The villages are normally located beside rivers or at the bottom of mountains in the farming-pastoral region of southwestern Gansu Province. Huge prayer flags are set up in courtyards, and wooden shelves are placed crowdedly around the houses. Houses are built with earth-rammer walls, wooden frames are used as load-bearing indoor. Planks are installed on the ceiling, floors, and walls. The walls are stable and thick looking from outside, but it looks delicate from inside. As it is called ‘no earth can be seen inside, and no woods can be seen outside’, which is also called ‘wall-surrounded house’.The principle room is divided into two parts, one is a big living room, and the other is a kitchen. The brick stove in the living room is connected with the short heated brick bed, which is the place for people to sit on and read Buddhist scriptures sometimes. The shrine, scriptures, and a Tibetan thangka painting are placed nearby. A cupboard is added on the wall next to the stove. The wooden pillar in the center of the room is considered as the cord of living, and a big copper pot is placed on the wooden closet next to the central pillar, which symbolizes wealth and rank.
The side rooms are used as the corral and haymow. A toilet is located at the corner of the courtyard, with a scaffold for up and down, a curtain will be used to cover it.


  • Title: Stove and Buddha-Worshiping Hall
  • Creator: Zhan Zheng
  • Provenance: Museum of Ethnic Cultures, Minzu University of China
  • Original Source: http://bwg.muc.edu.cn
  • Photography location: Zhuoni, Gansu Province
  • Photography date: 2006.09
  • Object type: Photography
  • Ethnic group: Tibetan
  • Creator's dates: 1963 -
  • Creator nationality: Chinese
  • Creator gender: Male

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