April 2, 2012

Yang Xiao just returned from a brief recce along the Tea Horse Trail between Lijiang and Dali. He made a few new friends along the way and took some nice pictures, too…

Shama Sijin belongs to the Yi ethnic group. His people moved to the Shaxi area from the Yi heartlands in Liangshan when Sijin was 8 years old. He’s now 47. His name means “Four Pounds” and refers to his weight at birth. He has two brothers: “Five Pounds” and “Six Pounds”.

This is Shama Sijin’s younger cousin, Sha Yuehua.

Yang Xiao met this old Naxi lady soon after starting out. She couldn’t speak a word of Chinese and so he didn’t get her name.

He Guocai, 69, digs potatoes outside the village of Shujing. He is supervised by fellow villager He Xiaoting, 4. Guocai belongs to the Lisu ethnic group and served for several years in a communist rebel army in the mountains on the border of Burma and China.

He Xiaoting’s grandparents He Xueren, 58, and He Shihua plough their field outside Shuijing. Their family belongs to the Naxi ethnic group.

Ru Yu picks broad beans outside the Hui Muslim village of Xifeng. Ru Yu belongs to the Bai ethnic group but married into Xifeng.

Ma Yingmei also helps with the broad bean harvest. Yingmei is a Hui Muslim from the village of Xifeng.