing process in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been considerable intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei and the costume is very mixed.
to Jpeg 50K  0110E11 Long lengths of fabric hanging out on the line to oxidise in the indigo dyeing process in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been considerable intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei and the costume is very mixed.
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to Jpeg 59K  0110E10 Water from heavy rainfall standing in the rice fields after the harvest in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been considerable intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei and the costume is very mixed.
to Jpeg 53K  0110E13 Path through the village in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The people living in this village are known as Qing Miao. There has been considerable intermarriage between Miao and Bouyei and the costume is very mixed.
to Jpeg 57K 0110E18  The harvest drying outside a house in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province. This is a Qing Miao (or Bouyei/Miao as there has been much intermarriage and the costume is very mixed).
to Jpeg 50K 0110E17  An old woman with a baby in a baby carrier on her back holding the ends of warp threads which are being untangled and straightened before warping up a loom in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province. This is a Qing Miao (or Bouyei/Miao as there has been much intermarriage and the costume is very mixed).
to Jpeg 57K  0110E14 Three women untangling and straightening up the indigo warp threads before warping up a loom in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province. This is a Qing Miao (or Bouyei/Miao as there has been much intermarriage and the costume is very mixed).
to Jpeg 56K  0110E16 A baby held in an attractive baby carrier with embroidery and applied braid in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province. This is a Qing Miao (or Bouyei/Miao as there has been much intermarriage and the costume is very mixed).
to Jpeg 48K 0110E21  A woman applying wax resist to cotton cloth in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province. This is a Qing Miao (or Bouyei/Miao as there has been much intermarriage and the costume is very mixed).
to Jpeg 59K  0110E19 A cotton cloth with a quite thickly applied wax resist before any indigo dyeing in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province. This is a Qing Miao (or Bouyei/Miao as there has been much intermarriage and the costume is very mixed).
to Jpeg 54K  0110E20 A Qing Miao woman demonstrating wax resist in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province. This is a Qing Miao (or Bouyei/Miao as there has been much intermarriage and the costume is very mixed). Her bib apron looks very similar to some Bouyei aprons.
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to Jpeg 57K  0110E22 A length of pieced fabric ready to be made up into a skirt. Note the wax resist in two shades of indigo, embroidered work and applied plaid triangles of cloth, Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province. This is a Qing Miao (or Bouyei/Miao as there has been much intermarriage and the costume is very mixed).
toJpeg 55K  0110E23  Part of a woman's indigo jacket showing an inserted band of weaving in the sleeve and silver buttons on the fastening in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province. This is a Qing Miao (or Bouyei/Miao as there has been much intermarriage and the costume is very mixed).
to Jpeg 49K  0110E24Various fabrics hanging on display - wax resist in two shades of indigo, plain fabric in different indigo shades and a length of plaid weaving in Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province. This is a Qing Miao (or Bouyei/Miao as there has been much intermarriage and the costume is very mixed).
to Jpeg 49K  /0110E28 House and barn near Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province. This is a Qing Miao (or Bouyei/Miao) village as there has been much intermarriage and the costume is very mixed).
to Jpeg 50K  0110E27 Ploughing up the rice stubble in the fields around Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province. This is a Qing Miao (or Bouyei/Miao) village as there has been much intermarriage and the costume is very mixed).
to Jpeg 41K  0110E26 Fields and hills around Gan He village, Ya Rong township, Huishui county, Guizhou province. This is a Qing Miao (or Bouyei/Miao) village as there has been much intermarriage and the costume is very mixed).
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this page last updated 2 January, 2004