JISHOU, HUNAN — I’m too tired right now to provide a detailed summary of my weekend trip to FengHuang, so I’m dropping two photos here as teasers.
My guides on this trip were these ten fine young women from my sophomore Oral English class. We were in a cave leading to the Miao Village, a tourist destination, where I met a 105-year-old woman who in turn met her first American.
Our base for the weekend was the historic town of FengHuang (now a small city catering to tourists). As it happened, there was a Miao couple getting married today, and these ladies were singing in advance of the ceremony.
The Miao are another ethnic minority in China, and are also a mountain people like the Tujia. Way back when, Miao were bandits and generally a real pain in the ass for China’s emperors. In response to the Miao problem, the Han Chinese built the Southern Great Wall 500 years ago. Unlike its northern brother, the Southern Wall gets little press, but parts of it still stand in western Hunan.
Miao women traditionally wear blue pants and tunics with embroidery on the cuffs. Older women also wear tall, black turban-like hats. For special occasions, they bring out their elaborate silver jewelry, as you can see here.