Inside Dehang Miao Village, China
There is a large contingent of Miao ethnic minority people settled in this particular Western Hunan region with more living in the provinces of Guizhou, Yunnan, and Sichuan. Other members of the Miao sub-groups, most notably Hmong people, can be found in (northern Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand). And I do believe we’ve visited the Miao and Hmong in every one of these areas. The Miao are recognized by The People’s Republic of China as one of the 55 official minority groups.
The road led alongside a river to the entrance of Dehang that has been spiffied up big-time for tourism, hoping to attract money to this extremely poor village. Only the very old, locals involved in tourism and dancers were still dress in their traditional minority outfits. Everyone else appeared to wear western clothes and had a cell phone pinned to one ear….View image. Other Dehang locals were making their way down the road to work their fields, laden with farming equipment.
Mr. Tim parked the car next to the main square of Dehang where Miao locals were eagerly awaiting tourist arrivals. There was a small game concession. Pop filled balloons by aiming at them with with air rifles or crossbows…View image…View image. Miao clothes for sale…View image. Different foods on small grills and the ever popular dried meat hanging from stalls. The Miao people did not look happy and particularly enthused to see us (unless you were going to buy something). Who can blame them with the hard lives they live and we moved quickly out of the square to the riverside. Admiring the old (and new) waterwheels…View image…View image…along Jade Spring Stream….View image…where a Miao woman was…you guessed it…beating clothes clean.
We suddenly heard drums in the distance and hurried back to an arena built by the Dehang Miao to perform dances, play instruments (one was the lusheng that we’d seen at Guizhou’s Lusheng Festival) and sing for their visitors. All included in the entrance fee. The dances were lively…View image…View image, all explanations in Chinese and you can view them in this video. One musical interlude fascinated us. A young Miao man played what appeared to be some sort of flute by blowing air through one NOSTRIL!