Matang Village, located roughly 18 kilometers north of the city of Kaili, is a Gejia ethnic minority village. The Gejia (alternatively, Ge Jia) are classified as a subgroup of the Miao ethnic minority,
Very little is really known about the Gejia, apart from the fact that they specialize in batik, and that they, not unlike the various other ethnic minorities in the region, are fond of colorful clothing, which colorful clothing includes everyday attire as well as festival costumes.
Matang Village's Gejia girls begin to learn the art of batik (the art of dyeing multi-colored patterns in stages by applying melted wax to the areas where one does not wish the given color to appear, as the wax prevents the dye from penetrating) at a very tender age – as young as 7–8 years old – and become adept at it by the time they reach adulthood.
Gejia Batik is purchased the world over – as well as by tourists to the region, who can often score a bargain on the spot. Some of the more common items of Gejia batik include women's jackets, coats, dresses and a corset-like vest to be worn over a blouse, while batik suspenders are a typical men's item. Other everyday applications of Gejia batik include curtains, quilt covers, tablecloths and place mats.
In addition to being specialists in the art of batik, the Gejia ethnic minority of Matang Village are also skilled at embroidery.
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I updated this article on November 26, 2012
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