All posts filed under: Village life

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Growing cotton

In Guizhou province, each ethnic minority family is given one “MU” (670 sq meters) of land to grow their own crops. On this land, these self-sustaining farmers plant just enough crops to last them for the year. Cotton is grown in the warmer valley regions of Guizhou province. The seeds are germinated and planted in April, then harvested by October. In addition to clothing, the local cotton is grown to make blankets and bed mattresses.

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Three generations making fabric

This image captures the different experiences of three generations in one village: The grandmother wears an everyday traditional-style costume that she made herself, complete with a head covering that identifies her as coming from Tang’an village. She rarely leaves her village and has spent her entire life living off the land as a farmer. She knows how to grow and make everything one needs for survival, and she would have had to all the clothes for herself and the family. The mother wears modern machine-made clothing that was bought in a nearby city. She never learned the fabric-weaving craft because she left the village at a young age to become a migrant worker in the coastal factories. Having earned and saved up enough money to build a family, she has returned to her village to raise her daughter. By helping the grandmother prepare the thread for the loom, the mother is learning the fabric-weaving tradition in the process. The granddaughter has grown up in a modern China driven by new technology. She enjoys playing games on her mother’s cell phone — a device that was bought from money her mother earned …