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[Notice: All images on this site are (c) Copyright Saundra Sturdevant, 2002]


Hainan China: The Potter and Her Village.
A woman, a working artist, with quick wit and direct language, a Li minority woman is The Potter. The village is small and somewhat isolated. Still, remnants of political movements of the Mao years remain. The fellow in his doorway continues to be proud of the Mao's image set in the burst of the sun's rays. xiang, the last character in the phrase, Mao Ze-Dong thought (Mao Ze-dong si-xiang)is below the image.
Hainan China: On the Water
Hainan is rich in old growth forests. Since the mid-1980s, markets for lumber have expanded. Here we see basic machinery that dates from the Socialist Era, when local self-sufficiency was one of the highest announced values.
Hainan China: San-yueh-san
This is a yearly time where betrothed couples meet, share and umbrella and sweets. It is a time when boys climb trees to get a better view of the dancing. And because they are boys and like to annoy each other. And for the young girls, with the sweet hand-embroidered flowers on the jackets, it is a time to enjoy local treats. Parents are present but very much in the background, talking, and looking after younger children. They are also busy making mental notes for furture reference on the temper (pi-chi) of possible mates for their children.
Hainan China: Forest-Lumber
Hainan China: Ramadan

About The Hainan Photos

Hainan is China's newest province, having been separated from the provincial authority of Guangdong in the mid-1980s. It is an island north and west of Hong Kong, off the coast of Guizhou Province. Historically, peoples of Malay extraction, the Miao, Zhuang and Li have populated Hainan. The migration route from Thailand, Malaysia to the Philippines, Indonesia and beyond flows through Hainan Island. A sizeable community of Hui (Muslim) peoples also lives on Hainan. Their roots go back some 2,500 years. Recent years have seen increased migrations of Han Chinese from the mainland and now Hainan, like every other originally minority area of China, has a majority of Han Chinese residents. Hainan is blessed with a number of natural mineral resources, old growth forests, coconut, copra, medicinal and edible plants, an extensive local fishing industry and, as current Chinese literature will tell you, beaches like Hawaii. Oil is plentiful offshore.It is the provincial status and the categorizing of most of Hainan as viable export processing zones that occasioned the increased influx of Han Chinese and other foreigners to Hainan. Sprawling cities with high-rise and hotel construction are to facilitate the transformation of Hainan into a viable set of export processing zones with the most liberal regulations in China. Developing these zones have brought disruption to traditional societies and structures with resultant social and economic concerns.At the southern tip of Hainan, on the China Sea, is Sanya, the headquarters of the Chinese Navy for that area. Many nations in the region lay claim to the considerable deposits of deep-sea oil, found off the islands to the east of Vietnam and north of The Philippines. Perhaps one of their main missions of the navy headquartered at Sanya is to secure this sea and its oil for China.The nature of Hainan society is rapidly changing. These photographs reflect some aspects of traditional societies of Hainan. A companion work would be Hainan in its modernization phase.

Copyright @ 2018 Saundra Sturdevant Photography