Saturday, September 05, 2015

Shaxi Friday Market

A woman from the Yi minority group sets up her produce
 Visiting the markets in a town is a highlight for me. Produce and goods, transported on the backs, heads, livestock, and overburdened vehicles of vendors, reveals so much about the locals. Some traverse for quite a distance over difficult terrain to sell and buy. I love looking at the costumes worn by the locals and marvel at how they present their goods, no matter how meager the amounts.
Simple scales are still used
Colorful produce, some I've never seen before, are carefully arranged. A variety of fragrances intermix, further assaulting the senses. People struggle to be heard over the noise of chatting, bargaining, animals, and vehicles. 

Woven baskets, particularly used by the Bai people, are sold.
Although the tea-horse trading between Tibet and China no longer exists, the town of Shaxi, the last remaining market town on the Tea Horse trail, becomes alive during its Friday market. People from the Bai and Yi ethnic minority groups come down from their mountain villages to trade goods. Some came on foot or motorbike; others piled out of the back of small trucks or public vans. 

Both tropical and temperate produce tempted the eyes. Buyers had an overwhelming variety of mushrooms from which to choose. Local honey, hand-made rope, and cow bells competed for space with lightbulbs, traditional and machine-made clothing. Women carried woven baskets on their backs, while others hauled slaughtered pigs in a wheelbarrow. Emanating from a small radio, "Gangnam Style" competed for attention over the exchange of commerce and gossip.
Pork, including the snout, offered by a vendor
Care for a couple of eggs or a dozen?

No comments: