The Dulong people are a minority group in China who live in a historically inaccessible area in the Yunnan Province. (A highway built in late 1999 now makes it reachable to the outside world.) It was a tradition for Dulong girls to get a face tattoo when they began puberty, a tradition called “Hua Lian” (“painting the face”) or “Wen Mian” (“tattooing the face").

In the areas along the upper and middle reaches of the Dulong River, the tattoos were a complex pattern of connecting diamonds down the bridge of the nose and across the cheeks and mouth. In the lower reaches, the designs were much simpler. All tattoos were butterfly shaped as they believed that the dead turned into butterflies when they passed. How the Dulong tradition began is unknown. Some speculate that it was so that Dulong women were less attractive as slaves, as Tibetan landlords used to demand families who could not pay taxes would pay in daughters instead.

Unfortunately, the tradition is dying. It almost completely ended after 1949 and the founding of the communist state. Today, there are fewer than 30 women alive with traditional Dulong tattoos.

  Autochrome of Janet and Iris Laing at their family's home in Oxford, England, circa 1908. Photograph was taken by the best-named woman ever, Etheldreda Laing.

Figure of a Standing Beauty

  This lovely lady was crafted between 1670 and 1690 in Japan. She is dressed in a fashionable outfit of the day; she is draped in several layers of kimono, which are belted at the waist with a black obi. Her face has a jovial expression. While one foot is slightly revealed at the hem of her garment, her hands are held demurely by her body. Depictions of such bijin, or beautiful ladies, were becoming popular in Japan at this time in the newly budding art form of ukiyo-e, or "pictures of the floating world." The leaders in fashion were typically residents of the pleasure districts. So beautiful figures such as this were often styled based on them.

At its height in 1803, the British East India Company had a private army of about 260,000 men. That was twice the size of the British Army at the time.

New Discovery In Saudi Arabia May Change Out-Of-Africa Timeline

A finger bone from the Al Wusta site in the Nefud Desert of Saudi Arabia is once again changing how we think about the human migration out of Africa. The finger bone dates to 85,000 to 90,000 years ago. That makes it the oldest homo sapiens fossil ever found outside of Africa and the Levant. Before the discovery of the finger bone, it was believed that humans migrated out of those areas about 60,000 years ago. The new discovery suggests it may have happened earlier.

In Chinese superstition, a chestnut dangling from a branch provokes fear. The character for "lì" means both "chestnut" and "afraid, trembling."

Where Are Venezualans Seeking Refuge?

In the past 3 years, it is estimated that 10% of Venezuelans have left the country. Though "fled" might be a better descriptor. Here is a map showing where they went.

Aftershocks from Hawaii Island's largest earthquake, in 1868, continue to the present day. It was estimated to be a 7.9 on the Richter scale and the earthquake and resulting tsunami caused 77 deaths.

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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