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Quizhou Art China



“There is an old saying about Quizhou: ‘There is no three feet of flat land, no three consecutive days of sun and there is no three cents worth of silver in their pockets.’

Well, that aphorism is not all quite true anymore. The land is still not flat, the weather is still dreary day after day, but the people of Quizhou are definitely better off now than ever before. One only has to see the smiling faces of the children to know that the people of Quizhou are indeed happy now that their rural economy is quickly developing under the free market.

I traveled through the South East region of Quizhou during the Chinese New Year of 2002. With its deep, lush valleys and limestone hills, Quizhou is set in a spectacular landscape that sits almost entirely on a plateau. But perhaps the most dramatic feature of all is Quizhou’s most famous attraction— The Huangguoshu Waterfall. Its silvery cascades gracefully tumble more than 60 meters down and is known as the biggest waterfall in China. I was told that the best time to visit Huangguoshu is during the raining season, between summer and autumn, when the falls were full and at their most dramatic, but the dry January turned out to be much better since the trickling water presented a pattern of vertical lines that accentuated the height of the falls.

Quizhou is rich in heritage and culture, with festivals celebrated nearly every day throughout the region. The New Year celebration in the village square was lively, though I was surprised to find it completely devoid of tourists. The village families dressed their daughters in elaborate silk costumes and silver headdresses to present them as debutantes for the line-dancing.