De-E Pian Miao Tiaopo Festival

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February 4th 2012
Published: February 5th 2012
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A long journey cut cross Honghe and Wenshan, changing bus and changing bus, finally get to Xilin in Guangxi. Xilin situation at the corner of Yunnan and Guizhou, together with its neighbour Longlin County, they are one of the not many places in Guangxi where you could still see costume dressed hilltribe in normal day. I came for the Miao Tiaopo Festival, one of the less known Miao subgroup...the Pian Miao. They wear big wide headdress, plain and simple long sleeve loose shirt with no button but tied by a single string knot. long skirt like the Han Miao in Yunnan that with plaited on the back side. 10 years ago only kid wear shiny clothes, but nowaday even young women put on those metallic material shirt with multi-colours. long as they feel pretty, guess we had no saying in that matter! The Tiaopo Festival is in De-e right over the County border-line in Longlin area, in tradition it fall on the 9th day of Newyear, but this year they made an extra Lusheng dance competition on the 12th day, why not...the people wouldn't mind one more outing squat on the hillside, eating standard bbq, chewing at sugarcane, spitting shell of sunflower seed! This is a totally Miao event as I couldn't see any other minority group(excepted Han), although they do have Yi and Yao and...of course Zhuang, but...all no show unfortunately. Still...Pian Miao are majority, and some Hong Miao from Xilin and Qingshui Miao from Longlin, but they are actually the same, only named differently according to where they come from. The pole climbing was ok, but compared with the Maguan seem like a child-play! the Lusheng dance was a bit different here as they added a drummer, and the rest of the style were rather similar, here in Quangxi only man play Lusheng, not like Yunnan and Quizhou where women participated in Lusheng play.
Xilin should be a warm city as it is stood on an altitude less than 600m sea level, but it was cold, far too cold that I had to put on whatever I got inside my backpack, still...looked at the news about the other places in the world at the moment...I am better off here! Market day was active in Xilin although not too busy, Pian Miao still the majority there, I also see Landian Yao dressed similar to those in Yunnan, here only with their simple headband. then I saw a woman wear beautifull head turban with lovely stitching pattern, "no understand" she kept saying when I asked about her identity, the woman stood next to her told me she is Bai Miao(white Miao), well...I could see her actually wearing white skirt, all the attire were rather plain, only the head turban, the belt, the small panel on the back of neck and the back apron stood out in colour! the woman said they were from Xilin as well. There also some Buyi and Zhuang doing business in the market as well. By chance I caught a small parade in town, it was an ususal event during Newyear, a parade dedicated with Zhuang identity, I wondered you would wetness any sign of Zhuang in the area! No wondered they all dressed themselve in cultural park or theme restuarant's costume.

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