The Ming Fort — Longli Fort Eco-museum (photo book)  

Four eco-ecomusems were built in Guizhou under the Sino-Norwegian joint cultural project.Three eco-museums established in Shuoga, Zhenshan and Tangan represent Miao, Bo-i and Dong cultures respectively. While the fourth one in Longli tells of the story of how a handful of Han soldiers and their families in a distant military fort established themselves among the ethnic minorities. They became the "inorities" among the minorities.

The Longli Fort Eco-museum is located in Longli, 52 km from Jinping County of Guizhou. The 600-year old fort still preserves the basic framework of the military fort. The fortification, the fort entrances, the local school, the ancestral temples, water wells, stone monuments etc stand testimony to more than 600 years of history. Han traditions like dragon dance, Han operas, story-telling etc from Central China are kept intact and are still very much part of the lives of Longlii people today.

The fortification of Longli started as early as A.D. 1386, soldiers and their families were sent there subsequently to maintain peace and order against local minorities "ebels" Accordingly to local records, 360 soldiers and 13 officers were sent in the beginning, and they were ordered to station there permanently: No one is allowed to leave the locality and return without permission, and their sons and grandsons will take up their roles perpetually. Later, the Qing dynasty adopted the same policy.

Today, Han traditions are still being observed and maintained by the people living in Longli Fort, and they rarely inter-marry with the neighboring minorities. The place is now a part of the Autonomous Region of the Miao and Dong in South-East Guizhou, but still the people of Longli seem to resist any acculturation with their neighbors and stick steadfastly to their Han traditions.


隆里古城生態博物館位於貴州省錦屏縣城52公里的隆里鎮。具有600多年歷史的隆里古城,至今依然保留著完好的明代軍事屯堡街巷格局和軍事防禦特徵。古城牆、城門、書院、宗祠、民居、古井、碑刻等,記錄著幾百年滄桑歷史和文化記憶。舞龍、唱漢戲、玩故事等傳統活動是中原文化在這個邊遠少數民族地區 "漢城"中的歷史遺存。



The series of photo-books -----"Sino-Norwegian Eco-museums in Guizhou ?

is produced by the Western China Cultural Ecology Research Workshop.

< The Ming Fort---- Longli Fort Eco-museum > is the first of the series. The book comprises three sections: the natural landscape, tangible cultural heritage and the intangible cultural heritage. Photos were chosen from materials collected and produced during many study tours and visits conducted by the Research Workshop in the past 2 to 3 years. Therefore, this photo-book is only partially captures the cultural landscape of the Longli Fort and we hope that this can serve as a starting point for more publications to come.

Everywhere in China, local officials are extracting tourism resources. This ancient Fort --a living fossil-- is going to attract attention. Against this shockwave of "ourism Fever" how should we protect and preserve our cultural heritage? How should visitors and tourists encounter these sites with respect? What should be done to make cultural tourism sustainable? We just hope that more people treasure and cherish this cultural heritage that have been crystallized through hundreds of years of memories.




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