Original winnowing pan paintings by Chinese Bouyei ethnic group


Usually winnowing pans are used to separate grains, corns off their chafes or to hold dried vegetable, dried fish and the like for airing purpose. But in a rural small village called Du Zai (渡寨) in Guiyang City, Guizhou Province, people add a little artistic touch to this plain bamboo tool. To them, winnowing pans are best framed canvas on which they translate their love and passion for life into vibrant arts.

VLUU L310W L313 M310W / Samsung L310W L313 M310W

With only 82 households, approximately 300 residences, the village is named Chinese Bouyei Historical Culture Village in recognition of their efforts in protecting and flourishing their unique Bouyei ethnic culture.


“Villagers are inspired by Bouyei ethnic customs, myths, working life and enthusiasm for new life. None of those folk artists have officially received any systematic art education or training. They paint at hunch with their own experiences and understanding of country life.” says Guiyang City’s government website.

“The little winnowing pans holds history, things in the universe: animals, ghosts and gods with their exaggerated  mouths and noses in the forms of giant trees or ocean, their eyes as the sun, the moon, birds or even fish.”

Du Zai folk artists are fond of  bright palate, they favorite red, yellow, blue, green and black in their winnowing pan paintings to build up the strong visual effect and convey their passion.

Take a glance at Du Zai’s wonderful winnowing pan paintings. Photos courtesy of Lin Qiuping.


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  1. “Winnowing the chaff” is a common expression in english. Figuratively, it means seperating the good from the bad, to free of unwanted or inferior elements, or to make a clear distinction between winners and losers. Hence the art of winnowing is a basic skill to enhance quality in all aspects of life.

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