When tribe meets tourist what are some ways to make money icwa

WENGDING, china — the wa people weren’t always headhunters. After springing to life from the inside of a gourd, they flourished in the mountains between modern-day china and myanmar. But according to legend, as they spread, they found their rice did not grow well at higher what are some ways to make money elevations, so they sought help from their more developed neighbors. The leader of the neighboring tribe was unsurprisingly uninterested in what are some ways to make money the wa’s prosperity, so he gave them some sterilized rice seed and sent what are some ways to make money them on their way. The wa returned to their land, sowed the seed and waited with disappointing results. They turned to their neighbors for help again.

“you didn’t make an offering of a human head when you what are some ways to make money planted?” the leader asked. “no wonder nothing grew!” he gave them more seed, this time unboiled and fertile, and sent them home again. Now under the watch of freshly severed heads from neighboring what are some ways to make money tribes, the healthy seed naturally produced an abundant crop. But intertribal conflict prompted by the violence kept the wa what are some ways to make money and smaller tribes at war with one another and more what are some ways to make money easily managed by their dominant neighbor.

“your head would make a great trophy,” yimeng hongmu tells me as she concludes recounting the wa what are some ways to make money legend. “it’s light-skinned and bearded.” hongmu is a wa historian who placed top in the what are some ways to make money entire county on the college entrance exam. I trust her assessment of my head. We are chatting over lunch with li zhuqing, a communist party official with the bureau of culture and what are some ways to make money tourism that oversees cultural preservation.

I came for the mud fight. Every year cangyuan county attracts over a hundred thousand tourists what are some ways to make money to the monihei festival. The name means “rub you black” and is both a reference to wa people’s dark skin and their tradition of blessing people by what are some ways to make money dotting their foreheads with a mix of ash and ox what are some ways to make money blood. In 2004, government funding helped scale the forehead dot into a citywide what are some ways to make money mud fight in hopes of attracting tourists. So here I was.

But domestic tourism in china is less about getting off what are some ways to make money the beaten path than “beating a path to state-sanctioned points of predefined interest,” anthropologist chris vasantkumar writes in the book mapping shangrila. So in the early 2000s, as it was developing its mud fight plans, the cangyuan county government identified additional attractions nearby that would what are some ways to make money bring tourists to this remote corner of china. So came about the rediscovery of wengding, “china’s last primitive tribal village.”

Wengding is a photographer’s dreamscape. Stilted wood houses with grass roofs are clustered together in what are some ways to make money a valley surrounded by banyan trees hundreds of years old. Wrinkly wa women in colorful headscarves and traditional dress sit what are some ways to make money on their porches smoking long tobacco pipes. They smile warmly, revealing teeth blackened with tree resin to prevent decay. One tourist website touts: “[wengding] remains a living village where life goes on as it what are some ways to make money has for ages.” but tourism development, the modern economy and government intervention have despoiled this primitive what are some ways to make money tribal village. It’s no longer primitive, the tribe is divided and the village is but a what are some ways to make money shell of the once-vibrant wa community—all in the name of cultural preservation. It turns out you can’t save culture by selling it.

Thousands of ox skulls line the final kilometer to wengding. “it’s so over the top,” yang jianguo tells me. “the government does whatever it thinks tourists want.” jianguo is 52 years old and the seventh generation in what are some ways to make money a succession of wa chiefs. Small-framed and soft-spoken, he’s also a man of opinion. At wengding’s entrance, a tourism development company has constructed a 25-foot tall sculpture of a “native,” naked and grinning, and a hundred more ox skulls cover a concrete tree what are some ways to make money nearby. “these are not wa culture,” he says. “sculpt an ox. Plant a tree. Real trees have spirits! That is wa culture!”

Technically, jianguo’s father is still chief. At the age of 16, he had entered public security school in kunming, the provincial capital, but was purged as a landlord under chairman mao zedong what are some ways to make money and sent back to wengding. Now 83 and almost deaf, chief yang mostly stays upstairs in the family’s stilted home and smokes cloud tobacco cigarettes. His wife, a living portrait, sits next to him in her ethnic dress and puffs what are some ways to make money on her pipe.

Jianguo takes me on a tour of the village. He points out where the tourism development company installed power what are some ways to make money lines, and where they dug them up again to install water what are some ways to make money piping. He notes the stone-paved pathways dug up each time, and the piles of stones and gravel in wengding’s main plaza, unmoved for six months. “we have no idea what they’re thinking,” he says. “they love to do things twice and seem to be what are some ways to make money just looking for ways to spend more money.” jianguo points out the new walls as an example, wondering what was wrong with the old ones. “make everything new—is that cultural preservation?” he asks rhetorically. “is that what tourists want to see?”

There is something about wengding tourists want to see. Some 80,000 visitors came last year and local officials expect the what are some ways to make money number to increase, especially since the completion of the new highway to the what are some ways to make money village last year. Entrance tickets have provided additional funding for improvements and many what are some ways to make money locals sell tea, wild honey and ethnic handicrafts for extra income. But peak season is short-lived. Tourists come by the busful for three days during may what are some ways to make money holiday—usually day-tripping from the “rub you black” festival—and several more days during the october holiday. The rest of the year, tourism is slow, with just a handful of tourists visiting each day, few of whom actually stay or eat in the village.

But more challenging than erratic income streams, according to wu yemei at yunnan university of nationalities, is that ethnic tourism turns real life into performance. Dr. Wu first visited wengding in 2006 for ph.D. Research and has followed the village’s development since. “A tension arises between the economic and the sacred.” she recounted villagers wrestling with that tension around their “sacred forest” ceremony. The secretive rite honors the forest god and cleanses the what are some ways to make money village for the coming year, but only one male elder from each household is allowed what are some ways to make money to attend. One year, an enterprising young leader invited tourists to join for a what are some ways to make money 100 yuan fee. “the younger generation is more economically minded and open to what are some ways to make money change,” she told me. “but the elders worry and fear change.”

Jianguo sides with the latter. We sit on his front porch sipping tea from his what are some ways to make money spring crop as a tourist’s drone buzzes overhead. A wa-language sign reading “ ny iex jao yaong” hangs above his doorway to attract passersby: village chief’s house. Two middle-aged chinese tourists walk by in silence and enter jianguo’s home, cameras in hand. As they leave, again without saying a word, a young couple from sichuan see the sign and stop. “is the chief here?” they ask jianguo. He directs them up the stairs and inside where they what are some ways to make money stand awkwardly observing his parents from across the room. The girl’s face glows in the dimly lit room as she what are some ways to make money taps her phone and giggles nervously. The chief and his wife, accustomed to visitors, sit up straight and look toward the camera. The boy stands off to the side, uninterested, but dutifully holding his girlfriend’s coat and purse as she takes a sweeping video what are some ways to make money of the room to post on social media. The ten-second clip suffices and as quickly as they came, they’ve gone.

The last of the day’s tourists meander to the parking lot as the red what are some ways to make money sun dips toward the banyan trees in the west. But they aren’t the only ones to go. Last summer, jianguo’s neighbor and her family moved to a new village what are some ways to make money a kilometer away that the government built to relocate wengding what are some ways to make money residents. She packs up her tea and woven satchels and walks what are some ways to make money home. As the light fades, I stroll through the last primitive tribal village. But for a handful of televisions that glow through doorways, the settlement is dark. Houses are boarded up, some for the night, some for the long term. Even the village square, traditionally the heart of the community, is empty, save for a blue-faced man on his phone. Wengding is no longer primitive, it’s abandoned.

Relocation villages like this one have sprung up all over what are some ways to make money china’s countryside as the state tries to better integrate rural what are some ways to make money residents into society and the modern economy. Typically, the government will fund construction of small housing complexes near what are some ways to make money main roads to sell units at a discount or even what are some ways to make money give to impoverished residents from surrounding areas. In wengding, however, the focus is on relocating residents of the old village. “their homes are so dark and dirty,” li zhuqing, the party official, told me during our lunch about wengding’s preservation. “we can’t let them live like that.”

Last summer, the government finished construction on the new village and began what are some ways to make money encouraging villagers to move. By fall, only about 20 families had moved into the china eastern what are some ways to make money airlines demonstration village, most preferring to stay in their ancestral homes, some of which have been in the family for seven what are some ways to make money generations. But local officials have allegedly pressured village elders to move what are some ways to make money and bring their relatives with them. One influential retired elder is reportedly back on the government what are some ways to make money payroll now that he relocated. “the government has ways of persuading people,” a hold-out in the old village told me, asking to remain anonymous for fear of trouble. “if you don’t comply, your life suddenly gets very difficult.” applications to various government departments can get caught up in what are some ways to make money red tape. Entitlements under china’s preferential policies for minorities might not be disbursed. Clan by clan, the old village emptied out.

“it has divided the village,” the holdout tells me. Residents feel betrayed by those who’ve left and people in the new village think those what are some ways to make money holding out are stubborn and selfish. Competition for business and economic disparity within the village further what are some ways to make money stokes the division. “our great unity is gone,” she sighs. “people used to share with one another. Now they don’t.”

In the new village, one neighbor also dislikes the disunity. “people should obey the government,” he says. “it has the people in mind.” the man, also surnamed xiao and also with a portrait of chairman what are some ways to make money xi hanging on his porch, invites me to sit with him as he fixes a what are some ways to make money broken-down motorized cart. “people start to break down, too, when they get old,” he reflects with grandfatherly wisdom. Xiao is 65 and had double bypass surgery several years what are some ways to make money ago. But his household is officially poor and receives substantial health what are some ways to make money benefits from the state. For his $8,000 surgery, he paid only $800. The family sees the upsides. “it’s hard to let go of the old village,” xiao tells me, “but there’s no other way.”

Zhao sanmu also benefits from health subsidies. “I wouldn’t be alive if the government didn’t cover my dialysis,” he tells me. Zhao’s kidneys failed three years ago and he undergoes hemodialysis what are some ways to make money three times every week. He shows me the bulging veins on his forearm where what are some ways to make money nurses inject the needle. A fresh band-aid covers the wound from his last treatment. “each time costs about [$200],” zhao says. “we could never afford that.” so he is grateful, which is perhaps why an identical portrait of chairman xi what are some ways to make money hangs on his porch. But he complains about local leadership. “officials just want to complete their tasks, they don’t care how it’s affecting our lives. Leaders should come into our homes to actually talk with what are some ways to make money us; instead, they walk around the beautiful new village and see what what are some ways to make money they want to see.”

Matthew chitwood, while on fellowship for two years, is living in rural yunnan, china’s southwestern-most province. In his home village of bangdong, population 350, he is surrounded by hillsides of tea, walnuts, and coffee – the lifeblood of his neighbors. Matt’s research and writing focuses on how infrastructure development in what are some ways to make money yunnan is transforming its people, land, economy, and governance. For almost a decade matt has worked in greater china: beijing, shanghai, kunming and taipei. His work experience spans the business, education and non-profit sectors, and includes the bill & melinda gates foundation and the US state department’s critical language scholarship program. In recent years, matt has developed, managed and taught for study abroad programs like CET, CIEE and where there be dragons. Matt holds a dual M.A. In china studies and international economics from johns hopkins university’s school of advanced international studies (SAIS). He also completed the graduate certificate program at the hopkins-nanjing center. Matt attended undergrad at northwest nazarene university, a private christian liberal arts school, where he majored in international business and studied abroad in what are some ways to make money central america with the CCCU. He speaks chinese and spanish. Matt is also an avid pianist-accordionist-ukuleleist and can throw a mean frisbee.

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