Guanzhai and the Village


Museum of Ethnic Cultures, Minzu University of China

Museum of Ethnic Cultures, Minzu University of China

Guanzhai was created after the native chieftain system carried out in Yuan Dynasty, which is also called the government office of the native chief. It was used as the office for the chief and also the accommodation for his families. Guanzhai is a miniature of society, because a conference room, as well as a smoking room, a scripture hall, a buddhist prayer room, a circumambulation, a prison filled with instruments of torture, are all contained in it. The guanzhai is located on the platform of the south bank of Maerkang River, indicating dignity and supervision.
The principle room is six-story, 21-meter high in total; while sides rooms in the east and west are both five-story. Lobby is located in front, and courtyard is in the middle, surrounded by broad ambulatory; besides, the aisle columns are connected with the beams. That’s how the guanzhai becomes a stable fortress.
Commonly, kitchen and stable are on the first floor, as well as the rooms for maids and handymen. Superior guest rooms and the storage room are set on the second floor. The bedrooms, meeting room, and study room for the chief and his family are set on the third floor. The central room on the fourth floor is a scripture hall, surrounded by circumambulation outside, and bedrooms for lamas are set on both sides. An observation deck is set on the fifth floor, working in concert with the watchtower.

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  • Title: Guanzhai and the Village
  • Creator: Zhanzheng
  • Provenance: Museum of Ethnic Cultures, Minzu University of China
  • Original Source: http://bwg.muc.edu.cn
  • Photography location: Barkam, Sichuan Province
  • Photography date: 2007.09
  • Object type: Photography
  • Ethnic group: Tibetan
  • Creator's dates: 1963 -
  • Creator nationality: Chinese
  • Creator gender: Male