Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hui Zhou - the Cradle of Hui Culture

The Hui Culture began to thrive in the later part of the Northern Song Dynasty (960 to 1120 A.D.), and was at the height of splendor in the Ming and Qing dynasties.It has outshone other local cultures in the country over 800 years because of its rich and special features. The Hui Culture is rich in meaning and exhibits unique styles and genres. It covers almost all the learning, ranging from philosophy, culture, medicine, architecture and so on.

The Mother-river of HuiZhou


Yu Liang Old Dam. The boat in the picture is now converted to a floating restaurant.

Yu Liang Dam

Famous Huizhou Four Carvings: brick carvings, stone carvings, wood carvings and bamboo carvings,all using Hui style folk carving techniques.They came into being in the Song Dynasty (960 to 1120 A.D.), and flowered in the Mingand Qing dynasties and are mainly used in the decoration of buildings,archways, and also in making furniture, brush pots, and new-year couplets enchased on screens.

Brick Carving

The Wall

Wood Carving

Wood Carving-2 Wood Carving IMG_2971


Skylight. Hui style houses are typically ones with skylights. With a quadrate skylight surrounded by houses from four sides or from left,right and backside, these Hui style houses can reduce the beat of sunshine and enjoy ventilation. All the houses drain off water to the skylight which means fortune will not run off outside, which is called "four sides water returning to the main hall of the houses" by local natives.


Pen Jing, Chinese landscape bonsai. Penjing is the Chinese art of creating a miniature landscape in a container. The word consists of the two characters shown on the left: "pen" - "pot" or "container", and "jing" - "scenery". An artist may use plant material and natural stone to portray an idylllic mountain retreat with a murmuring brook or a waterscape with a lush tropical island. Or he or she may design a much simpler scene where one single tree makes up the entire composition.

Mini Plants

Lantern from the ceiling of a typical Hui-style dwelling, which is shown in the background.

Lantern from the Ceiling

Hui-style building

Hui Guarden

Xiao Zheng (Z) and I. Z was my guide in Huizhou, a plain and sincere woman. She guided us through ancient Hui Zhou town, and even invited us to her home. Her mother with her niece live in a promote village. There most old buildings are reserved and people are so hospital. There is no paved way to that village. It took us quite a while arriving there. But it was worthwhile for all the experience


Z's niece, Yan zi (swallow).


At Z's mother's house.


Taking pictures from the second floor, at Z's mother's old house.


Fresh Peanut, just off the vine. Z's mother offered us boiled salty peanut with warmth and generosity. Once we entered her door, she then went to the kitchen. You cannot imagine the troubleness. She need to make fire with branches, chopped from trees and carried down from the hill. I am so touched by her kindness.

Peanut, just from vine

Garlic reserved for the winnter.


The ancient wall of HuiZhou


Photographed by Jennie Bai.

Copyright ©Jennie Bai. All Rights Reserved.

(This article was initially written in the summer of 2006.)

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