By Kartika Putra
It feels like forever that we’ve been travelling and we still hadn’t been rural enough to reach any small villages!! It’s been amazing nonetheless – the country is so big, it takes several days and long trips to actually get away from big cities and buildings.
Our trip to Longga was convoluted, preempted by another failed attempt to navigate a Chinese city in search of Batik products. A local bus in Anshun took us to the bus terminal. From the Anshun bus terminal we spent two hours on a bus to Liuzhi. There was atmosphere of ‘progress’ throughout the country. In every province, in every city, in every village people were building. We then took a minibus for an hour to Soga and the fields turned yellow with Canola and villages were encircled by woods. At Soga we jumped on the backs of motorcycles and were taken towards fresher air, five minutes up the mountain side passing agricultural land of corns, potatoes, beans and vegetables embellished by pink blossoms. We had finally reached Longga.
Long Ga is an autonomous region for the long horned Miao ethnic minority group. An ancient culture that worships and utilises the hair collected from deceased family members to be worn around horns on their heads. We visited with the hope to see the ceremonial hair process take place. But it wasn’t long till we discovered what used to be real ancestral hair was replaced by wool. She communicated that monetary offers from museums and private collectors were too great to pass off and she now continues to demonstrate the ceremonial hair process to those visitors that decide to come to her village with black wool instead. See the video to see the process take place!