Silver & Wood
Lau, Paul, The World and I
MIAO FESTIVALS IN GUIZHOU, CHINA
The Miao of southwest China are one of the country's largest ethnic groups. About half of the four million Miao in China live in Guizhou Province. Called Hmong in-other countries, they are sometimes divided into groups according to their dialect, customs, and style of dress.
The Miao are traditionally farmers and live in tile-roofed houses made from local timber. Relatives come to help when new houses are built. The men are excellent carpenters; they use no nails when constructing a dwelling. Several generations usually occupy a house.
The Miao celebrate nearly a hundred festivals. On such occasions, young men and women dress in their best. Distinctive styles differentiate celebrants by area and village. In more fertile counties in the southeast, silver ornaments are common. In the poorer western counties, costumes are bright and feature natural materials such as hemp and wood. Residents of villages near Weining County, for example, use yellow and orange yarn to create a bulky and colorful hairstyle. …