2.In Malaysia, Darth Vader Is Leading a Shadow Puppetry Revival
3.The Chili Cutters of China
4.Indonesia’s Tradition of Cross-Gender Dancing
5.Building Bolivian Identity With Psychedelic Architecture
6.Black Voices Speak Their Truth: What They Wish You Knew
7.Catching Tiny Fish With Tiny Rods
8.Dancing on Water: The Chinese Art of Bamboo Drifting
9.Searching for the Real 'Gullah Gullah Island'
10.An Ancient Practice with Peru’s Last Medicine Men
11.Beware the Executioner at Harlem’s Apollo Theater
12.How People Take Their Tea Around the World
13.How Coronavirus Has Changed Lives Around the World
14.Teaching Transracial Adoptive Parents to Care for Their Kid’s Natural Hair
15.The Artist Bringing Vibrant Skeletons to Life
16.The Deep-Fried Deliciousness of Poland’s Pączki
17.Exploring Skiing’s Ancient Origins In Hemu Village, China
18.Tatatau in the Cook Islands
19.A Family of Marionette Makers
20.Showering in Molten Iron
21.Handcrafting Giant Red Lanterns in Tuntou, China
22.Lighting Up the Sky With Chinese Lanterns
23.Keeping the Ancient Craft of Tin Embroidery Alive
24.Exploring Dubai’s Emerging Food Scene
25.Building a Chinatown for the Next Generation
Throughout human history, we’ve used pictures to express what words cannot or created whole languages out of symbolic representations to better express our emotions and thoughts. That’s nowhere more true than in Guizhou, China, where the Miao marry handicraft and art to recount their history, legends and traditions without a written language at all.
That art? Embroidery. The Miaos’ pictorial language isn’t drawn or scribed, it’s stitched. Miao women begin learning their ancient, traditional form of embroidery at age 7 Their mothers and sisters teach the girls not only the physical aspects of the craft but the symbols and style that preserve the stories of their people.
Animal imagery, like horses, snails, dragons, chickens and goats have meaning in narrative form that Miao women embroider into intricate garments. It takes years to complete one of these wearable histories, and the results are as beautiful as they are important for preserving a culture and history that doesn’t use written words.
The goal of all language is to communicate clearly and effectively to represent the shared experiences, thoughts and emotions we live and breathe as a species. The Miao certainly understand that like few other people as they proudly stitch and wear their language.
Guizhou, ChinaFull Map
13 videos | 31 min
4 videos | 14 min
3 videos | 9 min
7 videos | 22 min