South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region is home to the country's largest population of the Zhuang ethnic minority. Napo county around Baise city is the region most heavily populated by the Zhuang. Within the Zhuang people is a group known as the Min. Its people are distinguished by their tradition of wearing black.
South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region is home to the country's largest population of the Zhuang ethnic minority.
Before entering the village one must drink a cup of wine. It's the way the Zhuang greet their guests. From head to toe, these Zhuang villagers are dressed in the distinctive black attire. The villagers make all their own clothing. They've sewn the seeds, then harvested the cotton, woven the fabrics and dyed them to their patented color. The Zhuang people are considered the first to master the weaver's craft in China.
Strict observance of traditional dress requires Zhuang women to wear black head scarves. And there are baggy-sleeved tops, rimmed with red knot buttons. Experts call this clothing tradition, a living fossil of the Zhuang ethnic minority. These same experts believe the tradition remains in a state that is almost pristine, if not perfectly true to the most ancient mode.
Wang Meng, CCTV Correspondent, said, "This silver chaplet is worn by every woman of the Zhuang. It's part of her dowry. Women who haven't tied the knot carry small embroidered bags like this. A woman's birth data is kept inside. She will present the information to a man she admires."
The Zhuang are a happy people. They sing to greet guests. They sing at weddings and even at funerals. Their penchant for dancing challenges traditional impressions that the Zhuang are not good dancers. It seems everyone from three-year-olds all the way to senior citizens have some decent moves. It's an entertainment form that brings a touch of vitality to the quiet life in the ancient village, here at the foot of a mountain.