Basha Miao Village

Last updated by chinatravel at 2014/5/1

Basha is a very special and old Miao Ethnic village and is virtually untouched in any way by modernization. Basha residents still live in their wooden houses, practice centuries-old customs and have their own unique beliefs.

The village is perched on a hill, 7.5 kilometers from Congjiang. Legends say that Basha's ancestors immigrated from heartland China to this isolated mountainous region over 2,000 years ago.

The village has a multitude of Diaojiaolou (a traditional Miao structure built on wooden stakes). When seen from afar, the village consists of layer upon layer of moss covered bark roofs.

Scattered around the villages' open spaces and hillside is another wooden structure commonly called "rafts". They are used to dry un-husked rice.

Don't be alarmed, but the Basha people is the only tribe that is allowed to carry guns.

Old customs and traditions

Welcome Ceremony with Guns: Visitors to Basha frequently are greeted outside the village in the traditional manner by a group of the Basha men carrying weapons of long rifles. Please don't be frightened!! They are the locals practicing a traditional welcoming ceremony.

Adult Ceremony: Like men of the Imperial Dynasties, most Basha men-folk still wear their hair long. As little children, Basha boys, like girls, have to keep their hair until they are 16 years old. The Adult Ceremony is when the boy becoming a man is held and he is allowed to decide whether to keep his long hair. The Adult ceremony is held to have a young man's head shaved or to keep his hair which is twisted and coiled atop the head.

Worshipping Trees: Around the Basha Village, there are many large tall trees. Like many other tribes, who take an animal or material as their totem, Basha people worship trees. On important occasions or some traditional festivals, villagers usually burn incense under big ancient tress to pray for heath and happiness.

A tree is planted on the birth of a baby. Often it will be cut down to make a coffin for burial purposes when that person eventually dies.

Unique Dress Code: People in Basha maintain their unique code of dress dating back to the Qin Dynasty. Basha men usually wear a collarless coat with buttons on the left side or down the front with baggy short trousers. Basha men don't usually wear shoes, even in the cold winter. However women's clothes are more colorful. A coat buttoned down the front, a kilt and more colorful wrappings are the usual make-up for women.

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