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Yunnan folk house (2) Dai people: Bamboo houses show living wisdom

Updated:2018-06-28 18:44:16   Yunnan Gateway

The Dai people live in stilt bamboo houses. About 28km away from government seat of Jinghong City in south Yunnan are five Dai villages of the Xishuangbanna Dai Park scenic area, namely Manjiang, Manchunman, Manting, Manzha, and Manga. Each of these names refers to different positive connotations. For example, Manchunman and Manting mean “garden” and “royal garden” respectively.

In the Dai Park which is very popular among tourists, bamboo houses and Buddhist temples and pagodas nestled among the verdant tropical trees. The view is just like a scroll of beautiful painting. 

The Dai people build the stilt bamboo houses in order to cope with the local ecological environment of hot, humid, and rainy jungles. The upper floor is for the living, while the lower is used to raise livestock and keep tools. The whole structure is lofty, with its bamboo or wooden walls and floors, which help keep the room dry and cool.

A large courtyard is attached to every bamboo house and is fenced by neat and shapely bamboo. As a whole, a bamboo house is like a garden with its fecund and interspersed flowers and fruits. The flourishing green vegetation plays a part in preventing moisture and heat, hence creating an extremely comfortable living space for Dai people in the tropical and subtropical regions.

Dai people are very hospitable. If you walk into a bamboo house, they will treat you with their liquors and delicacies. The décor of their houses and their temperament are fully presented right before your eyes through the food and drink.

The Buddhist temple is also a major feature of a Dai-inhabiting area. Most of them are floor-stand architectures with double eaves, multiple slopes, and flat tiles. Their roofs can be divided into two-section, three-section and five-section roofs in the longitudinal direction, with the highest in the middle, presenting a majestic covering with beautiful inclines and declines.

(Text and photos by Liu Jiatong from Daguan Weekly)

Keywords:   Dai people Bamboo house