For over 2,500 years, pony carts have been used in China for transportation of goods. This particular old cart has been “modernized” with inflatable rubber tires. The clay pots have been manufactured in the countryside and are destined for commercial establishments such as restaurants or hotels in the city. The small openings and the size of the jars indicate they are used to store liquids such as soy sauce or cooking oils.
These are the upper rapids of the Jinsha (Golden Sands) River in Yunnan Province before it expands to become the mighty Yangze River. The Yangtze, the Mekong and the Irawaddy Rivers all begin near each other in the melting glaciers of Tibet, but only the Yangtze bends eastward to flow into the Pacific Ocean near Shanghai, while the others irrigate Southeast Asia. The woman with the packhorse is a member of the Naxi minority. In this remote region there were two minorities with lifestyles very distinct from the national majority people, the Han: one group practiced slavery until the late 1950’s. When interviewed, members of this group who were slaves said their greatest goal in life was to themselves own slaves. The other group featured a matriarchal society whereby women headed the household. A daughter who took in a husband under terms that put the husband under the rule of the mother. Women were free to sleep with any number of men until finally selecting one for a lifelong mate. Should children be born of any liaison that child joined the mother’s household and there was no opprobrium attached to the matter.