WORLD RURAL LANDSCAPE ATLAS -
HONGHE HANI RICE TERRACES YUANYANG COUNTY, YUNNAN PROVINCE, CHINA
PaRID - Research and International Documentation for Landscape - Dept. of Architecture, Built environment and Construction engineering, POLITECNICO DI MILANO Head: Prof. Lionella Scazzosi WRITTEN BY YUTONG DENG
Abstract: The resilient land management system of the Hani rice terraces demonstrates extraordinary harmony between people and their environment, both culturally and ecologically, based on exceptional and long-standing social and religious structures. Over past 1,300 years, the Hani people have developed a complex system of channels to bring water from the forested mountaintops to the terraces. They have also created an integrated farming system. The inhabitants live in 82 villages situated between the mountaintop forests and the terraces. Key words: Rice Terraces, World Cultural Heritage, Rural Landscape
1.Designation of the UNESCO Property The official name of property is Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces.
2.Location Honghe Hani Rice Terraces is located in Yuanyang County, Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, Peopleâ€™Republic of China. It is marked by spectacular terraces that cascade down the slopes of the towering Ailao Mountains to the banks of the Hong River.
Fig.1 Location (Nomination File, WHC) -1-
3.World Rural Landscape (WRL) Classification This kind of rural landscape is classified as 4.2 â€œAquatic systemâ€? for the presence of rice cultivation associated with fish harvesting.
Fig.2 Scene (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honghe_Hani_Rice_Terraces, Accessed 19 July 2019)
4.History The earliest history book in China-the Classic of History Yu gong, refers to terraces in relation to Hani people, and to them being an independent ethnic group. Based on oral traditions and ethnological research, it is currently considered that the Hani derived from the ancient Diqiang tribe who once lived in Gansu and Qinghai provinces in north-west China. From there, after three main migrations during several hundred years, they settled in Yunnan in the area they inhabit today, in order to keep distance from the persecution of war. A dated well stone in Quanfuzhuang village suggests that by the 9th-10th century at the latest, the Hani people had begun to distribute water to villages and terraces by using water distribution stones.
Fig.3 Migration of Hani People (Information from Nomination File, WHC,Drawing by Yutong Deng, July 2019) -2-
5.Natural and Environment Analysis 5.1 Topographic Features and Climate—An Outstanding Stereoscopic Climate The topography of Yuanyang is characterized by high mountains and deep valleys crisscrossed by gullies and ravines. There is a difference of 13.4°C between the annual average temperature of the river bank area, which is 25°C (highest temperature: 42°C) and that of the highest mountains, which is 11.6°C. One experiences the change from the tropical to the temperate and then to the frigid during a trip from the river bank to the lower mountains, to the higher, and to the highest. As the saying goes, “One mountain is in four seasons at once, and the climate changes every ten li (1li=0.5km)”.
Fig.4 Relationship Between Temperature, Altitude, and Rice Growth (Nomination File, WHC)
5.2 Soil Type Most of the soil is yellow soil and yellow brown soil, with a complete soil profile, and the terraced soil layer is about 1m thick. The land use types are mainly forest land, shrub land, waste grass land, sloping farmland and terrace (water farming). Due to the large difference in altitude, there are 3 types of mountain vertical climate zones, namely tropical zone, subtropical zone and temperate zone. The terrain within the territory is complex and the three-dimensional climate is prominent.
5.3 Hydrology and Hydrography The water system of Yuanyang County, which is dominated by two trunk streams, the Hong River and the Tengtiao River, has 29 tributaries, with a total length of over 700 km. The total volume of water is 2.69 billion m3, with 2.081 billion m3 on the earthâ€™s surface and 609 million m3 underground. The available volume is 147 million m3. These rivers are the origin of all the water sources in Yuanyang. The perennial high temperatures in the low-latitude hot and dry river valleys lead to a huge amount of evaporation of the rivers.
1.Pinghe River 2.Duoyi River 3. Honghe River Fig.5 (http://yy.hhzncp.com;http://www.917ii.com;http://www.baike.com, Accessed 19 July 2019)
Fig.6 Distribution Map of Water System in the Nominated Property and Buffer Zone (Nomination File, WHC) -4-
5.4 Vegetation Types â€“ Natural Forest The vegetation types change according to the vertical distribution. The nominated property is rich in forest resources, which provide favorable conditions for the growth and reproduction of various animals and plants, and also provide rich water sources for terraces.
Fig.7 Trees in Landscape (1.http://m.sohu.com;2.http://www.mafengwo.cn;3.http://www.popo.cn, Accessed 19 July 2019)
Fig.8 Forest Distribution Map (Nomination File, WHC) -5-
6.Rural Activities and Productive Processes Productive activities in Hani Rice Terraces has not changed very much from ancient to current situation, including cultivation, forestry, breeding and irrigation, fertilizer system to support them. People protect and plant the forest area in order to keep their water source; there are two kind of breeding-home breeding and breed fishes/ducks in the water crop fields; one village has a central septic tank to collect fertilizer and distribute them to fields.
Fig.9 Rural Activities and Process (Information offered by Yongcheng Li, Dean of Honghe Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Draw by Yutong Deng, July 2019) -6-
6.1 Cultivation Procedures Taking 1 year as a period, the cultivation is provided with the following procedures: excavating the field preliminarily, digging a ditch, plowing, harrowing, applying fertilizer, scraping the ridges, repairing the ridges, preparing seeds, soaking seeds, drawing off the water, sowing seeds, removing weeds, pulling up seedlings, building a low bank of earth between fields with a shovel, harvesting grains, shouldering grains, thrashing and drying grains, totaling 20 working procedures. Hani people choose different rice varieties and farming methods in different areas according to local conditions and altitude. Where traditional red rice is planted no chemical fertilizers are used. As however the traditional red rice has a lower productivity than hybrid rice, in some low terraces hybrid rice is planted and chemical fertilizer used. Hybrid rice does not survive at altitudes over 1,500 meters.
Fig.10 Cultivation period of Hani terraces (Nomination File, WHC)
Fig.11 Paddy Rice Grow Cycle (Draw by Yutong Deng, July 2019)
6.2 Rice-Fish-Duck Cultivation and Breeding Subsystem Rice is grown from late April to late September. Fish are bred twice a year: first, small fry are put into terraces with the new rice seedlings and caught when the rice is pollen. Secondly in early October, after the rice has been harvested and the terraces plowed using cattle or buffalos, fish are again raised to control pests. Ducks are bred to protect young seedlings and ripe rice, as they eat weeds, as do snails and finless eels that also inhabit the water-filled terraces. Both fishes and ducks improve land fertility and are sources of food for people and animals.
Fig.12 Pictures of Rice-Fish-Duck Cultivation and Breeding Subsystem (http://www.haoshanpu. com;http://www.cnepaper.com;http://www.toptour.cn, Accessed 19 July 2019) -7-
Fig.13 Rice, Fish, Duck Grow Cycle (Information from Nomination File WHC, Draw by Yutong Deng, July 2019)
Fig.14 Breeding Subsystem Section (Draw by Yutong Deng, July 2019) -8-
Fig.15 Tangible Components (Photos from:1. http://www.sohu.com; 2. http://www.mzb.com.cn; 3. http://mini.eastday.com; 4.www.news.cn. Draw by Yutong Deng, July 2019) - 10 -
7.1 Villages Within the nominated property there are 82 villages. Villages are relatively small size, most are composed within 50 and 100 households. Each household farms one or two ‘plots’ of the rice terraces.
Fig.16 Distribution Map of Villages (Nomination File, WHC)
• Buildings-Mushroom House: The traditional vernacular buildings have walls built of rammed earth, adobe bricks or of earth and stone under a tall, hipped, roof thatched with straw that gives the houses a distinctive ‘mushroom’ shape. The houses are of three stairs: the lowest is for domestic animals, the center is the family’s living quarters and the top floor is for storage of grain.
Fig.17 Mushroom House (Photos from:http://www.minwang.com.cn,http://www.guoxue.com, Accessed 19 July 2019, Drawing from Zhang Pan, May 2017) - 11 -
• Open Space-Moqiu Field:In the center of each village is an open area, known as the Moqiu field on which is a building and these are used for festivities. It will be also used for threshing and basking grains under the sun.
Fig.18 Moqiu Field (Photos from:http://yn.naic.org.cn,http://inews.nmgnews.com.cn, Accessed 19 July 2019) • Village Gates:There are 2 types of village gates: tree village gate and sturcture village gates. Tree gate usually is a part of the forest belt on the edge of village. The structure village gate is the boundary of residential groups in the village. The traditional one is of tower type,generally possessing 2 floors. The ground floor is set with doors, and the second floor is closed to the outside and open to the internal.
Fig.19 Village Gates, Tree & Structure (View from Outside and Internal) (Nomination File, WHC) • Streets and Pathes:Roads can be divided into village roads and field roads.Most of them are covered by stone slates and concrete.
Fig.20 Roads (http://dy.163.com/v2/article/detail/EBA9T6F30524AQ8O.html, Accessed 19 July 2019) • Wells:Wells can be divided into stone material and steel-concrete by structure, and also can be classified into spring well and drawing-water well by water source.
Fig.21 Wells (Nomination File, WHC; http://dy.163.com/v2/article/detail/EBA9T6F30524AQ8O. html, Accessed 19 July 2019) - 12 -
7.2 Croplands â€“ Beautiful Terraces The terraces in the nominated property are built with the terrain, thus they are characterized by a large change of gradient. Most terraces feature a gradient ranging from 10 degrees to 25 degrees, and the steepest slope where terraces are located has a gradient exceeding 60 degrees, which forms the marvelous texture featuring distribution along the slope, and scattering and stretching around the mountain. Exists across a wide area of some 1,000 square kilometers.
Fig.22 Terraces in 4 seasons (1.yn.naic.org.cn; 2.blog.sina.com.cn;3.www.tooopen.com;4.new.qq.com, Accessed 19 July 2019)
7.3 Forests There are four types of forests, the ancient â€˜water rechargeâ€™ forest, sacred forest, consolidation forests, and village forests for the provision of timber for building, food and firewood. The water recharge forests have been protected intensively from generation to generation, as have the sacred forests. The consolidation forests are where trees are planted to stabilize steep slopes and these are well maintained. Some of the village forests, on the other hand, were cut during the 1950s to provide extra land for vegetables in response to the need to increase agricultural production. Now a project to replant these village forests is underway.
Water Recharge Forests
Village Forests Consolidation Forests
Sacred Forest Fig.23 Pictures of Forests (1.www.meilihhw.com; 2.www.sohu.com;3.3g.163.com, Accessed 19 July 2019; 4&5.Nomination File, WHC) - 13 -
8.Rural landscape system analysis 8.1 Spatial Structure of Landscape—The “Forest-Water System-Village-Terrace” Four Element System The Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani rice terraces present the pattern characteristics of “forest-water system-village-terrace” in the spatial structure: • In the quite bleak high mountainous area with an altitude of above 2,000m, the thick forest is preserved, not only to conserve the water and land but also provide rich table meat as well as fruit and vegetables for the residents in the nominated property; • In the semi-mountainous hillside with an altitude ranging from 1,400m to 2,000m, many villages are distributed; • In the semi-mountainous area with an altitude ranging from 600m to 2,000m from the edge of villages to the river valley at the foot of mountain, the rice terraces are distributed; • At the lowest place, the rivers receive the water from ditches and terraces and bring it to the bigger rivers outside this area. This spatial structure has formed scientific material cycle and energy flow, so the Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces can persist for more than one thousand years, as shown in the diagram. A forest land provides water source for villages and terraces, and terraces provide water source for the forest which is located at a lower altitude and then cultivate those terraces which are located at a further lower altitude, thereby forming an ecological material and energy cycle pattern of “forest fosters field and field cultivates forest”.
Fig.24 Four Element System Horizontal Sketch (Draw by Yutong Deng, July 2019) - 14 -
Fig.25 Four Element System Vertical Sketch (Draw by Yutong Deng, July 2019)
Fig.26 Forest-Water System-Village-Terrace Section (Nomination File, WHC) - 15 -
8.2 Irrigation System Water is collected from brooks and natural springs in and around the forests and distributed to the fields and villages through a gravitational system of dug out streams, ditches, canals and bamboo tubes/pipes. Ditches are maintained communally. Water distribution is organized by ‘woodcuts’ on posts to indicate how much water is needed when water is plentiful, or by taking turns if it is in short supply. In each village, there is a ditch watcher, who supervises the distribution of water. Their role is crucial in ensuring that water is fairly shared when it is scarce and that not too much is delivered when it is plentiful. If a villager violates the tradition, the collective under the leadership of “Migu” and “Mopi”, the religious leaders (see below) will step in and penalize the person. Irrigation system has kept the same model from the past to nowadays.
Fig.27 Irrigation System (Information form Nomination File, WHC, Draw by Yutong Deng, Accessed 19 July 2019) - 16 -
8.3 The Self-Cleaning System The forest-village-terrace is scattered in different altitudes: on one hand, it facilitates the lives of Hani people (going up to hunt, collect and cut firewood, etc. and going down could use fertilizer and manage the terrace), and on the other hand, it could retain the domestic sewage, waste and night soil from Hani people to the terrace, which not only increase the fertility of terrace, enhance the land capability, but reduce the pollution to the environment and form a self-cleaning system. Villages are place with greatest changes influences on the environment; besides, the damage by the cows, horses, pigs, chicken and other domestic animals has worsened the impact on the natural environment by the village cultural sub-system. While the village is located in the lower part, which could naturally retain and conserve the moisture and soil.
Fig.28 Central Septic Tank Passage of Village (Draw by Yutong Deng, July 2019)
Fig.29 Self Fertilizing of Terrace (Draw by Yutong Deng, July 2019)
8.4 Cultivation and Breeding Subsystem The cultivation and breeding subsystem is composed of cultivation and breeding systems. It keeps the same mode from antient time to present. The cultivation system consists of crops and their habitats in paddy fields and field ridges. Paddy fields are mainly used to grow paddy rice and breed fish and duck as well as wild eel, loach and spiral shell as sources of animal protein, and are also home to duckweed and other phytoplankton that can be used as feedstuff for pig.
Fig.30 Component Elements Interrelations (Nomination File, WHC) - 17 -
9. Intangible Components and Social Structure 9.1 Culture Traditional Relief: Hani people believe in primitive religion, and they think “everything has soul” and sacrifice to Goddess of Heaven, God of Earth, Tree God, Mountain God, Water God, and Household God, etc. Due to relative enclosed natural environment, Hani people have not been affected by external religions for thousands of years, therefore, the belief system with “Sacred Tree Worship” and “Rice Soul Worship” as core cultivated by Hani people has been well kept for long time. Ancient Songs (Habare): Hani people sing everything in their own music and lyrics from ancient time. These kind of songs are named Habare in local language. Contents include productive activities, history, festivals, love, climates and so on. They have been listed in Chinese national immaterial heritages.
Fig.31 Singing Habare (1&2. http://www.hhtt.cn; 3. www.kunming.cn, Accessed 19 July 2019)
Local Festivals: At the turn of winter and spring : “Angmatu”, End of idle winter and start of spring for plough-
At the turn of autumn and winter: “Zhalete”, Stage of celebrating harvest of terraces and maintaining farmland in idle winter. Marking the midsummer: “Kuzhazha”, Follow the ancient tradition, wish a bumper harvest of rice, and enter the preparation phase before intertillage and autumn harvest.
Fig.32 3 Main Festivals (Information form http://www.hhtt.cn, Draw by Yutong Deng, July 2019) - 18 -
Handcraft: Without the help of high technology, people here are still using some primitive techniques.
woven fabric Woving hat Fig.33 Handcraft (http://dy.163.com/v2/article/detail/EBA9T6F30524AQ8O.html, Accessed 19 July 2019) 9.2 Social Structure Each of the villages is under the administration of village committees.The village committee is a mass autonomous organization elected by the villagers.It is a basic autonomous organization for self-management, self-education and self-service of the villagers. It is elected every 5 years. No organization or individual can designate, appoint or replace village committee members. In most Hani villages within the nominated property, “Migu” and “Mopi” still perform their responsibility. “Migu” is the headman or tribal chief of a village, the administrative leader of the village,who should supervise the situation of forests and irrigation system; “Mopi” is religious priest and spiritual leader of Hani people; “Craftsman” mainly refers to blacksmith forging farm tools, and although he has no administrative power and sacrificial right, he has a very important status in the village. His lofty position just reflects the importance attached to metal tools such as iron plough and sickle, and to the terrace farming in agricultural society of Hani people. Traditional functions as 82 spiritual and administrative leaders, and forest rangers and Ditch Keepers still preserve water resource and allocate water fairly as they did in the past. Such traditional practice is still accepted and continued by the government and villagers.
Fig.34 Component Elements of Social and Cultural Subsystem and Their Interrelations (Nomination File, WHC) - 19 -
10. Threats 10.1 Natural Disasters and Risks Geological Disasters: Since the mountains are high and steep and there is abundant precipitation here, soil erosion always occurs in areas with poor vegetation cover, landslide will take place in these vegetation lacking areas (eg.road platform). For the whole area, since Hani people has always abided by scientific and reasonable terrace reclamation mode for a long time, there are relatively few debris flow and soil erosion occurring.
Fig.35 Geological Disasters(Photos from:www.kunming.cn;http://news.hexun.com;http://finance. ifeng.com, Draw by Yutong Deng, July 2019) Meteorological Disasters: Drought and water shortage is the most serious threat confronted by Hani Rice Terraces. For example, from March to May 2005, influenced by the serious draught that occurred once in the past 100 years, about 1200 hectares of terraces were stricken.
Fig.36 Drought Happened in March 2012 (Photos from:roll.sohu.com, Accessed 19 July 2019) 10.2 Tourism Pressures In recent years, the increase in number of visitors has brought potential tourism pressures to Hani Rice Terraces. The visitor flow is obviously characterized by seasonal travel, mainly concentrating in the period from January to March and then from July to September. Improvement and adjustment of tourism mode are as following: 1. Service facilities of small size and few intervention are placed carefully in the limited area. Actively plan and construct Tourist Service Center at Xinjie Town and Service Stations at Shengcun Township and Panzhihua Township. 2. Management improving: access to the nominated property is free; touring buses are forbidden to enter the nominated property to reduce the traffic pressure and air pollution from the tourism transportation; tourist capacity is determined according to ecological capacity in the open zone. Numbers of tourists population is monitored and controlled. - 20 -
Fig.37 Tourism Pressures (Photos from:http://www.coolzou.com; http://roll.sohu.com, Draw by Yutong Deng, July 2019)
11. Final conclusions Rural Landscape in Honghe Hani Rice Terraces: Rural landscape in this UNESCO property is distinguished. Industrious Hani people respect their culture and technology inherited from their intelligent ancestors. They have kept their antient productive process, cultivative and breeding technologies, faith and belief, culture and social structure to nowadays. Doing research on rural landscape here, the more related information you get, the more you will marvel at the wisdom of the ancient Hani people in productive activities and their society. It is a highly harmony between mankind and nature, also successful reshaping and cooperation on landscape according to rural activities among thousand years. Critical Thinking about Sources:During the process of this research, the Nomination File 1111 on UNESCO website has provided amount of useful information. The contents are clear and detailed enough, almost covering every field of Hani Rice Terraces. For other articles and websites, they are supplemental references on some specific topics. Although references about this UNESCO property are elaborate and plenty, after reading and get conclusion from all of the long references, it took time to represent personal conprehending from the materials by drawing. Therefore,a little suggestion for the Nomination File,articles and websites of gorvernment is that it may be better to explain topics with more diagrams, sketches, charts and graphs combining with original long texts and contents.
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Sources Books: • State Administration of Cultural Heritage of People’s Republic of China, Nomination File 1111/ Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, World Heritage Convention, 2013 (http://whc. unesco.org/uploads/nominations/1111.pdf); Articles: • Yang Lun & Liu Moucheng & Min Qingwen&Tian Mi & Zhang Yongxun, An Analysis on Crop Choice and Its Driving Factors in Hani Rice Terraces, Journal of Natural Resources, 2017(32); • Wang Hanyun & Wang Shuqi & Liu Na & Yan Zhenhua, High-yield and high-efficiency ecological breeding model of “rice, fish and duck” in Hani terraced rice field in Honghe Prefecture, New Countryside, 2017.04; • Zhang Pan, Study on the Protection and Development of Traditional Village Spatial Form in Honghe Hani Terrace Heritage Area, Graduation Thesis of Master Degree, Faculty of Architecture and City Planning Kunming University of Science and Technology, 2017.05; • Li Chunyan & Wang Dan & Zhang Degang & Huang Shaowen, Analysis of Soil Nutrients and Development Status of Traditional Agriculture in Hani Terrace of Honghe, Yunnan, Rural economy and technology, 2016(27); • Yong Liang & Shuhua Feng & Bo Li & Fangdong Zhan & Yuan Li & Junping Li & Yongmei He, Temporal and Spatial Variation Characteristics of Soil Nutrient Content and Microorganism Quantities of Rice Paddy in Core Zone of Yuanyang Terrace[J]. Journal of Yunnan Agricultural UniversityNatural Science, 2019; • Chen die & wei wei, Chen liding & Historical distribution of terraced landscape and analysis of typical international cases [J]. Journal of applied ecology, 2017; Websites: • whc.unesco.org/en/list/1111 • www.hhtt.cn • www.yy.hh.gov.cn
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