Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Water Buffalo Dance or "What's for Dinner?"

The Miao people (Hmong in their dialect) are one of the largest ethnic minorities in Southwest China. Most Miao villages are just of a few families. They are nestled on hillsides among mountains and rivers.  The weather is mild with a generous rainfall, and the area is rich in natural resources which made it easy for these villages to prosper independently for centuries.

We visited the Xijiang Miao Village which is the largest Miao Village with only 1,000 homes.   The Miao people have a rich tradition of singing and dancing at their festivals and a reputation for extending a warm welcome to visitors.
We had a nice dinner followed by a folk dance performance.  The hats are made of a shiny foil that does not weigh down the dancers.  They are embossed with symbolism and topped with the shape of water buffalo horns.  The costume is adorned with elaborate hand embroidery.

If you pound dough long enough with large wooden hammers it will actually cook into a chewy bread.

I was selected from the audience to be part of the entertainment. Silly questions and rice wine.  I was a little nervous.  I didn't really understand the question.  It was in Chinese.  I think they asked what I had for dinner.  But maybe not because I was picked up and carried away!

The lavish costumes and the joy expressed by these young women made them an easy choice for a painting.

 Detail “Dancing Miao”

By Vicky Gooch
18” X 24” Oil on Linen

From Guiyang to Kaili with Miao Villages

View Guiyang, Guizhou in a larger map