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The Jinuo Ethnic Group Architectural Characteristics

Human beings have lived in caves since ancient times, and now live in various buildings. But if you live in a reinforced concrete house for too long, you will feel that the wooden house with the original taste is very natural and unique. The place where the Jinuo people live is densely forested, so their building materials are mainly trees. Now let’s learn about the Jinuo culture from the architectural perspective.

The Jinuo people mainly live in the Jinuo Mountain area in the middle of Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, east of Jinghong, between Liyang and Lilun. The virgin forest here is densely covered with abundant rainfall, and it has a tropical and subtropical climate. Until the 1950s, the Jinuo society was still in the transitional stage of the patrilineal family to the rural commune. The land was owned by the extended family or village community and allocated to small families for farming.

Longpazhai’s large house living style reflects the characteristics of the patrilineal family. “Longpa” in Keno means “a person who lives on a steep rocky slope of a mountain.” According to the survey in 1963, the whole village is of Jinuo ethnic group, with 67 households and 221 people. There are 4 surnames in the village, and they live in 10 big houses.

The large houses in Longpazhai are all dry-bar-style buildings, rectangular in shape, with doors at both ends. The beams and columns are of wooden structure, the four walls are surrounded by bamboo strips, and the roof is covered with thatch rows. There are no windows in the room, and the light is very dark during the day. Each beam and column are fastened with snap buttons, no nails are needed. Tie tightly with rattan between the frame and thatch.

Take Longpazhai’s big house around the family as an example. The house is 28 meters long, 16 meters wide, and 7 meters high. Eight pillars form the main frame of the house. There are no doors on the left side at both ends. Seven to eight wooden stairs. Entering through the door is a rectangular room with a width of about 2 meters. The guest room is the main hall of the big house. There is a 13.2m long and 1.14m wide firepit in the middle of the big house with wooden corrugated borders, all of which stand on three stone tripods.

The firepit of each household faces the bedroom of its own small family. The last one on the right side of the big house is fixed as the parents’ house. There is a religious room at the right end of the guest room. The animal head frames and teeth hunted by the members of the room hang around the room, and no one can enter it at ordinary times. The warehouses of various small households are built around the big houses, and each small household has a warehouse, which is square in shape. Each small family usually has their own cooking, and only when the New Year or when wild animals are brought, the firehouse of the big family is lit and eat together.

With the emergence of private ownership and the enhancement of the economic capacity of individual families, the residences of individual families began to appear. This kind of folk house is still a dry fence building, and the layout is the same as the traditional big house, but the area is small and the number of fire ponds is reduced. The central passage is changed to a hall where the whole family lives and cooks.

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