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This is the only museum in the whole of China focusing on the marriage customs of ethnic minorities. It opened to the public in 1989.It’s located in Xingyi city in southwest Guizhou.
The museum is in the Liu Family Mansion, which used to be the residence of Liu Xianshi, the first governor of Guizhou Province. The mansion covers an area of 36,000 square meters (8.9 acres) and the museum takes up one fifth of the area.
Various traditional marriage customs still thrive in Guizhou. Even within the same ethnic group, customs vary in different regions.
For example, Miao girls in some parts of Guizhou tie one end of their belt around the waist of the young man they admire.
During April festivals, Miao girls in other parts of Guizhou wait on village paths with multicolored glutinous rice. If a young man particularly likes a girl, he will ask her for some rice.
Market days and slack farming seasons provide good opportunities for young people to find their love. Courtship in most minority areas involves dancing and/or singing.
The Guizhou Museum of Marriage Customs of Ethnic Minorities displays more than 600 items, including photographs, videos, ethnic wares, costumes and love tokens. These items introduce the courtship and engagement practices of ethnic people, their wedding ceremonies and their customs once married.
The museum is in on Xiawutun Street in Xingyi. Xingyi is about 357 km (222 miles) from Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou; 362 km (225 miles) from Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province; and 525 km (326 miles) from Nanning, the capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Every day there is a direct flight (a small airplane) between Guiyang and Xingyi, taking about 40 minutes. There are also trains connecting Xingyi with Guiyang, Kunming, Guangzhou and Nanning.