China's ancient villages are disappearing

When in perhaps the world is the earliest village born without knowing where to begin researches, even, the city had already vanished, but the peripheral village has actually continued is multiplying, Lingnan's minister gang ancient village, Beijing suburbs Miaofeng under foot's cherry village, Mentougou District monastery town armed forces sound township ancient village Lingshui Village, under Bai Yucun, Cuan village ......For several hundred years do not have what big change, the plain mellow local custom public sentiment, the lonesome and quiet clear mi mountain scenery cloud, forms the very unique humanities landscape.

Observes us to see today carefully the ancient village, will discover, many villages took advantage of a situation according to the mountain, along with the slope fluctuation, suitable Shi Zeshi, the Yiwa tile, the village site not only to conform to the Chinese ancient times's geomancy view, also the agreeing without consultation modern housing theory regarding the geography, the hydrology, the climate quality synthetic evaluation, many villages, water of the cap and sash, circled the village, the abundance of sunshine, the scenery melted, the soil texture was fertile, although underwent for several hundred years, the pattern does not have the big change. Therefore, the historical prolonged village, can continue the present, is one kind of coincidence not completely. patriarchal clan blood relationship maintenance. Many village's existences and the development often are a patriarchal clan's history, the village also maintain because of the patriarchal clan blood relationship maintenance. In these villages takes seriously to set up the genealogy, the genealogy, to decide clan regulations, sacrifice ancestral grave and so on, increases the patriarchal clans the cohesive force, in order to the consanguineous weal and woe, advances the homeland by the intense family and the provincialism the construction and the development. In the village constructs the ancestor hall and so on facility, writes village's history and the rank order in above, many research workers are precisely through study these ranks to calculate the village the population vicissitude situation. The patriarchal clan blood relationship relates closely, the village development is also stabler. The modern society life idea patriarchal clan relation tends loose, the ancient village also gradually moves toward the disintegration.

Obviously, these preserved relatively complete ancient village, is similar to inscribes massive social and the cultural mark precious fossil, contains richly information, not only to architecture, moreover to the sociology, the ethnology, the anthropology has the important value. last century the 20s-30s started, has experienced an urban reconstruction stage in the Western society, was called the urban beautification movement, all cities by the big street, the big square are being flooded, the construction was also stereotyped, between the city and the city has not distinguished nearly, lacks the proper characteristic and the recognition, became the world urban development a disaster. Some time past, heard that the Miaofeng under foot's cherry village is doing the repair, does the beautification, these have several hundred year historical house nearly danger. Perhaps, the socialism new rural reconstruction's original intention is good, but in reality, does not distinguish the place, old, the old village tears down blindly or puts on modern, the beautified coat, that could not want to be very long, withering away was not only several villages, but forever will not reappear one culture, but could arouse us only to this cultural memory, perhaps only then "Old House".

Photo credits: Shansekala.


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April 12, 2008


thanks a lot !

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