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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 6:42 am 
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Hi, My husband and I are traveling to China in September and would like to visit Xian Ma Village, because the missionary who taught the 60-year-old woman to speak Mandarin when she was a girl was a friend of my family's, and we are very interested in seeing the place where he had his mission. Could you help us find Xian Ma Village? Is there a map? Any help you could give us would be most appreciated.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:38 am 
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I attach a detail from my personal map of my 2000 trip to southwest China. This part of the map shows the province of Guizhou. This map is based on Nelles Maps in their 'Explore the World' series and is 'Southern China'. There is a later edition of the map (published in 2005). Several place names changed. Puding is still the same. This 2005 map does not show Hou Chang township but does show a few more roads centering on Puding. I will attach a close up.

If you find Anshun (the second largest city on this map after Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou), then the town of Puding is to the west and a sideshoot blue line off our travels. I don't have any map with Xian Ma exactly located. All I know is that from Puding it is "40km to Xian Ma village, Hou Chang township in the north west of Puding county, Guizhou province".

The national guide who organised the trip was Wang Jun (or Xiao Wang as we called him). Wang Jun is a member of this forum. He now works for a different travel agency in Guizhou but still works with Gina Corrigan on arrangements for trips that she leads. http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... ofile&u=44 I tried to email Wang Jun via the email function on the forum but it was returned unable to be delivered. I have just tried again via the 2 emails shown on Wang Jun's web site and, so far, they have not been returned. A message to everyone - Wang Jun has lots of photos and info on the website - so well worth a look.

Did you find this page on the main tribaltextiles.info website http://www.tribaltextiles.info/Gallerie ... A-hmao.htm You may, of course, be related to the Rev Keith Parsons whose archive is detailed there.

I have now loaded up and linked to the China 2000 diary a map of the trip and, in the diary, put a link to the A-Hmao info in the summary info of the Xian Ma photogallery. (Map: http://www.tribaltextiles.info/Diaries/mapSWC2K.htm )

Good luck with organising your trip. It would be great to get some feed-back from you on your return.

Best wishes,


Attachments:
File comment: Detail of map of Guizhou Province, southwest China showing main route of trip in 2000
SWChina00-Map05.jpg
SWChina00-Map05.jpg [ 61.08 KiB | Viewed 17824 times ]
File comment: Puding detail from Nelles Southern China Map 1:1,500,000
Puding.jpg
Puding.jpg [ 53.48 KiB | Viewed 17824 times ]

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:32 pm 
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I found your website while researching the Miao ethnic group. I enjoyed reading your entire site. I was happily surprised to see the photo of the woman who spoke Mandarin because of the missionary, who we believe to be Edgar Truax. He was there in the 1930's and '40's. While Edgar Truax was working among the Miao people, he learned their language and translated a wonderful geneology that had been part of the oral history of the Miao people of that region. Technically, they would have quoted it from the end of the poem to the beginning. I hope you enjoy it.

I'm not sure I know how to attach it, but I'll try.


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MIAO GENESIS STORY.doc [57.5 KiB]
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:45 pm 
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the Miao people started with this poem and then quoted from memory until they reached their own personal geneology.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:48 pm 
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should say Southwest, not Southeast China. My typo.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:13 pm 
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I am glad that you managed to attach the document successfully. Thank you for sharing it with us - very interesting.

Li Jiang Ying was a lovely lady and a very fine waxer indeed. We had such a good time visiting her and her family and they were so generous in their welcome. As I type I can see a basket (for wearing on your back to carry heavy loads) which her husband insisted on giving away to whomsoever wanted it - I could not resist! Because she spoke such good Mandarin (taught in the missionary school) she was able to explain everything clearly to Wang Jun for him to share with us. I was fascinated by this group of Big Flower Miao which had moved away from where the main group lived - as they do today - in the Weining area.


Attachments:
File comment: Li Jiang Ying with a length of hemp and one of ramie that she had waxed - Xian Ma village, Puding county 2000
0010y12E.jpg
0010y12E.jpg [ 35.44 KiB | Viewed 17794 times ]

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:02 pm 
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Thank you for that information. We will check out Weining, too.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 4:35 pm 
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I have found a photo of the Big Flower Miao (similar to those in Xian Ma) in Weining on Wang Jun's website. They are standing in front of what looks like a church http://www.gzcyts.com/en1/photo_img.asp?pg=47&zid=819

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 2:50 am 
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Dear Pamela,
It is so nice to hear from you!! How's everything going recently? Still busy as usual?

It is very strange that your email sent to me was returned. It is exactly the email address I am using.But anyway I am very pleased to hear from you!!

Thank you VERY much for your comment on me and my website. I am thinking of have some renewal againof it, probably in this year when I am not so busy.

I checked up with some local people of Puding county. Here is some information as follow and I hope it could help a little.

Name: Xianma village, Houchang Township, Puding county, Anshun Prefecture.
Distance: 2 kms to the north of Houchang township, 45 kms from Puding county
Villagers: Basically all side-comb Miao people with about 1300 people of more than 300 households.
Others: There is still one church in the village. Some villagers still will visit the church on Sunday.


With Kindest Regards,

Wang Jun


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 9:42 pm 
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Hi Pamela,
I can't tell you how pleased I am to receive all of this information! Thank you so much! I have read Wang Jun's complete website and we will check into using their services on our trip. It looks like we may be able to get in on the Song and Dance Costumed Festivals and Parades in Kaili in early October. That will be great fun! You have been such a wonderful help and I can't thank you enough!
Etty


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:57 am 
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Dear Etty

I am SO pleased that you have found the information useful. I have enjoyed revisiting some of my older material and it has been good to be in touch with Wang Jun again.

I hope that all the organisation goes well and that you enjoy your trip. Getting to some festivals would be excellent. Wang Jun's organisation is meticulous. I am sure he will give himself ulcers as he worries a great deal about things going well. He has also built up a great deal of information (and contacts) over very many years of organising trips. He has developed a special interest in the minorities and he has been fortunate to work with people with even more years of experience and passion for information on them.

It would be great to receive some feedback on your trip.

Very best wishes

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:09 pm 
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Thanks, again, Pamela. I look forward to getting acquainted with Wang Jun and his organization. I will be sure to write to you again when we return from China in October.
With gratitude,
Etty


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:42 am 
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Thank you for all of your help Pamela. It was greatly appreciated! Here is a bit of my travelogue:

We arrived in Guiyang to very warm, sticky weather. Hotter than Zhengzhou and much more humid. It was about 85 degrees F. with about 110% humidity. Sweat dripped down our backs in rivulets that were very uncomfortable. We are from the NW part of the US, so we aren't used to humidity.

We took a taxi from the airport to the hotel that I had reserved over the internet. It was the only mistake I made in our whole itinerary. The hotel appeared nice, as even the most horrible ones usually do in China, but the windows didn't open and there was no air conditioning! The room was hotter than the outside temperature. It's the only time I saw my husband, Ken, get stressed out. The hotel clerk brought us a fan which we turn on high and we survived the night.

We had paid for two nights, thinking we might stay at an ethnic village for one or two other nights, but after sweltering all night, we decided to find another hotel in the same city.

I had taken Wang Jun's name and phone number with me, so I called him up the next morning and he said to come directly over to his office. When we arrived, he asked where we were staying and when we told him, he said that not even the locals stay at that hotel!

He found us another hotel, The Flower Hotel, much nicer, for only $15 more per night, then sent his colleague with us to our old hotel to help us move and get our money back. We took the young man who helped us out to lunch at a small local restaurant that he picked out and had a delicious meal. One that we repeated two more times during our stay there.

We took an ethnic tour to Kaili and Langde one day, arranged by Wang Jun, which was one of the most fascinating things we did on our whole vacation. We rented a van with a driver and had a tour guide who traveled with us. It cost us US$320.00, and it was worth every penny. In Kaili, which was a very large village that I would have loved to explore on foot, we stopped at a beautiful Chinese restaurant, resplendant in bright red and gold paint. We had a wonderful lunch that consisted of two kinds of soup in a pan that had two sections so you could cook two separate dishes at once. Very neat pan! I'm going to hunt for one at the Asian import store here. The only ones I saw for sale in the outdoor markets in China were of such cheap quality that I didn't want to buy one.

Into the soup went many fresh vegetables, onion greens, garlic greens, and deep fried pork. The boiling soup killed the local amoebas on the vegetables and tenderized the pork, all of which gave us a very satisfying and tasty dinner, which we shared with our tour guide and driver.

In Langde, we arrived in time to pay several yuan each to go through their village gate and make our way up a small hill to the cobbled village square where we observed the Miao Sisters' Festival which is held every year to assist young men and women who are looking for mates. Young men come from Miao villages around the country to see the girls dance and to couple up.

It was an incredible sight. All of the young women were dressed in beautifully embroidered skirts that were made of long, individual panels. They must have taken hundreds of hours to embroider! The skirt panels drifted daintily around as the young ladies moved in rythym to the lushan flutes played by two young village men.

After the older girls danced, the little girls danced. It was more like a delicate march than a dance. Then, after the little girls, it was time for the dance of the elders of the village. Very old men with long beards, came with their giant Lushan flutes and played while they moved in unison, in a straight line, to the music.

After the dancing was over, I was mobbed by village women trying to sell me bracelets and earrings made from the silver they are so famous for. It was almost overwhelming. Hands reached toward me from every direction. I bought seven bracelets for my daughters and granddaughters, but I was glad when our guide took us away through the cobbled back alley of the village, up a cobbled hill, to the home of an old woman who was famous for her embroidery.

The house was amazing. Words can't describe my delight in it. What we saw of it consisted of three rooms and a closet. The house was made of a beautiful reddish/orange kind of wood. Gorgeous wood. It was up on stilts made of the same beautiful wood. Along the entire outside length of the house was an open corridor that was much like our decks, but only about 3 and 1/2 feet deep. It had a lovely solid rail made from the same wood. Along the rail was a built-in bench that spanned the entire deck. Lovely thing! It overlooked the back of the village and a rice paddy.

The rooms of the house were open. No outside wall. The weather is sub-tropical and it is always warm there, in spite of the more than 3000 ft. altitude. The first room was a kitchen and a girl was in it scrubbing pots and pans. We said "Hello" to her and she seemed surprised. Next came a curtained room that I had to assume was the sleeping area. The final room was a living room that had two very simple couches in it and a very large TV! A man was sitting on one of the couches. He didn't look up. His eyes were glued to that television. On the wall were a dozen or so awards that the woman had won for her embroidery and there were many photographs taken of her with people who had bought her handiwork.

The old lady smiled her nearly toothless smile at us as we came in and waved us to the deck outside her open living room. There were stacks of her pieces of embroidery on the deck and on a box. She was truly an artist! I wanted to buy several of her very large pieces, but our luggage space was very limited, so I picked out one of a stylized butterfly that the interpreter said the lady had designed herself, paid her 50 yuan (about $6.85, and happily walked away with a treasure for my sister, Marilyn.

Our tour guide, who was a Dong minority girl about 23 years of age, had met the old lady many times on previous tours. I asked her how old the woman was, because she looked like she was 90 years old. Hard lives age people prematurely. She was only about 70!

Outside the village gate there was a beautiful bridge that spanned the river across the street. It was a “wind and rain” bridge, made of the same beautiful wood as the houses. The tour guide told us in a deprecating tone that it was newly built as if it had little of the value that comes of age and tradition. We climbed about eight stairs to get up on the bridge and I was instantly enchanted! A gentle breeze flowed through it from one side to the other. I had felt no breeze while on the street. I was so hot and sticky that I couldn't get enough of that cool fresh air.

The sides of the bridge were open and on each side, for the entire length of the bridge, there were nice, wide wooden benches that were gently angled toward each other in casual “V’s” so people could visit easily together. I didn’t want to leave that bridge! It was magical.

On the trip back to Guiyang, we passed a Miao funeral. It was very sad. Our driver was very kind and waited patiently as we toured a Miao embroidery museum in Kaili. Ken took photographs of every featured outfit in the museum, but they charged him for the privilege.

All in all, it was a delightful trip which neither my husband nor I will ever forget.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 1:57 pm 
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Dear Etty,

Sorry I have taken so long to respond to your post. It was very good of you to provide us with feedback from the diary of your trip. Very valuable indeed and much appreciated!

I was particularly pleased to hear that Wang Jun helped you out with your hotel and was able to organise a worthwhile trip for you in Guizhou. I was sure that he would be helpful. My own personal experience of his travel assistance has been on group trips which have been prearranged and not spur of the moment needs. The trip to Langde and Kaili sounds good. You were lucky that your timing was so good re Langde. The opening of the fast new road to Kaili has made such a difference to being able to get to the minority areas quickly from Guiyang. Of course, this also means that the whole region is more accessible and the traditions will disappear even more quickly.....

Yes, I have happy memories of the hot and sour soup that you had in the divided pan. Something that Wang Jun knows finds favour with Western guests and enables them to adjust to some food which is hot and spicy and some less so. When I think of all those good meals that I have enjoyed in Guizhou my mouth waters!

Thanks again for sharing your feedback so vividly with us so that others can benefit.

Very best wishes,

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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Last edited by Pamela on Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 5:06 pm 
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Our entire trip seemed to be touched with the hand of Providence. We arrived in Zhengzhou just in time for the Moon Festival, with its trees painted white, its moon cakes, and fireworks. Then, it was Mao's birthday celebration. Then, National Day with miles-long parades. And finally, the Sisters' Festival in Langde. It just could hardly have been better!


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