Guizhou, like so many places in China, is a shopper's paradise. What makes shopping in Guizhou special, is the products available for purchase. These items are only available in Guizhou and nowhere else in the world. Guizhou is home to a large population of ethnic minority groups, and their culture and customs have remained relatively unchanged for centuries. Their arts and handicrafts are exquisite and surprisingly affordable. Besides minority handicrafts, Guizhou also offers unique items such as China's famous Maotai alcohol and wonderful teas.
Maotai Alcohol (Moutai):
The most famous alcohol in China, Maotai's special taste is appreciated by everyone from businessmen, to leaders of the state. A visit to Guizhou without sampling Maotai is simply not complete.
The teas of Guizhou are very special. Guizhou produces some of the finest green teas in China. Until recently, Guizhou's teas were not known outside the province because the best teas were drunk by the locals. Word is spreading about the quality of Guizhou's teas and they are becoming sought after by tea connoisseurs throughout the country and around the world.
Guizhou is home to many ethnic minority groups and each group produces its own unique styles of embroidery. They are created in many different styles, with many different themes. Each piece is handmade making it unique. The embroidery can be found on clothing or made into bags, shoes, blankets, or decorative pieces.
Batik cloth is a form of dying created by the minority groups of Guizhou. Molten wax is hand-painted onto a piece of white cloth into different patterns and themes. The cloth is then dipped into indigo dye, where the dye will adhere to the cloth everywhere, except where the wax was applied. Once the dyed cloth is dried, the wax is removed leaving patterns of white that contrast beautifully against the indigo dye. It is a beautiful art form that is made into a large variety of items.
The ethnic minorities of Guizhou are famous for their silverwork. They believe silver is a symbol of purity and luck. They can turn silver into jewelry, medallions, ornate headdresses, and simple accessories. The silverwork is covered with beautiful designs which are intended to bring good luck to the owner. The capital of Guizhou, Guiyang is a great place to purchase minority silver items.
Dixi Opera Masks:
Guizhou is well known for its Dixi Opera. Dixi Opera is interesting in that the actor's faces are not painted. Instead, they wear beautifully carved wooden masks. One opera can use several dozen, to two hundred masks. There are five basic masks used in Dixi Opera, but the variations of each are limitless. The beautifully carved wooden masks are a favorite shopping item for visitors to Guizhou.
The lusheng is a musical instrument unique to the Dong and Miao ethnic minority groups. The instrument is a reeded organ made entirely of bamboo. Its unique sound is lively, and few who hear it and see it played fail to be enchanted by it.
The Yuping Flute originated in Yuping Dong Autonomous County of Guizhou. The flute has a history of more than 300 years. Traditionally the flute is decorated with beautiful landscapes and depictions of animals. The flute was so revered, that it was given as a tribute to the emperor during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
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