Laying stones on the mountainside, raising timbers among the trees. Diaojiao architecture reflects the Miao emphasis on harmony with nature, and seamlessly integrates these mountain villages into the highland landscape
The balconies of the Miao diaojiao houses are enclosed by a bench with a curved back that also serves as a railing, called ghab xil in Miao. Because women often sit here to do embroidery, it is colloquially known as the “beauty’s railing”.
In fact, the ghab xil is a multipurpose balcony where people relax after a day of working in the fields, enjoying the cool air and striking view, telling Miao folktales and singing traditional folksongs. During festivals, this is also where mothers will help their daughters put on their silver jewelry.
The second floor is devoted to daily life. It is normally made up of several bedrooms arranged around a central living room. It is taboo for non-family members to enter the bedrooms, but guests may sit in the main room, which is spacious with high ceilings. In the middle is a fireplace, around which families normally eat.
Every time the carpenter finishes a Diaojiao building, the owner's family presents a pig's head as a token of gratitude. The carpenter keeps the jawbones and display them on the door. As a result, these jawbones of pigs are the carpenter's "transcript", them keep record of the carpenter's work and show if he is good at his job.
The Miao has a long history of agriculture, fields for farming are precious in the mountains. The Diaojiao Architecture is a economical but multi-functional housing which saves a great amount of space for farming.
In Collaboration with Riverbend Academy of Hmongology, Guizhou, China
--- Exhibition Crew ---
Culture Consultants: Yang Peide, An Hong
Project Coordinator: Cecilia Xiong
Exhibition Curator: Lin Wen (email@example.com)
Chief Photographer: Austin Kramer
Other Photographers: Huang Xiaohai, Shi Kaibao, Lin Wen
Content Writer: Lin Wen
Translator: Austin Kramer, Li Yi, Liu Qing, Lin Wen
Proofreader: Austin Kramer
Video Clip Editor: Lin Wen
--- Mini Documentary Film Crew ---
Director: Lu Ying
Assistant Director: Zhang Te
Video Photographer: Zhi Yuehui, Zhang Te, Ji Xiang
Film Editor: Lu Ying, Zhi Yuehui, Suiwu Changjun
Script Writer: Yang Peide
Script Editor: Lin Wen
Color Adjust: Zhong Rujie, Zhi Yuehui
Music: Audio Jungle
Recording: Chenguang Recording Studio