Exploring an island of Han culture in Guizhou

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A bird's-eye view of Longli town in Jinping county, Qiandongnan Miao and Dong autonomous prefecture.[Photo provided to chinadaily.com]

Longli, an ancient military bunker with a history of more than 600 years, is on the southwest edge of Jinping county, Qiandongnan Miao and Dong autonomous prefecture, Guizhou province.

The town was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It is the only well-preserved military city of Han culture in Southwest China, in an area with a dense ethnic group population. Even now, it still preserves the layout and residential buildings from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912) dynasties .

The inhabitants of Longli were descendants of station troops in the Ming Dynasty(1368-1644), when emperor Zhu Yuanzhang sent armies to depress an uprising by Miao and Dong ethnicities here.  

The soldiers came from Zhu Yuanzhang's hometown, Anhui and Jiangxi, places with a Han culture background. Thus, there has been a preservation of the customs of Jiangnan, or the south of the Yangtze River.

Yu Qiuyu, a famous Chinese writer, calls the town an "isolated island of Han culture".

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