Fire in China’s last remaining primitive tribe under control, only 4 straw huts remain intact
Published: Feb 15, 2021 09:43 AM

Photo: Sina Weibo

A raging fire which engulfed Wengding village – a national 4A tourism resort, late Sunday, in southwestern China’s Yunnan Province has been bought under control as of 11:15 pm. Out of 105 straw huts of the village inhabited by the Wa ethnic minority, only four remain intact. 

Villagers told thepaper that the characteristic straw huts have all but been destroyed. 

The Yunnan provincial government urged the cause of the fire to be identified as soon as possible, and that responsible parties would be held accountable, thepaper reported on Monday. 
There were no fatalities yet, according to media reports.

Considered to be the last primitive tribe in China, the village has traditional architecture and straw huts built by the Wa ethnic group. Many of the structures in Wengding were designated as provincial cultural relics by Yunnan Province in 2012.

Wending village file photo: IC

Wengding, in Wa language, means a place of clouds and mists; Weng means water and Ding means connection, meaning water of connection. It is part of a tribal cultural tourist area in Mengjiao Nationality Township, Lincang City in Yunnan Province. The scenic spot is also part of the Nangunhe National Park, bordering Myanmar, rising to an average altitude of 1,500 meters.
The folk customs of Wengding Wa village are the epitome of the cultural inheritance and development within the entire Wa area, the birthplace of the world's Wa culture. They are also the last living representatives of Chinese tribal culture, and a living museum of Wa culture.
In recent years, Wengding village has been included in the National Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection List of Wood Drum Dance of Wa Nationality and Legend of Sigangli, as well as the provincial protection list of Wengding Village Wa Traditional Culture Preservation Area and Wa Woodcarving Production Skills.

The village was hailed as "the last primitive tribe" by Chinese National Geographic magazine, and named as one of the top 10 beautiful villages in Lincang.

In December 2020, the county held a winter and spring fire prevention and control meeting and conducted firefighting emergency drills in the village.
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