The Earthen Buildings of Hakkas(3)
In the mountainous areas in the western part of Fujian, there are numbers of earth buildings, either round or square. The architectural structure, carvings, pillar couplets of these dwelling houses reflect the wisdom and creativeness of the Hakkas. When you visit the unique buildings of the world, you can hardly tear yourself away from them.
The Hakkas were people who settled in Fujian from the Central Plains of China. After more than 1,000 years of struggle they formed their original folk customs in their residential buildings such as their food, drink, dressing, education and religion. These are the main components of Hakkas culture, of which the most unique is the earth buildings.
The earth buildings were built with the combination of good points of various kinds of Chinese residential buildings as well as the wisdom and creativeness of the ancestors of the Hakkas settlers in Yongding. They are like brilliant pearls amongst the architectural beauties in the world. According to the early settlers?? philosophy of heaven and earth, which held that the heaven was round and the earth was square, earth buildings in Yongding include varieties of square and round houses combined together. Thousands of these buildings were built in the Qing Dynasty, with thick walls, ingenious structures and various functions such as protection against high winds, earthquakes and hot and cold weather. They also served as a guard against enemies. All these buildings were furnished for living, storage and cooking and can accommodate a clan of hundreds of family members to live a happy life together.
Within the buildings, there are several pillar couplets, carvings, examples of ancient calligraphy, and other cultural treasures, which reflect the Hakkas spirit of hard work, thrift, creativeness and their emphasis on education and deep patriotism.