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Taoping Qiang Village

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Taoping Qiang Village Introduction

Taoping Qiang Village is located in Aba Autonomous Prefecture, 158 kilometers from Chengdu. Founded in 111 BC, this village owns a long history of more than 2000 years and is called the "living fossil" of ancient buildings. Facing water with mountains surrounded, it has been an important fortress and defense powerhouse since the Han Dynasty. Most of the houses in the village are made of stones and connect with each other by crisscrossed paths and roads, which makes the village more cryptic. in order to effectively utilize the space, people will keep the space for beam aperture for their neighbors beforehand when building the house. The typical Qiang building normally has three to five stories. The first floor is used to raise livestock, the middle floors are used for kitchen and living space, and the top floor is used for storing crops and raffle. The roof stretches out as a sunning surface for drying crops.

Taoping Qiang Village

 In the village, there are many blockhouses standing high to the sky. They are made of stones and earth with multiple sides-pentagonal, hexagonal, heptagonal and octagonal shapes. The battle blockhouse is designed for real military operations. There are windows on the four sides of each floor. The "Zhongkong" on the top floor is used for sending out smoke signals warning the villagers to prepare for battle immediately. There are two best reserved nine-floor blockhouses which are about 30 meters high. One is the residential house, and the other is on the riverside on the opposite side of the village, guarding the people in the village year after the year.

 

Taoping Qiang Village

In the traditional ancient city, there are usually four doors in the four directions of east, west, south and north. However, it is different in Taoping Qiang Village. With the highest blockhouse in the center, the village has eight entrances connecting with 13 channels. In the building walls, there are underground passages like spider web. Only people in the village can come and go freely. For the outsiders, it's like entering a maze without the leadership of the village people.

Taoping Qiang Village

Another amazing facility in the village is the great underground water network. There are hidden canals in front of almost every household. For strangers, they can hear the sound of running water, but can't find where the water is. Making good use of the slope of the mountains, the Qiang people have dug an underground ditch that leads to every household. The ditch is lined and covered with greenish stone slabs. Spring water flows through the ditch from the mountaintop to every household in the village so that the people can fetch water indoors. Because of the water supply system, they were not afraid of being surrounded by enemy forces in time of war. Besides, this water network served as a perfect fire-fighting facility and climate regulating facility for the village.

Taoping Qiang Village

Residents in Taoping Qiang Village still retain the traditional lifestyle. The "Memorial Ceremony for Mountain" and "Qiang Annual Meeting" in each spring and autumn are the grand festivals for local people. All the villagers will wear festival costumes, singing and dancing, to celebrate the festival.