Ruin and renewal: A tale of villages

Source: Globaltimes.cn Published: 2018/5/9 18:29:16

Highlights: In May 2009, more than 500 people of the Qiang ethnic minority moved from their ancestral homes in the mountains near Wenchuan county, Southwest China’s Sichuan Province to a new village located more than 100 kilometers away in Qionglai. Their previous homes in the village of Xige and surrounding settlements had been practically reduced to rubble by the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. There the community had lived a traditional lifestyle, depended on traditional farming and herding techniques to survive, and had little contact with the outside world. Since moving to Qionglai, the community not only has made a switch to tourism, but also was introduced to modern conveniences such as electronic appliances and the internet. However, some chose to stay behind and are slowly rebuilding their old villages. Here is a look into the lives of these two groups of people. (Photos: Li Hao/GT)

  • A sack that reads “disaster relief rice” hangs on a wall in an abandoned house in Xige. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • Former village leader Yang Decheng and others who chose to stay behind eat and drink in Xige village. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • Yang Decheng looks out over an old Qiang settlement. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • Yang Decheng weeps while recounting the disasters of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • Yang Decheng is knowledgeable of local edible plants. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • Yang Decheng walks past some of the Xige village ruins. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • Yang Decheng walks past an old home in Xige village. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • Yang Decheng walks past an old home in Xige village. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • A Chinese flag flies over a house in Xige village. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • Pictured are some of the goats raised by those remaining in Xige village. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • Pictured is an old house in Xige village. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • An old man walks past a monument to the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in front of the newly constructed Qiang village in Qionglai. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • A couple of elderly Qiang people walk down a street in Kuapo village, another old Qiang village. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • An old Qiang man takes a walk down the street in Qionglai. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • Villagers who stayed behind gather wild yams and chongcao (caterpillar fungus), both important sources of income for Xige village. Photo: VCG

  • A villager returns home after working her plot of land in Xige village. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • A villager returns home after working her plot of land in Xige village. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • A villager walks to her orchard in Xige village. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • A villager walks out his door in Xige village. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • A villager carrying a basket on his back heads out to work in Xige village. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • A villager carrying a basket on his back heads out to work in Xige village. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • In the new village of Qionglai, locals are building to develop regional tourism. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • Locals wash bed sheets for tourists with mountain spring water in the new village of Qionglai. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • Tourists take photos in the new Qiang village in Qionglai. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • A woman cooks dinner in the old Qiang village of Xige. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • A Qiang woman combs her daughter’s hair in the new Qiang village built in Qionglai after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • A Qiang woman combs her hair in Qionglai. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • A Qiang woman combs her hair in Qionglai. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • An old man sits outside in the new Qiang village in Qionglai. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • An old woman stands in a yard in the Qiang people’s new village, which was reconstructed in Qionglai after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • Yang Decheng, Xige village’s former leader, walks down the road. In the distance is an excavator heading to the village to work on rebuilding it. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • Construction equipment is operated on the site of an old Qiang house. Xige village land is being developed by Wenchuan contractors for agriculture and tourism. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • Construction equipment works on an area of the old Qiang village of Xige, where Wenchuan contractors are developing land for agriculture and tourism. Photo: Li Hao/GT

  • The remains of Xige Village sit below a snowy mountain that stands more than 4,000 meters tall. Photo: Li Hao/GT






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