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New Website, New Blog, but the Old Blog Archive remains: September 28, 2023

After many years of wanting a real website, this month I finally have a website designed by the very knowledgeable Rey Rey Rodriguez ( TheMindOfReyRey ). My old blog,  Vacation-Travel-Adventure  continues with the same address but it is located in the "Archives" tab on my new website . The new blog which is a continuation but with much better resolution for 4K screens, it is now at .

Ethnic Miao Villages of Basha and Kala, China: October 16, 2019

Basha Village is an ethnic Miao village. The last tribe of gunners live here. Their ancestors used guns to guard their land from bears. Even today, Basha men carry guns and this tribe is the only tribe in China that can legally carry guns.

After our bus parked in a huge parking lot, we climbed several flights of stairs to get to the "ticket hall" that seemed more like a bus station's ticketing and waiting room.

Once our tickets had been purchased, we boarded the Basha bus to Basha Village where we were deposited at the front gates. We were a little early--earlier than the Basha Welcome Committee, so we waited. Another group showed up and the Welcome Committee was ready.

We were welcomed with music created from bamboo instruments called Lusheng, beautiful women, men shooting guns, and then we were allowed inside the village.

We were funneled past the remains of a 1,000 year-old tree that had been harvested to make Mao's coffin in 1976. Miao people see the surrounding trees as their spirit totem. Although just a stump remains, it is revered and guarded still. When a baby is born, a tree is planted; when that person dies, the tree might be cut down for that person's coffin.

Continuing on we were directed to an outdoor performance stage where performing villagers sang and danced and with audience participation, had a wedding ceremony. It was all in Chinese so we missed some of the finer points and laughs.

While the young women were waiting for their turns to perform, most busily embroidered small pieces of fabric.

Post performance, our guides arranged for us to observe a hair-cutting ceremony inside a village house. Basha men have distinctive hairstyles. Young boys take part in a shaving ceremony. The village leader using a sickle shaves the boy's head leaving long hair only on the top of the head. The long hair is wound into a bun which is said to represent trees.

While the head and hair have been wet with water, no shaving cream of any kind is used during the head shaving.

After the fascinating head-shaving opportunity, we drove about 3 hours to Kala Village. Kala, an ethnic-Miao village, is known as the Village of Birdcages. Most of the households excel at birdcage making and weaving skills. The birdcages are sold worldwide. Birdcages hang from the street lights. There was even a birdcage sculpture on a hilltop.

It was raining when we arrived so the two models posed for us inside the building.

We overnighted in the nearby town of Wanda in a lovely hotel with a spa. Dan and I visited the spa for a long, hot soak because we luckily had our swimsuits with us.