dsc_0922-11The childhood shows the man, as morning shows the day. ~ John Milton

A young boy sits on the concrete pavement in the public square in central Xuelin. In the background, rice, millet, and other grain are spread out to dry on stiff, flat, handwoven straw mats and filled into large, plastic storage sacks for processing and handling.

Xuelin Wa Autonomous Township in Lancang Lahu Autonomous County, Yunnan Province, looks and feels as though it has stood still in time. It is a study in contrast between new and old, rich and poor, past and present, mainstream and alternative, majority and minority, and other more stark and subtle societal divisions that seemingly only years of turmoil and destruction followed by a frenetic race to modernize and develop could possibly embody. As such, Xuelin is a microcosm of the dynamics of change that envelope China.