Dixi or 'Ground Opera' is one of the oldest forms of Chinese opera. It is still performed today in the Tunpu and other villages in Guizhou. The operas recreate ancient Chinese military tales from the Three Kingdoms period (220-265) and the Shui (581-618) and Tang (618-907) dynasties. The performers cover their faces with a black muslin veil, and wear masks on their forehead representing faces associated with the military stories which are always the subject of the operas. Actors are amateurs, and villagers come and go as the performance proceeds and the atmosphere is relaxed and informal. The center actor in the picture seems to be wearing modern sports shoes with his opera costume!