China’s ‘dwarf empire’
By, Published: 2015-10-26 10:20:08
A group of dwarves perform for visitors. The park was founded by a Sichuan Province businessman who was determined to provide employment opportunities for little people. Ages of employees at the park range from 18 to nearly 50.
Editor's Note:
In the outskirts of Kunming, Yunnan Province lies a small empire. Created in 2009, “The Dwarf Empire” – known officially as The World Eco Garden of Butterflies and the Dwarf Empire - is a theme park where more than 100 dwarves live and work, performing dance routines and other numbers for tourists while dressed in elaborate costumes. Many of the employees regard the park as a refuge from the discrimination they’ve encountered in the outside world. Photos: CFP

Park employees take a break after a performance. Held twice daily, the performances include song, dance and skits.
A park employee prepares for his next performance in one of the park’s structures. Each employee plays a different role in the empire, such as emperor, magician, and balladeer.
Five women dance to a Moroccan tune during a performance for tourists.
Pictured is one of the park’s rides.
A park employee ends her work day. The park pays a salary comparable to that of a professor at a local university, media reported.
Three women at the park knit handicrafts to earn extra income. For most of the employees, the park is not only a place to work, but also a place to call home.
After a day of performances, park employees return to their dorms to relax.
Park employees play basketball after work.
Some employees have married after working together at the park.
Employees prepare and share meals together.