Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Huanggang and Zanli Dong Villages,China: October 15, 2019


Huanggang Dong Village
We left Zhaoxing Village behind and headed to another Dong area. Along the way, we stopped to photograph the harvesting of sticky rice. Sticky rice is cut one shaft at a time and gathered into a bundle. Once back at the village each bundle is hung on racks to dry before it is put into storage.


Our second stop was at an old Dong village, Huanggang Village, that was off the beaten track. In other words, it wasn't a tourist village and there were no trams.


Bunches of Sticky Rice Hanging on Drying Racks


I commiserated with this woman about how hard on her back it is to carry a child so relaxed that it sleeps folded backward almost in a backbend.





A group of young women entertained us with their polyphonic choir singing which took place in a Drum Tower.




In a small room in the Drum Tower a man was hand feeding a water buffalo. This water buffalo is the village "totem". This man's sole job is to hand feed and care for this bull. The entire village gathers the wide-bladed grasses that the bull eats.


Dong villages periodically have buffalo fights which means that this buffalo will fight bulls of other Dong villages. Dong people have fighting roosters, birds, buffalo and a couple of other things.

Wide-bladed grass delivery for the Water Buffalo

Drum Towers and detail. Each one is different. All are gathering spots.



Open Space Beneath the Drum Tower

After lunch at Huanggang Dong Village, we drove an hour or so through recently cleared landslides to the Dong Village of Zhanli.





Most people seemed to be working in the fields. Looking at all the sticky rice racks, this is a very industrious village. We didn't see many people in the village, but the women we saw were wearing clothing made from a beautiful coppery colored fabric.


Zhanli village is famous for its family planning method. The village is said to have an equal population of males and females because of an herb. As we walked through the village, we were shown a well with two openings. If a woman wants to give birth to a son, she drinks from the left side. If she wants a girl, she drinks from the right side. The well water, mixed with a local herb, is will help couples decide the sex of their child. The village hosts bi-annual ceremonies during which couples must pledge to have no more than two children. The village population has been stable since 1959. The population in 2015 was 856.

The keeper of the potion is always female and the secret is passed down from woman to woman. The herbal potion is believed to be derived from a vine but only the keeper of the potion knows for sure.



Overnight in Congiang city.

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