By Xing Ruan
Bargains 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
C u lt u ral L i fe an d A r c h i te c tu r e Dong architecture is built with China fir, a tree that they call shan, or sha. The Dong are believed to have had a long history of planting and cultivating China fir. The Dong region is also one of the best-known forest zones in China. China fir has many species. indd 26 Allegorical Architecture 10/2/06 1:27:30 PM China fir,” a species that matures in about eighteen years. The Dong usually plant a number of these trees when they have a newborn child.
But the historical and political fabrications of the Dong have been materialized, indirectly and yet intricately, through architecture, which is instrumentally empowering in the life of the Dong. Since architecture is not a text, meanings are transmitted through a nonlinguistic but allegorical manner. The distinctive workings of architecture are most evident in the case of the Dong among other nonliterate minority groups in southern China, which indeed is an architecture-based culture. An Architecture-Based Culture Although the Dong continue to display richness in their material culture, they do share many cultural aYnities with other minority groups and with the Han.
A Dong village is typically composed of some public structures, housing, rice storage, and a graveyard. Public structures include Sax altars, or shrines, the drum tower, the opera stage, and the wind-and-rain bridges. 2 Zuolong village of the Sanjiang region in Guangxi province showing flat rice paddies along the river as well as housing and drum towers on one side of the river valley, all built on mountainous terrain. Source: Photograph by Xing Ruan, 1992. are all delegated with their own role and place in the Dong’s daily routines and seasonal festive activities, and they work together to make legible a Dong architectural narrative.
Allegorical Architecture: Living Myth and Architectonics in Southern China by Xing Ruan