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Journeys in time 2010-5-28 Secrets of the Fujian Tulou Part 3- Charming towers

05-28-2010 16:43 BJT


Now, a tulou is a unique type of multi-storey house, built of rammed earth. The tulous were built by the Hakka people, for whom they served the dual purpose of giving them somewhere to live, and protecting them from attack. A number of mysteries are associated with the Fujian Tulous; for many years scholars have been trying to answer such questions as: What inspired the Tulous’ design, how were the building materials chosen, and what was life like, inside them? One particular mystery concerns the financing of the Tulous’ construction. In Yongding County alone, there are more than 20,000 Tulous. Yet Yongding is a mountainous place with very little water and arable land. So, where did the local Hakka people get all the money they needed, to build so many huge dwellings?

There are three main categories of tulous in Yongding, of which the circular ones are considered the most attractive. Besides their advantages of being secure and spacious, the circular tulous, in their design, adhere to the traditional concept of the Bagua. Otherwise known as the Eight Trigrams, the Bagua was a common feature of military defence design in ancient China.

Emperor Qianlong’s preference for the tobacco from Yongding, certainly did a great deal for its popularity. And as the local tobacco industry prospered, so many Yongding businessmen were able to make their fortune.

The fascinating history and culture of the Fujian Tulous has attracted many people to Yongding, like photographer Lai Yongsheng. Some come just to see these remarkable buildings; others to record and study them. For whatever reason they may come, they all help to spread the word about the Fujian Tulous around the world. Thank you for staying with us on today’s Journeys in Time. In our next programme, we’ll be taking you inside a tulou to experience the communal way of life of the Hakka people.

Editor:James |Source: CNTV.CN

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