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Gao Zhai village

(Gao Zhai village is in Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province, south-west China. The Miao villagers are known as 'Iron Beating Miao' although there is no obvious reason for that visible today.)

After a walk around Bai Jin township whilst lunch was cooking and then enjoying our lunch at a local restuarant, we drove on to Gao Zhai village which is part of the township. We were greeted by 4 little girls resplendent in their festival costumes who danced for us. They were then joined by three women and 4 men who played lusheng pipes and continued the dances. There was an attractive backdrop to the dances provided by mountains on the far side of the valley facing the village where the Miao villagers were harvesting rice in the fields. The houses of the village were set into more mountains which rose up sharply from the narrow valley. We had a small demonstration of embroidery - particularly couched outlines - and we were able to buy some textiles from the older women. It was a pleasant visit to a village which had been open to visitors for some years and we were graciously received by the head man and the other villagers.

all text & images Pamela A Cross

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to Jpeg 108K Busy street scene in Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province 0110C01
to Jpeg 138K Miao woman in Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province 0110C04
to Jpeg 148K Miao women talking in Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province 0110C03
to Jpeg 87K Miao women trying to avoid the mud as they carry their produce down the main street in Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province 0110C02
to Jpeg 111K The welcoming dance troup of little Iron beating girls, women and men with lusheng pipes against a beautiful backdrop of the rice harvest and tall haystacks agains the mountain background. These costumes will no doubt be used in dance competions as well as for festival occasions. Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province 0110C18A
to Jpeg 125K Iron beating Miao festival costume in miniature worn by little girls dancing in Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province. Note the finely gathered hat crown worn by the little girl on the right and shown in closeup in photos further down in the photo gallery 0110C08
to Jpeg 109K Iron beating Miao festival costume in miniature worn by little girls dancing in Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province 0110C07
to Jpeg 142K Iron beating Miao festival costume in miniature worn by one of little girls who danced for us in Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province. She is wearing what looks like a very ornate baby carrier on her back. Note the finely gathered hat crown worn by the little girl and shown in closeup in photos further down in the photo gallery. I bought one of these beautifully made hats for my collection 0110C14
to Jpeg 141K Iron beating Miao festival costume in miniature worn by one of little girls who danced for us in Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province. She is wearing what looks like a very ornate baby carrier on her back. Note the finely gathered hat crown worn by the little girl and shown in closeup in photos further down in the photo gallery. I bought one of these beautifully made hats for my collection 0110C23
to Jpeg 129K Iron beating Miao festival costume in miniature worn by one of little girls who danced for us in Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province. She is wearing what looks like a very ornate baby carrier on her back 0110C15
to Jpeg 139K Iron beating Miao festival costume in miniature worn by one of little girls who danced for us in Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province. Her costume is finely made. Note the beautifully woven and subtle woven striped indigo skirt that she is wearing which is a perfect miniature version of the adult woman's skirt 0110C16
to Jpeg 139K Head man of Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province welcoming us to the village having put on a splendid silk coat over his working clothes 0110C12
to Jpeg 106K Head man of Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province welcoming us to the village having put on a splendid silk coat over his working clothes 0110C11
to Jpeg 165K Lusheng musicians waiting to play against a backdrop of woven, striped indigo skirts, Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province 0110C10
to Jpeg 82K Miao men dancing and simulating stirring sticky rice in Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province against the backdrop of the farm land in the narrow valley 0110C25
to Jpeg 58K Back view of Iron beating Miao women whilst they dance showing their embroidered shoes, Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province. Unfortunately it is becoming unusual to still see hand made shoes rather than ubiquitous trainers on the dancers' feet 0110C13
to Jpeg 78K Miao men dancing and simulating stirring sticky rice in Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province against the backdrop of the farm land in the narrow valley 0110C26
to Jpeg 158K Back view of Iron beating Miao women's costume in Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province against the backdrop of the farm land and mountains rising from the narrow valley 0110C17
to Jpeg 143K Close-up of Iron beating Miao women's costume in Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province showing the finely woven, striped skirt and the brightly embroidered braids around the waist 0110C20
to Jpeg 133K Close-up of Iron beating Miao women's costume in Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province showing the finely woven, striped skirt and the brightly embroidered braids around the waist 0110C21
to Jpeg 176 Two Iron beating Miao women in Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province working on some embroidery and showing off their festival costume against a back drop of an even brighter hat and two of their jackets 0110C09
to Jpeg 104K Iron beating Miao women in Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province working on some embroidery and wearing their festival costume 0110C29
to Jpeg 138K Iron beating Miao women in Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province working on some embroidery and wearing their festival finery watched by the musicians 0110C28
to Jpeg 84K Iron beating Miao women in Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province working on some embroidery outlined by couched threads 0110C30
to Jpeg 129K Iron beating Miao girl's hat, Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province showing some hand woven braid streamers from the nape of the bonnet 0110C37
to Jpeg 126K Excessively decorated woman's head dress in the fashion of the dancing troupes, Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province 0110D05
to Jpeg 133K Iron beating Miao girl's hat, Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province showing all the added metal charms 0110D02
to Jpeg 129K Iron beating Miao woman holding the girl's finely pleated hat which I have just bought in Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province 0110D08
to Jpeg 128K Iron beating Miao embroidered baby carrier in the crowd in Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province 0110D07
to Jpeg 151K  Iron beating Miao embroidered baby carrier, Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province 0110D06
to Jpeg 156K Iron Beating Miao older women wearing their every day clothing, Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province 0110C31
to Jpeg 75K Elderly Iron beating Miao woman watching proceedings in Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province 0110C35
to Jpeg 116K Elderly Iron beating Miao woman watching proceedings in Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province 0110C32
to Jpeg 125K Iron beating Miao woman showing me how the finely pleated, woven striped indigo dyed skirt is worn. I have just bought this skirt from her. Her husband had sent her into her house to fetch me a finer one when I had found some mildew on one which she had out for sale. Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province 0110D09
to Jpeg 89K Iron beating Miao older women watching the proceedings, Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province 0110C34
to Jpeg 95K Iron beating Miao watching the proceedings, Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province 0110C33
to Jpeg 98K Iron beating Miao women on their way to their fields stopping to watch the proceedings against a backdrop of rice straw haystacks, Gao Zhai village, Bai Jin township, Huishui county, Guizhou province 0110C36
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this page last updated 23 December, 2004