- MEDIA CENTER
Homewares made by the Dong women add local comfort to the Well House, a boutique hotel in the village designed by Chou's team.[Photo provided to China Daily]
"Through the project, I hope that a sustainable business model can be created to empower the local women," she says.
Nestled among karst mountains, rice terraces, and wooded hillsides, Dali village has a Dong population of more than 1,000, with a history that can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Although many young people have left the village to work or study in big cities due to the country's fast urbanization, the villagers who remain still live by the same traditions as their forebears did for hundreds of years, planting rice and vegetables, building wooden houses and making cloth by hand.
Influences from the outside world have made their presence felt, but generally villagers have retained their self-sufficient lifestyle.
"It seems that we are trying to empower the women here, but their sustainable way of living is a lesson that we can learn from them," Chou says.