Published in China
Wengding village is located in Cangyuan Wa Autonomous Region in Yunnan, Chinna. It's a "primitive folk custom zone", where there remains a community that maintains it's traditional cultural lifestyle. When I first arrived, after a two hour taxi ride and after buying a ticket for around 50kuai, we drove into a long driveway lined with ox heads on sticks or tied around the trees. We arrived at the gate and there were people at the gate playing drums to welcome us to the village. They were dressed in traditional clothes. I was lucky enough to simply sit back and enjoy some tea while the villagers were playing cards. While sitting there in the shop having tea, I people watched. There were several elders walking around in their traditional clothing. There were younger women arriving to do some weaving. A few people approached me to have tea and ask me some questions. After I had enough tea I began to venture into the main museum area, and luckily a 6 year old girl arrived to show me around. She played the drums for me and showed me pictures of her family that were in the museum. She was so friendly and sweet. Then we went into their main lodge and this little girl got dressed up and showed me around. Her grandfather arrived and we began chatting and having tea in the lodge. I wanted him to tell me a story, because I hear the Wa have incredible stories. At first he told me my Chinese wasn't good enough and I couldn't understand, which was true... so I told him I could make a video of it instead, and he said to come back another time when he had more energy... but I was leaving, so there probably wouldn't be another chance.There was a lot of magic to him, his smoking, and the lodge. I have no idea what kind of ceremonies they hold in the lodge, or what kind of ceremonies may hold this community together. I asked him if he was the leader, and he said he was too old for that.
After chatting and shooting photos of him for a while, a few others arrived. Apparently, a little girl was making a music video. She was completely dressed up and dancing and singing... so I started following them around a bit. I wandered around the village and tried to find people who lived there. I wandered through the forest, through their water fountain area, through the trees with ox heads tied on them, and through the rows and rows of thatched houses. At the end of the day I found their main totem area, with a large white totem that was the same as the other areas of Cangyuan county I had seen. These types of altars the Wa people make offerings to, and sing and dance around.