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Another face of terraced fields



The Hani are a mountain people. They are born, raised, and live in steep mountain ridges and deep village, and identify themselves with the mountains. They love the cool temperatures and dislike the heat, so most of the villages are established halfway or more up the mountainsides between 1000 and 1500 meters above sea level. The traditional Hani village generally has a basic format with a dense forest as its cap; a bamboo filled hollow beside it with water flowing the year round; and terraced fields at its foot, stretching to the river banks. The mountain forest, village, and terraced fields form a single unit with the mountain ridge. Hani terraced fields distribute on hillsides and banks of mountainous streams south of Honghe River. From generation to generation, Hani people have been making use of the natural condition, which be said as “however the mountains high, however the water high”, to open up more than ten thousand hectares of terraced fields to plant rice. Which is not only a historical site and a beautiful natural landscape—a great statue on the face of the earth, but also a fruit of ingenious integrating of Hani culture and natural resources as well, a Hani cultural museum in the open.

Honghe Hani terraced fields have a long history. From the data in Chinese characters, they have already had a history of for more than 1,300 years. An agronomist of the Ming Dynasty, Xu Guangqi, listed Hani terraced fields as one of the seven farmland-systems. It would be a record after a long existence of Hani terraced fields.

Hani terraced fields distribute in Yuanyang, Honghe, Luchun and Jinping Counties, in where Hani People inhabit in compact community, and connecting terraced fields are seen from mountain to mountain with great momentum. The area of terraced fields amount to more than 11,000 hectares just in Yuanyang County, where is the core district of the Application for World Heritage, and for more than 3,000 steps of which stretch from the foot of a hill up to the top.

Honghe Hani is famous for cultivating terraced fields and he has created an environmental wonder in mountain area. Hani culture is a terraced-field-agricultural civilization, which has a perfect agriculture system and an agro-worship system as well, the concept of worship is built on the basis that man and nature are in harmony, countless terraced fields are an evidence of this belief.(Source)



Hani terraced fields in Yuanyang and aroung Honghe county has been placed into the preparatory list of World Heritage in China. Application of Hani Terraced Fields for World Heritage has been committed and Thanh and I hope our combined humble effort in this theme will contribute somewhat into the final decision of United Nations to select this magical and magnificent location as “Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Heritage” of the world.



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Additional Photos by Nhiem Hoang (hoangthenhiem) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 13 W: 0 N: 488] (2531)
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