Thursday, February 21, 2013

Shopping with the Miao Ladies

Everywhere we went in Rongshui, we met these lovely ladies in their beautiful costumes,
so we just had to have a wee shopping trip to see what we could find.......

               In town , we found this lovely girl running her own business making the Miao outfits...
                           The traditional black/purple/turquoise for the older ladies....
                             and the new Golden/brown for the younger generation.

                             Some of the older ladies were instore to try some new outfits,

We just loved them!
The beautiful coloured headscarves!
Stunning jackets!
Embroidered leggings!

                  Sadly, all of the jackets we tried on were too small for the Western frame :-)
          And I did consider having one made to my size...but it was very expensive!
Then we spied these lovely little numbers....
They are considered to be ladies "undergarments"

and are worn just like this
tied at the back with a ribbon
like a little vest top
                                                   only to be seen under the jacket
 The beautiful embroidery just showing under a jacket is very appealing
and could be worn anywhere with a black jacket/cardigan
one size fitting ALL!
                                             Modelled by the lovely Miss Fu Yi
                                 to very appreciating murmurs from our Miao ladies:-)

                                            even the ones busy with the sewing!

We have brought some home
and they are available for £8 each.
Your very own traditional Miao embroidered piece which can be worn so easily.
First come, first served!

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Nature's Beauty in a Dong Village, Rongshui

It was breath-takingly beautiful, and stunningly silent 
as we made our way from the Farmer's House, up the mountain path 
to a village inhabited by the Dong ethnic group for years.
I am finding it quite emotional just to relive now........

The flowers on this tree in the early morning are pure white....
..and yet by evening have turned a deep crimson.

The Beauty of Nature

                                  Near the top of the mountain, the entrance to the Dong Village
The Dong people have lived here for many, many years, with very little land on which to grow their crops. They have developed the wonderful technique, common in such area in China of "terracing" to make the most of every square inch of land, and to produce maximum crop by retaining the rain fall
                                                    with their houses, nestling in the hills
                                         These cheeky wee chaps were most interested to see us :-)

                                           And these beautiful butterflies flitted all around us

                 It was amazing just to wander, in the stillness and hear the gentle buzz of life in this village

                          Mother Duck said it was time for her babies to get away from these strangers!
             Most of the houses were wooden, and life here was clearly simple, but content
                                  A Dong lady with her baby, a wee bit puzzled by our group,
                                                meandering along the road in the sunshine
                              Round the corner we were amazed by a Forest of Bamboo!
                               The girls were convinced there must be Pandas in there
But this was the only one we could find!
                   Helen teaching my girls an old game she played in the Guangxi countryside as a child.
Picking a stem from a sticky plant, each person takes turns to remove a sticky stem & re-attach to the plant. The others have to guess which stem has been removed.
It was a privilege for me to watch my daughter so comfortable in her own skin, 
playing traditional Chinese games with my friend.
I do LOVE this photo :-)
                          The mystery of how these huge marrows are suspended from the stems .....
                                                   with a little help from the red thread!

                                                    Dong ladies, just going about their business....

                           when we heard a clickety clack sound from one of the houses above.
     Next thing we knew , we were invited in to see this lovely couple in their eighties, busy working away

 This lovely gentleman was so happy to speak with Matthew and welcome us into his home
This amazing lady just kept working away, producing  cloth of  stunning quality on her hand loom,
                           very reminiscent of my husband's family tradition of the loom-shed in Lewis.
                             Even the singing in the background reminded me of Gaelic chanting, and I could not wait
                                              ( with the wonders of modern technology )
                                           to send this straight home for him to see and hear :-)

                                 Some very interested wee faces , checking to see how it was done!

                         We just love and appreciate so much the privilege of being able to wander,
       never knowing what is round the next corner, and being warmly welcomed in wherever we go......

                                                    The fresh produce of the land.......

And finally popped in to a tea-shop for shelter and sustenance 
where the "tourists" were given fresh tea "on the House"

                                            with a panoramic view of the village below
                                                 Simple Life, Simple Beauty, Simply Stunning!