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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

The elderly Naxi woman above was making a pair of cotton shoes.   She wears 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 the 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
The girls preferred the tea tasting ceremony at a tea house in the park 
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