Women with facial tattoos lead a happy life in NW Yunnan

Lian Zixian is one of the 20 Derung ethnic women with facial tattoos, who live in Dulongjiang Township, northwest Yunnans Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture. 

"Thanks to the preferential national policies, all families enjoy new housing equipped with TV sets and the Internet, said 79-year-old Lian Zixian.Now we no longer worry about food or closing." 

Dulongjiang is settlement of the Derung people in China. Cut off from the outside world, the township was once one of the poorest areas in Yunnan province.

Through joint efforts, the 2,297 impoverished villagers in the township was lifted out of poverty in 2018, and Dulongjiang was removed from the poverty list. In April 2019, the township set up a base station to test the 5G network. 

"In the days gone by, I lived in the mountains, and I didn't have enough to eat or wear," said Li Wenshi, a 76-year-old woman with facial tattoos. Now, Li lives in her new home at the riverside resettlement site, weaving and gardening. 

Her daughter works as a ranger and bee-keeper at the same time. Whenever Li missed his grandson-in-law, she would make a video call on the mobile phone. 

"Were very happy now!" said Tai Cha, another 73-year-old Derung woman with a tattooed face, adding she thanks the government for improving the Derung living environment.

Over the past years, Dulongjiang has also seen booms in industries, aquaculture and workshops for poverty relief. In 2019, the townships per capita net income reached 7,637 yuan.