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Women cooperative brings glamour to Miao village

By Li Jun and Jia Tingting ( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2014-05-28

Attracted by the beautiful melody of the lusheng (a traditional Chinese instrument) and the mysterious and ancient Miao culture, more visitors from home and abroad are coming to Guizhou to visit its many ethnic villages.

Among the numerous ethnic villages of Guizhou province, Wangjia village stands out. Wangjia village is named after the Chinese family name "Wang". The name is pronounced "fon gong yon lee" in the Miao language, meaning a large Miao village.

Drawing on ancient Miao genealogy, Wangjia village is said to be a 33rd generation village descended from migrants from Jiangxi province. Wangjia villagers are descended from the tribes of "Jiuli" and "Sanmiao",located in the middle and lower Yangtze and Yellow rivers during ancient times.

Located in Xingren town, Danzhai county, southeast Guizhou province, Wangjia village has two village groups. There are 118 households with 518 Miao residents, including 247 women.

Against the backdrop of Guizhou's development, Miao ethnic culture faces both challenges and opportunities. Encouraged by the local government of Wangjia village, more and more Miao women are working in embroidery. They established a cooperative for ancient Miao embroidery in April 2013, turning embroideries into commodities for the market.

Women cooperative brings glamour to Miao village
Ethnic Miao women embroider together.

The Wangjia cooperative now has 80 female members, 20 who weave and 60 who embroider. Their work mainly involves embroidery production, graphic design and consultations.

Through the cooperation with Shengshi Jinxiu Corporation, the Wangjia village cooperative provides each woman with 1,200 yuan ($197.87) per month in salary, making up half of their family income.

To help transform their ethnic culture by both maintaining ethnic characteristics and expanding the market, cooperative members have also been trained in design and market exploration.




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