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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Cherishing Traditions: Celebrating Customs Worth Remembering.

ChinaCherishing Traditions: Celebrating Customs Worth Remembering.

Deep in the mountains of Liuzhi region and Zhijin county in Southwest China’s Guizhou province, a unique branch of the Miao ethnic group has lived a primal lifestyle until the end of the last century. With a population of around 5,000, these individuals are easily recognizable due to the distinctive hairstyle of their women, which features a headpiece shaped like long horns.
Even today, on festive occasions, the women wrap ancestral hair and black wool around their hairpieces, securing their large buns with white yarn. The headpiece itself weighs about 3 kilograms and takes at least 30 minutes to put on, and the women often wear striped pleated skirts, garments with embroidery and batik designs.
The community is self-sufficient through farming and weaving, and has its own distinct ethnic customs, folk instruments, songs, dances, and festivals that pay homage to nature. In 1995, Chinese and Norwegian scholars visited Gaoxing village, one of the 12 villages where this branch of the Miao people live. Three years later, China and Norway established the Liuzhi Suojia Ecological Museum, the first of its kind in Asia, with the aim of preserving and promoting the cultural and natural heritage of the Miao people.
Now, the museum is looking to tap into the tourism market, offering visitors a unique and immersive cultural experience. The museum showcases the lifestyle and customs of the Miao people, including their folk instruments, songs, dances, festivals, and embroidery and batik designs. With a focus on preserving the unique cultural and natural heritage of the Miao people, the museum is a must-visit for those looking to learn more about this fascinating and little-known ethnic group.

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