Guizhou Kaili Museum, China

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Kaili Museum

Kaili Museum, one of the "100 Distinctive Museums of China", is entitled "the Origin of Chinese Folk Arts".

The museum is located in the Miao Nationality village at Shanglangde of Leishan County, at the hinterland of Miao Mountain, 27km to the southeast of Kaili.

As an open-air museum of nationality culture and customs, Kaili Museum was established in 1987 and now accommodates about 100 families and over 500 people, who are all of Miao Nationality.

The village is located in a place with hills behind and rivers in the front. People have built suspension houses row upon row from the foot to halfway of the hills. Most of the houses have Meirenkaos, a typical ornament of the Miao Nationality.

On the hills, there are lush old trees reaching the sky, which are infallible "Village Guards". The preservation of trees is an old custom of the Miao Nationality.

The lanes in the villages are all made of stones. A brook named Wangfeng River flows in front of the village in an S-shape, and at its banks, there are tens of water mills made of bamboo tube, depicting a typical view of the Miao village.

The village is the hometown of Yang Daliu, the leader of the Miao Rebel in Chinese Qing Dynasty. The fighting relics, the walls and trenches etc., which he used for resisting the Qing armies and protecting the village, still remains.

When tourists come to the museum, the villagers accord them a very special but grand reception - to "obstruct" visitors from entering the village. With wine and Miao songs, they obstruct guests in the way, singing toast songs and urging them to drink "Obstacle Wine", which is 3-5 courses at least or 12 courses at most.

The final course of "Obstacle Wine" will be set at the gate of the village, a small delicate wood building. A pair of cups made of ox horn will be hanged at the gate, and there will be girls dressed in their holiday dresses or old people wearing traditional costumes holding the cups and toasting to guests.

In the village, you will not only see the minor nationality women doing craft jobs, such as embroidering, plaiting, brocading, spinning, batiking and cross-stitching, but also taste the delicious local nationality food and enjoy dances and sports games organized in traditional way especially for reception.

In the nationality village museum, people can get a glimpse of the culture and history of Miao Mountain areas by their buildings, food and drink, costumes, festivals, production, recreation, etiquette, morals and beliefs etc.

The bronze drum dance, Fengyu Bridge, Baoye Bridge, Beauty Cushion, wine songs, culture of ox, culture of fish, Jiqiao Festival and Chixin Festival of Kaili Miao Village, attract hundreds and thousands of tourists from both home and abroad.