By Xing Ruan
Deals an architectural research of equipped types and development kinds of the minority teams in southern China and of the Dong nationality particularly.
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Additional resources for Allegorical Architecture: Living Myth and Architectonics in Southern China
Another proposition of migration contends that the Dong are from Jianfu in Jiangxi province. This migration story is quite popular in the Dong area, particularly in Liping, Congjiang, and Sanjiang. The Dong with family names of Yang, Wu, Shi, Lu, Li, and Ou usually believe that their ancestors came from Jianfu and that they were Han. This surely is not coincidental with the interpretation in the Republican period (1912–1949) that treated the Dong as living but ancient Han. Historical records are dug out to support this argument.
Indd 20 Allegorical Architecture 10/2/06 1:27:27 PM the pile-built houses, bronze drums, chicken divination, and young married women not living at their husbands’ homes. 4 In the local dialect the Dong name is pronounced “Qian,” Guizhou’s ancient name; they even have the same meaning (a place enclosed by tree branches). 4 The Dong have been living in the cross-border area of Hunan, Guizhou, and Guangxi for thousands of years. Their language, social structure, and customs are very stable, and there are no historical records of migrations caused by wars or natural disasters.
For this reason, some fir trees hundreds of years old have survived and not been cut. It is believed that disaster is sure to follow if people trespass against these beliefs. An architectonic analogy—that of an umbrella—has been derived from the fir tree. A village needs an “umbrella” to cast shade for the comfort of its people. The drum tower, a dominant multistoried structure, certainly has the capacity to protect villagers and cast shade for them. 4). When a drum tower is burnt down or destroyed by accident, the Dong erect the trunk of a fir tree on the site of the drum tower as a temporary replacement before the new one is built.
Allegorical Architecture: Living Myth and Architectonics in Southern China by Xing Ruan