Huangluo Yao is a small village located on a 2-hour drive from Guilin, in Southwest region of China. At a first glance it can look like a thousand other villages spread across the entire country. However, Huangluo Yao village is different. It is home to one of the most famous, indigenous communities in China, known simply as Yao. The history and the origin of this ethnic tribe is believed to be over 2,000 years old.
So what is the Yao community so famous for? It’s famous for its women who cut their hair… only once in their lifetimes! They cut it when they reach adulthood, at the age of 18, and they never touch it again. The longest hair length that has been recorded in the history of this tribe – was 2 meters (around 7 feet). And the average length of its ladies’ hair is between 1,5-1,7 meters.
At this point you might be wondering – how do these women keep their hair healthy and clean? Well, they do share a secret ancient recipe to keep their hair not only healthy but also shiny, as if they were print-models for Pantene or L’Oreal brands. Obviously, they will not give out the complete recipe to outsiders, though when asked – they do mention that they wash their hair exclusively with rice water.
Well – now you know where the story behind the famous Disney character, Rapunzel, comes from! The Yao community has also been added to the Guinness World Record due to this awesome tradition.
Lastly, if you do make it to this beautiful village – make sure to watch the amazing local performance by the Yao women. The quick 30-minute show includes dancing and singing, as well as ‘hair demonstrations’. You will learn, among other interesting things, that the women wear only three common hairstyles – one as a young, unmarried lady, another one as a married lady, and a third one when the lady has a baby.
– The Village –
– The Yao Women –
All Photo Copyrights © Daria Silter