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In a Naxi Village
By Gregg - 18 Apr, 2000

Page 1 of 4

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We'd just recently arrived in the village and were aimlessly wandering in the old stone alleyways. Baoshan is a remote village nestled amongst steep terraced fields overlooking a deep Yangtze River gorge. Half of the village's 200 families live in the older part of the village°™in homes constructed on a large and sheer stone outcropping. Traditionally, the stone was carved to form benches, beds and stoves inside the homes. Today the stone serves as the steps and alleyways that interconnect the cluster of residences.

We made our way through these alleys falling into step behind an old gentleman. He turned to see who was behind him. Our presence in the village was already widely known. (Evelyn was known as "the girl from America whose parents are from Sichuan and had left for Taiwan during 'liberation'".) The man greeted us warmly and invited us to his home. This is not unusual. The people in Baoshan are Naxi and like village people most everywhere they are quite hospitable.

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We followed Mr. He through a gate and into his courtyard. Homes in Baoshan are constructed and arranged in the traditional fashion. Two buidings corner to corner at a right-angle and two walls (or the back of a neighbor's building) completing the square and forming a courtyard. As much building space is given over to pigs and provisions as for living space. Most activity goes on in the kitchen and outside in the courtyard.

We passed through the courtyard and entered one of the rooms. Our host grabbed a bench for us and sat down on the only other seat in the room°™a low wooden stool. This was Mr. He's room. A simple bed with a thin mattress was in one corner. Beside it a desk topped with a few prized possessions°™an old tube radio, a newer tape player, a thermos for tea water and a couple of tea cups. Looking down on us from the wall over the desk was an idealized portrait of Chairman Mao.



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In a Naxi Village
  A Tepid Return


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