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Yunnan folk house (3) Naxi people: A blend of various architectural styles

Updated:2018-07-04 18:27:55   Yunnan Gateway

Lijiang has been a settlement of Naxi ethnic group since late Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). At that time, the ruling Mu clan moved its political center from Baisha to the foot of Shizi Mountain where Dayan Town (now also called Lijiang old town) was built. After thousands of years, the famed indigenous buildings in Dayan have now blended various architectural styles from multiple local ethnic groups.

Without the influences from central-plain architecture styles, the late ruling family’s buildings in Lijing differ significantly from any royal dwellings in China. Lijiang old town sits at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain with no defensive walls. Snow in the mountain melts and flows into the rivers where the old town was built next to. There is even a local saying: where there is a river, there is a street. Building their houses beside the rivers, local residents can use the water for laundry and farming, and adopt water power in stone mills. And a wide range of water supply systems are formed in Lijiang. 

In order to connect different streets and buildings, more than 300 stone and wood bridges were built in the old town. The Dashiqiao Bridge, built by Mu chieftain during the Ming Dynasty(1368-1644), is also called Yingxue (“reflecting snow”) Bridge because the river under the bridge reflects the view of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Paved with traditional blue stones, the bridge takes on an illuminating glow.

(By Cai Wenhui, Edited by Zhang Rui of Daguan Weekly)

Keywords:   house Naxi people