In Guizhou Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture Shibing County, there is a village called “Ping Pa” where I aspire to take photos. This idea came from a pretty picture shoot by one of my friend photographer. May 29, it was weekend, the very day for Mrs. Zhang, a staff from the countys ethnic embroidery company, went to buy the order’s products, so I catch her car, to the remote Miao village.
After running across the 50 km long asphalt road, the vehicle drove into road, and finally came to the village. Eagerly looking from distance, I was rather excited when I saw the green tile and wood house, the weather was cooperative, it proved to be a nice day, good for taking photos!
Entrance to the village there was a “Hope Primary School” with brick structure, because it was weekend, you could be imagine there was no class in the school, and it seemed to be rather quiet.
In a corner of the small playground, several children playing there, and they did not seem to care about our arrival.
We walked into the village with the folks came to welcome Ms. Zhang, then I was attracted by the ancient huts, I want to take some photos, so I told them to go first. Few kids who were playing some unknown games run away when they saw a stranger holding a camera in front of them, unlike the kids in most cities and towns would put pose and make faces facing the camera.
After calm down, two little girls turned around and looked at me, seeming rather nerves. I did not disturb them too much, pressed a couple of shutter and quietly walked away, went into the history of the Miao.
Only this dog in the street of this stockade calmly looked at me, not shake his head as if I was its master, nor regard me as the enemy. It was indifferent, I understand: we had no relationship, so I did not expect it would be friendly to me, as long as it did not bark at me.
Inadvertently looked up, I saw two faces behind the wood upstairs railing: an old man and a child. I could not speak the local language, so I just watched them and nodded my head with a smile, and took a picture. Their expression not only stayed in my camera, but also stayed in my heart, and I did not know what kind of feeling at that moment.
Imagine their way uphill, and I walked with my feeling. These were steps caved in stone, with some moss on the surface, so seemed very few people walked on. I climbed carefully, not afraid of fall down, but afraid of the camera was broken.
Raise my head to find the way, I saw there was an old tree growing from the wall of a wooden log cabin, I suddenly moved by such scenery: when there are all kinds of deforestation everywhere, but here, still has a tree protected by heart! I am so happy for these old trees.
Having strangers in remote cottage would certainly caused their concern, but unlike twenty years ago, it was said that all the folks, men, women, old, children would surround to see what the stranger looked like.
I walked along this place. I hoped there were some people coming and going, photos with someone were more vivid and lively. Then came a Miao woman from the uneven stone road, she used her shoulders to lug her children, herself and the hope of her family.
The sound coming from right side attracted me, then I saw a little girl jumping up and down, not worrying falling down.
Perhaps it was I said to a woman who had burden on her shoulders: “Are you go to work?” then two kids came out of the house and looked at me, the girl seemed a bit puzzled: “wheres the outsiders?” The boy: “There are people coming from outside!”
I noticed the children at the side door particularly, because it would be Children’s Day in two days later, and they know it? They care? They can … The “city” kids, are they know there are still a lot of same other children?
I knew I could not do a lot for them, or even because the language barrier, I did not say a word to them then quietly left. Heard someone talking something I did not understand behind me, I turned around, seeing two children behind me, after seeing their living environment, and I regretted not buy some candy for them.
Crossed downhill, I heard a woman talking. Seeing I walking by, the woman spoke to me with the local language kindly, I realized that it meant: “Hey, where do you come from? How about come in to have a cup of tea!” I pointed to my ears and said with a smile: “I do not understand!” But from her smile, I felt warmth.
I really blamed myself for can not speak a little local language, can not give them at least a polite greeting and a bit deeper talk, but had to leave. At a corner, I saw two kids doing the game we did forty years ago: playing mud.
I loved this scenery, then took the camera facing them, they were all attracted, but a little unnatural … … Fortunately, the “fearless”, the boy put such a position for me, I pressed down the shutter quickly.
Back through the street, at the other end of the street I saw two boys sitting on a stick, I raised my camera, a boy started to leave, I put him in my photo.
Some children came up from sideway, they were not afraid of me, but laughed and looked at my camera then disappeared quickly. I still could see what they eat and wear.
Behind a womans voice calling for her children attracted me, I saw a womens came from a distance, I took a photo for such a rarely seen person.
Walking quietly on the road and looking around, I saw her embroidering intently.
Confused: a lot of young people are going outside of the world for their new career.
Seeing an old man weaving bamboo in the yard, I was curious and said to him, “How are you!” I just wanted to express my respect, but I never thought he could understand what I was talking. This old man even replied twice, “Hello! Hello!” I asked how old he was, he said, “eighty “. I asked, “Are you at home alone?” he said, “No, with my wife”. Then he put down the bamboo, stretched and looked at the distant, I took picture of this weather-beaten face and a pair of missing and expecting eyes.
Standing up only to find there was an old mother shaking and drying the Miao dying clothes on a bamboo stick, when I saw her callused hands, there was a load on ones mind, not knowing what to say.
Sun shined on the side of the slope, the children’s joy call pulled me to this place, seeing a group of children playing the game–throw sand bags. The movement of jumping up and down particularly attracted me … this is the childrens “Country Sports”.
Walked into the huts Ms. Zhang cash wages, I smiled when I saw this little boy laughing freely, for the childs innocence.
See the sun shining on the face of one child.
From the foot to this hillside I ran up and down four times and did not see a young girl.
Ms. Zhang asked people to kill a pig and bought sweets and cakes for rewarding them, made a long table as the Miao custom, because there was no one can put together, only put them separately in the house, I captured this photo under this 40W incandescent lamp.
Farewell, goodby, my dreaming cabin!
Goodby, my log cabin!