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Taoping Diaolou Buildings and Villages for Qiang Ethnic Groups

Taoping Qiang village is located 40 km away from the east of the county seat(Lixian), bordering Wenchuan County on the southeast (14 kilometers), Mao County in the north, and Tonghua County in the northwest, situating on the alluvial platform where the Zengtougou Brooklet joins the Zagunao River. Being a natural village inhabited by Qiang People, the village has 104 households and 482 people.

Taoping Qiang Village was initially set up in the 6th of Yuanding in West Han Dynasty (111B.C.). Taoping, in Qiang People's language, is pronounced as 'qizi'. It was originally named Red Creek Village as the red rock in the creek turns the creek seemingly red. It was also once called chicken, as in the local dialect, creek and chicken share the same pronunciation, hence the name Red Chicken Village. People also refer to it as Dustpan Village after its dustpan-shaped terrain. The legend has that two people named Tao and Shu came here to develop the area in early years. They planted many peach trees. In memory of them, the village was renamed as Taoshu Ping (ping means level ground). Since the mountain was later covered with fruitful peach trees, it was renamed accordingly as Taoziping (Taozi means peaches).

Historical record notes that, in the 6th of Yuanding, West Han Dynasty, Guangrou County was founded 1 km away from Taoping, the then strategic pass and recovery border of Guangrou County. In the Three Kingdoms, Jin, Sui and Song Dynasty, the county seat was set in Guba County. In Qing Dynasty, Taoping belonged to 'Gucheng Li(archaic Chinese meaning village)', the subordinate villages of Taoping were referred to as Housanku. In the 19th of Minkuo(1930 A.D.), Taoping Village was set up. Henceforth, Taoping becomes the village seat, and Taoziping is renamed as Taoping. The long history of Taoping Village, and its unique geographical condition precipitated a unique historical culture of Qiang. The architectural arts of rock buildings still glitter in the ethnic arts till today.

Running away from wars, Qiang People came to settle down at the valleys of the Minjiang River. In order to guard them against invasions of other ethnic nationalities and native Geji People, Qiang People learn to build their homes with rocks and mud from very early times. Long years of accumulation witness the unique architectural arts takes shape in constructing Qiang Diaolou Buildings, villages, folk houses, domestic buildings and underground drainage system. The architectural arts at Taoping Qiang Village are represented in its construction of Diaolou Buildings, folk houses, domestic buildings and the underground water system.

The folk houses, Diaolou Buildings, domestic buildings and the underground water system at Taoping Qiang Village are all built with rocks, earth and planks. With materials locally available, the earth, rocks and planks from the mountain make the environmentally friendly buildings. Taoping Qiang village epitomizes man's affinitive relation with nature, and represents the architectural arts of Qiang People.

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