Lijiang

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Lijiang Old Town

The whole of Lijiang County has been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site.  The town with it's 750 years of history is lucky to be here, in 1996 a massive earthquake devastated many surrounding villages and parts of the new town.  The old town with it's traditional buildings remained largely undamaged

 
Although we know it as Lijiang, the town is officially called Dayan, literally 'Great Inkblot', named for it's 'location on a rich plain surrounded by mountains' or for the grey tiled roofs, depending on which guide book you believe
 

 

 

The Naxi were traditionally matrilineal with property being handed down through the female line.  Open marriage was common with both partners remaining in their respective homes.   Any children born to the union belonged to the woman  and child support from the father ended with the relationship
 
 

Streams from Black Dragon Pool wend around the town, willows shade the paths

 
Strict rules govern the use of the waterways.  The uppermost parts are used only for drinking, the middle for washing rice and vegetables

          The lower part, for the washing of clothes

Market Square By Day

Naxi women set up their market stalls early in the morning.   At night music, laughter and dancing replace the stalls

 
When women's feet were bound the only way for them to have a new pair of cotton shoes was to make them herself.   The practice ended in 1912.  Elderly Naxi women wear their traditional dress,  a blue or grey shirt with black or blue skirt or pants and apron, with a blue, black or grey cap
   

 

Miao family, one of Yunnan's 24 recognized minority groups?  We thought so, until we spotted the rental shop around the corner

                             Market Square by Night

 

A Dongba (Naxi shaman) demonstrates the unique 1000 year old Naxi pictographic script 

 

Naxi orchestra

While the women take care of business the men are the keepers of the musical tradition.   Many of these instruments spent decades under the earth, hidden during the Cultural Revolution

 
 

As well as Taoist temple and ancient Han music there is song and dance

We were struck by similarities to North American Indian culture

Hei Long Tan  Park
On the edge of the old town is one of the most famous views in all of China.   With Black Dragon Pool in the foreground, the white marble bridge to Wufeng Temple and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain as the backdrop

   
Views from the Ming Dynasty Wufeng Temple early in the morning

   
Naxi women wile away a Sunday afternoon listening to a concert

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The girls preferring the tea tasting ceremony in the park tea house

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