Hakka Tulou Buildings (photo-presentation)

Capital: Fuzhou, 福州, Fúzhōu

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Hakka Tulou Buildings (photo-presentation)

Postby long_way » Sun Jun 29, 2008 1:11 pm

http://cid-0fec1ea2888f0549.skydrive.li ... aTulou.zip

(the music in the background is traditional Hakka music, if you wondered)

Probably the best-known tourist attraction in Fujian the earthen houses(土楼 tǔlóu), often round, of the Hakka people(客家人 kèjiārén). Hakka means "guest"; they arrived in the area as refugees from one of Northern China's wars several hundred years ago and still have their own dialect and customs. These houses are quite large, holding an extended family, and built to be easily defended. There are none in the city itself, but there are thousands in villages to the West of the city of Longyan. Hotels can arrange a car or van to visit these places.

This slide show is made of pictures taken by Rita Rao, in Yongding County, which is in the south of Fujian province, take a look at the map.

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg18 ... ngDing.jpg

As you can see from the map you can get there easily by train.

For more information you can check out these wiki articles:

http://wikitravel.org/en/Fujian
http://wikitravel.org/en/Longyan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulou
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fujian_Tulou
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakka
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakka_architecture

or if this is too much trouble you can read the following paragraphs which will give you an overview of the subject (source: wikipedia):

Hakka traditional dwellings

The Hakka (Mandarin: Kèjiā) are a subgroup of the Han Chinese people who live predominantly in the provinces of Guangdong, Jiangxi, and Fujian in China. Their ancestors were often said to have arrived from what is today's central China, centuries ago. It is still a contested issue where the Hakka originated. It is said that in a series of migrations, the Hakkas moved, settled in their present locations in southern China, and then migrated overseas to various nations throughout the world. The Hakka have had a significant influence on the course of Chinese and overseas Chinese history: in particular, they have been a source of revolutionary, political and military leaders.

The use of the term Hakka to describe this people is thought to be comparatively recent, dating to the Qing Dynasty (c. 17th century).

The largest communities of Hakkas worldwide, live mostly in eastern Guangdong, in particular the so-called Xing-Mei (Xingning-Meixian) Area, whereas most the oversea descended Hakkas came from Huizhou. Unlike their kin in Fujian, the Hakkas in the Xingning(興寧,Hin Nin) and Meixian(梅縣,Moi Yen) area developed a non-fortress like unique architectural styles, most notably the weilongwu (Chinese: 圍龍屋, wéilóngwū) and sijiaolou (Chinese: 四角樓, sìjǐaolóu).

Due to their agrarian lifestyle, the Hakka have a unique architecture based on defense and communal living

The Hakkas who settled in mountainous south western Fujian province in China developed unique architectural buildings called tu lou, literally meaning earthen structures.

A tulou (simplified Chinese: 土楼; traditional Chinese: 土樓; pinyin: tǔlóu), or "earthen building", is a traditional communal residence in the Fujian province of Southern China, usually of a circular configuration surrounding a central shrine. These vernacular structures were occupied by clan groups.

Although most tulou were of earthen construction, the definition "tulou", is a broadly descriptive label for a building type and does not indicate construction type. Some were constructed of cut granite or had substantial walls of fired brick. Most large-scale tulou seen today were built of a composite material known as sanhetu rather than just earth.
Because of the undesirable mountainous regions, the Hakkas set up these unique homes to prevent attack from bandits and marauders. The tu lou are either round or square, and were designed as a large fortress and apartment building in one. Structures typically had only one entranceway and no windows at ground level. Each floor served a different function - the first hosts a well and livestock, the second is for food storage and the third and higher floors contain living spaces. Tu lou can be found mostly in south western Fujian and southern Jiangxi provinces.

Fujian Tulou are known for their unique shape, large scale, and ingenious structure.

There are about 20,000 tulous located in southwestern region of Fujian province, mostly in Yongding county and Nanjing county.

Yongding County (永定县, pinyin: Yǒngdìng Xiàn) is a county under the jurisdiction of Longyan prefecture-level city, in Fujian Province, China. It is the home of many Hakka families. Yongding has a population of about 400,000, of which more than 99% are Hakka, the rest being Minnan people.
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