Stone Forest-Kunming

                                 The Stone Forest-Kunming

        

The Stone Forest is about 80 miles to the southeast of Kunming. A geological phenomenon, the Stone Forest was a vast expanse of sea during the Paleozoic era about 270 million years ago. Later,the movement of tectonic plates altered the earth’s crust, causing the sea to recede and its limestone bottom to appear, thereby forming land.Due to the constant seeping ofrain through the cracks in the limestone, some of the stone formation dissolved and the fissures broadened, producing a group of great sculptures of different shapes, all molded by nature.

The splendor of the Stone Forest is enhanced by the local customs of the native Sani people (who are part of the Yi minority). Sani people are industrious and hospitable——and unconstrained. Sani women are expert at spinning, weaving, and embroidering. They like to wear rainbow-colored headgear and bright-colored dresses. The young people especially are very good singers and dancers. Every day at sunset, under the moonlight, boys and girls gather at the village platform. While the boys play the three-stringed plucked instruments, the girls clap their hands and dance the strong-rhythmed traditional A’Xi (Ah-shi) Dance in the Moon with great enthusiasm. If you happen to witness the event, you will be invited to join in the festivity.
on June 24th every lunar year, the Sani people celebrate their national festival——the Torch Festival. On that day, the entire Stone Forest is permeated with a celebratory atmosphere. There are traditional performances of wrestling and bull-fighting. Finally, when the land is enveloped in the curtain of night, the young men (holding torches in their hands) run after the young women to propose marriage in the light of colored lanterns.

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