Xianrendong Village in Puzhehei, Wenshan

Why is Xianrendong Village So Special?

Xianrendong Village仙人洞村 is a picturesque fairyland in Qiubei County, Southeast of Yunnan included in Puzhehei Scenic Area. It’s a typical Sani撒尼 village with limpid lakes and lush vegetation. “Puzhehei普者黑” is a word from the Yi language which means “a place abundant in fish and shrimps”. The Sani people there claim themselves “Sanipo撒尼人”. They believe they are the descendants of the Sani People who fled from Stone Forest area to Qiubei丘北 Area 400 years ago. The entire village is made up of 173 families or more than 800 villagers. They are Sani people, a branch of the Yi Minority.

Features of Xianrendong Village

As the first ethnic cultural ecological demonstration village in Yunnan province, Xianrendong Village仙人洞村 is mainly responsible for the protection and development of ethnic culture, the improvement of ethnic quality, the cultivation of ethnic culture pillar industries, the injection of new vitality to the tourism industry, making it a major influence within and outside the province and a base and window for world cultural exchanges.

Xianrendong village is an ancient village, which is back against green mountain. Xianren Lake仙人湖 surrounds the village, green like jade, reflecting beautiful isolated peak and primitive dwelling. Rich fish and shrimps swim in the water, water plants swing with the waves. In midsummer, thousand mu of wild lotus are in blossom, blowing in the wind. In the lakeside, there are ten thousand farmland with dark green waves. This is the true life of Sani People撒尼人. They make living by water, work at sunrise, rest at sunset, plant rice seedlings, fish, catch the shrimps, pick lotus seeds, all at ease.

When visitors enter the Yi culture ecological village, they can enjoy the original and authentic ethnic songs and dances, stone worship culture, ethnic customs, ethnic food, ethnic housing, ethnic sacrifice, ethnic sports, and ethnic handicrafts, etc.

Whoever visitors enter the village, Sani people will always give you a bright smiling face. They will treat you the clean and sweet water and ask whether visitors would like to have a try for their bamboo water pipes. They will also warmly introduce you to their customs their legendary stories. If you are interested enough to hear their music, they can also sing accompanied with their unique three-string instrument. They will sing the popular narrative poem, Escape to the Sweet Spot.

Religious Beliefs and Festivals

As other minorities do in Yunnan Province, Sani people believe in animism which makes their traditional festivals mysteriously link to gods and the nature. They deem themselves a nationality that was gave birth by trees. That’s probably why a huge sacred tree is enshrined as the Dragon Tree during their annual Mizhi Festival密枝节. The villagers living in Xianrendong Village are simple, honest and unspoiled. Sani people regulate people’s behavior mainly through the ancient religious activities such as Mizhi festival, a sacrifice to the sacred Dragon Tree.

Hualian Festival花脸节, is a traditional festival of Sani People in Puzhehei or Xianrendong Village. It’s extremely popular and preferred by the young people. During the festival, lard and chimney soot are mixed into paste to be smeared by people to make fun.

The Bimo culture毕摩文化 of Yi minority is extensive and profound. Bimo毕摩 is an intellectual of the Yi minority, who has created the Yi minority scripture. The scriptures of Yi people are important tools for the practice of religious activities. Perhaps because of the escape, the Yi people’s scriptures of Xianrendong Village have been lost, and their classics are handed down by chanting from generations to generations. They believed that if there was no scripture, there would be no communication between man and god, and religious activities would not be carried out.

About Sani People

Women in Xianrendong Village love to wear ethnic costumes. They are able to spin their own threads, and all of them are good at needlework. Their clothes are not the same as those Sani families in Shilin area. The “high mountain and flowing water” picture on their headdress seems like the beautiful and colorful butterfly. The women here have to change their beautifully embroidered flower sashes seven times in their lifetime. There is a bright red embroidered ball hanging on the belt, which is really brilliant.

Sani people撒尼人 can sing and dance well. At the tourist season, the villagers will be divided into four teams to perform excellent show for the visitors every night. They dance enthusiastically, in addition to the three-stringed dance we know, there are a lot of folk dances.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Xianrendong Village is from May to October, and especially in July and August. May to October is on season. At that time, the lotus flowers are in full blossom. And the local “Painted Face Festival(Hualian Festival)”, the local busiest and happiest festival, usually celebrates around July 18, lasting for about one month.

Accommodation and Transportation

Xiangrendong Village is in Puzhehei Scenic Area, therefore, for transportation and accommodation, you can refer to Puzhehei Scenic Area

Useful Travel Tips

1. Learn something about Sani people and Yi Minority in advance.

2. After arriving at Puzhehei Scenic Area, there are battery cars, bicycles, sightseeing carriage and boats you can choose to the place you want.

3. The local torch festival is around the 6th lunar month and Hualian festival(Painted Face Festival) is about the 2nd lunar month. If you travel in Puzhehei during the festival, you will have a chance to experience the festival party.

4. The landscapes in Puzhehei are intriguing too. There are limpid lakes, countless green hills, flourishing lotus flowers and small villages side by side. 

Tour Including Puzhehei Scenic Area

6 Days Yunnan Ancient Villages Tour with Puzhehei Scenic Area and Bamei Xanadu Village

3 Days Puzhehei Lotus Flowers Tour and Bamei Xanadu Discovery By Speed Train(June,July,August)

3 Days Yi Ethnic Minority’s Hualian Festival Tour Held in Puzhehei

8 Days Yunnan-Guizhou Karst Landform Tour and Ethnic Minorities Discovery