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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 .

Zhaoxing and TangAn Dong Villages, China: October 14, 2019

At the entrance to Zhaoxing Dong Village this morning we boarded minibuses that took us up the mountain where we left the minibuses and boarded a tram. The tram continued farther upward to TangAn Dong Village with its steep rice and vegetable terraces. TangAn Dong Village is accessible by tourists only during certain hours. The entire village is considered an ethno museum. TangAn Dong Village is located halfway up Mt. Longbao at 840 meters (2756 ft) above sea level. The village dates from AD 1795-1820 during the Qing Dynasty. The population of about 800 people mostly belong to the Ying and Lu clans. We were released to roam the village and photograph at will.

For a better view of the terraces I found my way over the network of pathways along the top of the terrace walls.
The rice straw mounds within the rice crops provide shelter for baby fish. All the rice terraces here also contain fish.

The residents of TangAn were most accommodating despite being subjected to our cameras.

It was a cool, damp day and a fire smoked under the Drum Tower. The Drum Tower (a pagoda like structure) is one of the key architectural components of a Dong Ethnic Village. It is a meeting place for the community.
A Drum Tower in Zhaoxing Dong Village

Back down the mountain, we spent the afternoon exploring Zhaoxing Dong Village, and I admired their textiles. I couldn't resist buying a couple of pieces of handwoven hemp dyed with indigo. The larger piece would have been pleated and worn as a skirt.

The lovely shop owner told me I was helping to preserve the Dong's intangible cultural heritage and that all pieces she sold had once been part of a woman's dowry. The dowry only goes with the woman when she marries someone from the same ethnicity. If she chooses to marry outside the ethnic group, she cannot take the dowry items. Also, women don't have so much time for creating a handmade dowry anymore as most also work outside the home. That was all through Google Translate so the shared words may not be entirely correct.

One of the textile specialties is handwoven cotton, dyed, and hammered until it has an almost synthetic looking sheen. The color might be deep indigo blue or it might be a deep maroon/brown color. The maroon/brown color is achieved by adding beet juice or pig blood into indigo.

Newly Dyed Fabrics curing

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