Pleated Skirt ①

 

Aku Wuwu (1964---   )

Translated by Wen Peihong (1969---   )

 

Too light—

to compare thee to rosy clouds;

too heavy---,

To compare thee to a fall leaf.

Woman of Yi,

knit my steady gaze

into a pleated skirt—

profound as the forest,

a holy paradise for the poultry and beasts,

that the ancestors could never name.

 

Erecting,

you are a waterfall no one can see through

Spreading,

like the ridge way, extending far away.

Woman of Yi,

knit my never rottened soul

into a pleated skirt---

In the pleated life of mine, pick

the last astringent fruit

in this world,

to consecrate to the forefathers.

 

Only a woman,---a woman’s body,

brings you

a purely perfect reincarnation,

Oh, my pleated skirt!

 

 

① Pleated skirt is traditional apparel by women of Yi nationality, who mainly live in the mountainous regions in southwestern China.


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My past work on women and their private lives inspired me to explore fascinating topic: women in today’s China. I wanted to look at the paradox of China as a society in extraordinary transition and yet still deeply embedded in tradition and to see how the communist revolution, with its vision of the nobility of physical labor and emphasis on gender equality, left its mark on women's and personal identity in a changing China. I have focused on women of minorities with an emphasis on the extraordinary situation of Muslim women in China and a unique Chinese ethnic minority living within the boundaries of western China the Mosuo women –one of the last matriarchal societies existing in our world. 


This project divided to 6 series:

Backyard • Muslim women

Factory • Tile Factory women

Street • Shangri-La’s pedestrian women

Lake • Matriarchal society women

Mountain •  Women living by the mountains

Land • Farmers women


for more information and visual on Muslim society

in China please contact mail@lilialmog.com