Photographer's Note

The Dong people form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China, and are famed for their "wind and rain bridges". They live mostly in Guizhou, Hunan, and Guangxi provinces of China.

The Dong language is a Tai-Kadai (or Zhuang-Dong) language. An alfabet-based orthography was developed in 1958, but it is not used very much, due to a lack of printed material and trained teachers.

This picture was taken in Zhaoxing, a traditional Dong village that boasts no less than five drum towers. If you can, try to arrange your trip into Dong territory to coincide with one of the Dong festsivals.

Traditional Dong festivals feature music, dance, theatre, story telling and beautiful dresses. Most festivals are held in the beginning of the year. Summer is a bad time for festivals, but we were lucky, because the village staged one to celebrate the return of a native son who had made it as a professor in Beijing.

scan from analogue print, framed, no PP

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Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2721 W: 35 N: 5414] (29140)
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