As one of the poorest provinces in China, Guizhou is blessed with colorful minority culture and primitive landscapes, snapped by Livia Monami, a renowned photographer who trailed the migration of nomads from Central Asia to this long-historical land in the quest for presenting the archaic forms of life attuned to nature.
In the company of our staff of China Tour Guide, Monami spent nearly six weeks staying with the residents in the remote and isolated regions of three provinces – Guizhou, Yunnan and Sichuan, to embrace the centuries-old traditions and cultures of different ethnic groups. The journey began with Guizhou’s capital Guiyang, Xijiang resided by Miao minority, Suoga with Dahua Miao people, traversed Sichuan’s Liangshan settled by Yi group, Yunnan’s Yongshan with a hydropower station, and ended in Guizhou’s Nanlong and Cehing, home to Bouyei people.
What Monami saw and heard about Guizhou is genuinely recorded in her camera. Each lens shows the old and unique ways of local minority: terraced fields creep along the sides of rolling mountains; houses are built according to Chinese fengshui rules; little girl in national costume tends her flocks on grassland; shoulder pole is still used by locals to carry cargo today; farmers use animals to drag the plough; people sold the farming goods in the bazaar; Yi women gather in the street to ask the shaman for their puzzles of life; Bouyei people make their special embroidery in a distinctive way and perform the music in “eight sounds” style with traditional stringed instruments and flute; etc.
During the 37-day exploration, Monami and our staff witnessed the well-preserved primitive lifestyle and the collaboration and unification of different ethnic groups, although sometimes the unpredictable weather and poor road condition made it harder to complete the photography. At the end of the China tour, Monami was invited by the driver to visit a village in Guizhou where he was born and received an enthusiastic welcome from villagers, which she felt touched and will never forget. After the life-enhancing journey, Monami said that Chengdu and Wudang Mountain would be the next two destinations of her culture exploration.