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Zhanli Village – A Mysterious Village Deep in the Mountain in Guizhou Province

 2014-03-18    Selina Ou    Sights    Guiyang    1353  

Deep in the mountains and dense forests, there locates a relatively primitive and mysterious village called Zhanli village. It belongs to Congjiang County in southeast Guizhou Province. The village that occupied as small area of 16 square kilometers mainly resides Dong people.

Zanli Village attracts people by its beautiful landscapes, and special local customs and unique local cultures. This classic Dong village is labeled with well-proportioned stilted buildings along the riverside, upright drum buildings and wind-rain bridges. It is covered with vegetation and plants, decorated by vivid flowing rivers through the village.

As there is no roadway between the village and the outside area, Zhanli Village has kept simple and primitive lifestyles. People from Zhanli Village have a gentle and friendly character, and more importantly they are quite hard-working. They live a happy and peaceful life inside the village. To prevent the conflict between the growing population and limited land resources, Zhanli Village has developed an advanced population sense. It is surprising to find that Zhanli Village has a nearly zero population growth during the 48 years of 1952-2000.

Zhanli Village is reputed “the first village of population culture in China”, and this reputation is due to a traditional rule. It is ruled that families in the village is allowed only to give birth to two children, a boy and a girl. This rule has greatly helped to balance the population structure and strictly controlled the growth of population.

Every year on the first day of the 2nd lunar month and the first day of the eight month, Zhanli village will hold swearing ceremony. During the ceremony, they offer pigs as sacrifices and drink blood wine. Those young men and women who are going to get married have to swear that they only give birth to two children after they get married.

According to people living in Zhanli Village, there is a pharmacist who has a mystical prescription to help every family have a boy and a girl. This mystic prescription consisted of the main Huanhua herb and other seven or eight herbs is able to decide the gender of the baby. If a family already has born a boy, then the next one will be a girl after taking the Huanhua herb, vice versa. This herb prescription is also very powerful to prevent from defective babies as there are many people intermarry with their relatives. But this ancestral prescription is only known to a woman of Wu family in the village, someone else has no access to it.

Another unique custom in Zhanli Village is that, there are group weddings held every year. People can only engage on the fifth day or sixth day of the first lunar month, and get married on the 16th of the 2nd lunar month or the 26th of the twelfth lunar month. This is why many people get married at the same day.

Currently, the isolated Zhanli Village has been open to the outside and has attracted widely attention by tourists and scholars because of its attractive scenery, its unique local customs and the mystery of Huanhua herb.

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