Shanjiang Miao Village
Shanjiang Miao Village, located at a valley called Miaoren Valley, 20 kilometers northwest of Fenghuang County, which has kept intact its unique Miao ethnic folklore.
Miaoren Valley is a hiking heaven for tourists, featured green mountains, limpid alpine lakes where tourists can row a boat, grotesque gorge, elegant waterfalls and dam in Miao ethnic style. Shanjiang Miao Village is built along the mountain slope of Miaoren Valley. Miao people there are still living primitive and simple life. Maintaining the old customs, Miao people will hold a welcoming ceremony for tourist on the way. During the welcoming ceremony, Miao people stand in lines, wearing their full costumes, greeting tourist by presenting them a cup of "block-the-way" wine. Miao girls will sing a "block-the-way" song, the words of which is mainly about their happiness to welcome a friend coming from afar.
Miao people’s costumes and their silver ornament are attractive; especially the girls’ are feast to tourists’ eyes. Miao girls usually wear robes of bright blue with loose sleeves and dark blue trousers, and cuffs embroidered with colorful laces for the womenfolk. They wrap their head with dark blue cloth, embellished with silver headdresses and silver neckwear.
Every family has their own blockhouse distinguishes Shanjiang Miao Village with other Miao villages, which endows the village with strong defensive function in military. The village was usually attracted by the central government during the past dynasties, therefore the Miao people had to build blockhouse to protect themselves. The blockhouse is a two-storey building with the first floor built by stone and the second floor made by mud. There narrow windows on the four walls of the blockhouse used for overlooking and shooting, Besides, there is a defensive wall built around the village, which is 4 to 5 meters high. Now it is a peaceful little village, while the building in blockhouse style has become its distinct feature, telling the passing history.
Visiting Shanjiang Miao Village during traditional Miao Festival will be an impressive and unforgettable tour. Tourists can appreciate Miao songs and dance and Miao traditional activities. The popular festivals are April Fair Festival, the Valentines’ Day of Miao ethnic people (held at the eighth day of the fourth month of Chinese lunar calendar); June Fair Festival, the folk song concert of Miao people (held at the sixth day of the sixth month of Chinese lunar calendar).