Xiaohuang Dong Village
Xiaohuan Dong Village is located 20 kilometers away from Congjiang County of Southeast Guizhou. There are 680 Dong Family living here, totally over 3300 people. Seldom connected with the outside world, Dong people still living in very primitive way, every family doing farm, hunting and weaving cloth. Xiaohuang Dong Village is praised highly as the Village of Songs because the villagers are be accomplished in singing a kind of polyphonic folk songs, which are called “Galao” or “Dage” in Dong dialect. It gained a title of the Village of China Folk Art from the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China 1996, which makes it renowned.
Xiaohuang Dong Village is surrounded by mountains with a stream passing through. Row upon row of houses are in close order. The sound of singing fills the ear almost everywhere, no mater on the farmland or on the routes between the houses. Dong Ethnic Minority has no their own character. From ancient time to the present, Dong people all use “Dage” (a kind of polyphonic folk songs) to narrate their life, express their feeling and record their history. Song is their langue and history. From this point of view, Xiaohuang Dong Village is the representative among Dong villages.
The Dong people of Xiaohuang Dong Village are born to love singing. The villages are all good at singing, from little children of three or four years old to senior people of eighty. There are many bands of different ages in the village. Lutes and another traditional Chinese music instrument “Niutui Qing” are their main instruments. The songs are all original and characteristic. Every band has their achievements; especially the band formed by senior women, whose songs fill with their love for life and intelligence.
Villagers are used to keeping late hours and singing from afternoon till evening. The best time to tour around Xiaohuang Dong Village is during Spring Festival (traditional Chinese New Year), because there are many grand parties of “Dage” (a kind of polyphonic folk songs) and singing competitions.
Dong girls of Xiaohuang Village are very hospitable. If tourists request for listening to Dong ethnic songs, Dong girls will invite him or her to sit on her knees to listening to the songs. This friendly custom may make tourists have no idea what to do with their hands and feet. Well, just accept the invitation. That is the best choice. In Rome, does what the Roman do.