The Miaozu Gatekeeper
The Hangwu Miaozu village is up in the Wuling mountains in the Hunan province. Here dwells the Tujia. Their population counts up to over 8 million and is the 6th largest ethnic minority in China. The Tujia people are local to these mountain ranges and is also known as the "locals" (Tu Jia, in direct translation from Hakka).
This particular Miaozu village opens up its doors and is transformed into a full fledged and outright tourist attraction. Throughout your guided tour of the village, you will be taken through its steps and corridors. At certain checkpoints, you will be ushered into a building to either enjoy a local performance or to be sold ancient Chinese traditional medication or their local specialty tea.
According to the traditional Tujia practice, it is customary for one to remain standing when entering another's home to indicate that one is interested in becoming the next family member. Today, however, the traditional Tujia customs can only found in the most remote of places.
Hang Wu Miao Zu village, Hunan, China.
- Jon K. Stoutlager