By Xing Ruan
Deals an architectural research of outfitted varieties and construction sorts of the minority teams in southern China and of the Dong nationality particularly.
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Additional info for Allegorical Architecture: Living Myth and Architectonics in Southern China
This regional and historical remoteness allowed, and still allows, the Dong to culturally identify themselves in a number of respects. Dwellings, and settlements in particular, are among the most decisive means of creating a cultural ethnicity. Dwelling, therefore, forms a critical part of Dong habitus, allowing them to strategically react to the political and historical fabrications imposed by the Han. Despite the diverse and rugged topography of the region, the Dong only locate themselves in the mountain river valleys.
The nonphysical form is the so-called oral tablet—a customary law made up as chants for the public to recite. Even so, a large piece of stone, called jinl bial, has to be set up as a physical empowerment of this law. 3 Stone tablet of customary law at the gate of Xindi village in the Congjiang region, Guizhou province. ” The use of simplified Chinese characters and poor calligraphy indicate that this stone tablet was erected not long before my fieldwork in 1993. Source: Photograph by Xing Ruan, 1993.
This map shows their distribution in the main regions and counties of this cross-border area. The Dong are intermingled with the Han and other minority groups, mainly the Miao and the Zhuang. The shaded areas show the concentrations of Dong populations in this region. The main areas of my fieldwork include Kaili, Rongjiang, Congjiang, and Sanjiang. Source: Drawn by Xing Ruan. Opposite: The topography in the Sanjiang area showing mountain river valleys as a distinctive feature of the Dong habitat.
Allegorical Architecture: Living Myth and Architectonics in Southern China by Xing Ruan