Category Archives: Travel & Leisure

Architectures of the Bai Ethnic

A unique building style with minority features has been mastered by generations of artisans of the Bai ethnics who have absorbed abundant building art of the Central Plains over tens of hundreds of years.


Religious Architecture

The superb architectural skill of the Bai people is represented by the three pagodas at the Chongsheng Temple in Dali. Built during the Tang Dynasty(June 18, 618–June 4, 907), the 16-storey main tower is 60 meters high and still stands erect after more than 1,000 years. It bears a resemblance to the Dayan Pagoda (Wild Goose) in Xi’an, an ancient Chinese capital city in today’s Shaanxi Province. Bai Ethnic

Figurines in the Shibaoshan Grottoes in Jianchuan County are lifelike, possessing both the common features of figure creation in China and the unique features of the Bai artists. The architectural group in the Jizushan Temple, with bow-shaped crossbeams, bracket-inserted columns, and gargoyles representing people, flowers and birds created with the open carving method, shows the excellent workmanship of the Bai people. The Bais also have high attainments in lacquer ware.


Folk house

Nowadays, reflection-inducing cultural features of the Bai ethnics can still be perceived in the folk house.

The folk house of the Bai ethnics is the folk architecture of the Bai people. It is often seen in the areas where the Bai ethnics are living, such as Dali, Eryuan, Jianchuan, and Heqing in Yunnan Province.

Bai Ethnic

The folk house of the Bai ethnics is mainly a two-storey building, with its plane layout usually being Three Rooms and One Screen Wall. It’s a courtyard composed of three houses with three rooms and a screen wall facing the gate with bounding wall.

Bai Ethnic Bai Ethnic The houses are built in a structure of brick and wood, in the middle of which there is the principal room with side rooms on both sides. Facing the principal room there is a screen wall. The gate of the yard is opened on the side of the screen wall, which, together with an arch over the gateway, is built with brick and stone. White wall and black tile look dazzling. And the rich and solid designs made of clay sculpture, woodcarving, colored drawing, stone inscription, marble screen and dark brick look exquisite and elegant. Bai Ethnic

Serving as an integral part of the folk house of the Bai ethnics is the screen wall, the upper edge of which is fitted with upswept eaves built of blue tiles or colored glaze tiles, and the middle part of which is embedded with marble screen or written with auspicious expressions, with the surroundings being colored drawing patterns of various types.

by Xiao Xiao @ InteractChina.com

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Spanish Bullfight? No! Miao Hmong Bullfight!

Miao festival The Miao ethnic people are primarily engaged in agriculture and regard cattle as indispensable in their daily lives. They have a special emotion to bulls and keep their admiration and worship to bulls today. They hung bull heads on the village gate and display bull heads under the shrine at home to worship. Miao people regard bulls as their parents. The Miao Hmong in Southeast Guizhou hold “Bullfight” competitions in spring and autumn.


A Myth about Miao Bullfight

There is a story among Miao Hmong villages about bullfight. Long time ago, there was an alien army attacking Miao village with their swords and shield. The king led the villages to resist but the shields were too strong for arrows to shoot through and for swords to cut down. Later, the king thought about a good idea to win the enemy. On the day to the decisive battle, he concentrated all male water buffalos with sharp knives bended their heads and fed them with rice wine. When the enemy arrived, he immediately ordered to drive all the water buffalos to fight the enemy. The crazy water buffalos strongly attacked the enemy so that the shields were all destroyed. Miao villages won the battle. However, two villages wanted to claim the merit and did not give in. The king had to order the two villages to choose a bull to fight to decide the result. Therefore, bull fight became a custom.


King Bulls

Miao festival

The bulls participate in the fight are almost 10 years old, strong and young. When Bullfight Festival comes, bull owners feed their bulls well, even give them wine in the hope that they will perform well. The festival is usually held on open meadow and Miao people are well dressed on this special occasion.

Bulls for fighting are specially raised and are titled “King Bulls” or “Holy Bulls”. Some bulls are dressed up with iron horns; they’re covered with red satin and wear pheasant tail on the back and bronze bells on the neck. Some bulls are dressed up with big silk balls, colorful ribbons and bronze bells on the waist, and a tiger tail. They look like generals ready to go out to the battle. The ceremony for bulls to enter the fighting arena is called “Stepping Ground”.


Various Kinds of Bullfight

Miao festival Miao festival There are a few kinds of bullfights. There’re two bulls fight and several bulls fight. When two bulls fight with each other, the result is usually determined within three to five minutes of fierce combat. However, it is only the last round that decides which Bull is the winner. The fight may last more than half an hour. During the fight, audiences shout loudly making the festival an exciting scene. Families and villages nearby the bullfight arena prepare feasts to entertain the coming guests and welcome the “Holy Bulls” from different villages. Red silk sashes and flowers are used to adorn the winner and with food as the reward. Bonfires are lit whilst young men play Lusheng (a reed musical instrument with five or six pipes) and girls dance for the whole night.

By holding the Bull Festival, Miao hope for a harvest in the coming year and good health.

by Xiao Xiao @ InteractChina.com

P.S. We need people with similar passion to join or partner with us in promoting ethnic handicrafts! Please contact us at interact@interactchina.com to make any suggestions that you may have in co-operating with us, or join as Affiliate.