Geography Reference
In-Depth Information
FIGURE 3.2 A farming family's house in Fengqing County, with beans drying in the courtyard.
In the outlying villages—which were connected to one another by a series of winding
footpaths traversing rice paddies, mixed-crop fields, and tea plantations—most houses re-
tained the traditional construction features of rural Yunnan: rock foundations, thick adobe
walls, and ceramic-tile roofs. Many houses had only dirt floors, but others had poured
concrete. Village women cooked over wood fires, using firewood when available or scrap
wood and crop residues such as corn cobs when supplies ran low. During one household in-
terview with a middle-aged woman who had just returned from the mountainside wearing
a goatskin pack containing a bundle of wild herbs to feed to her pigs, we looked around the
house, which comprised a storage room with bags of rice and wheat; a fairly large kitchen;
a main sitting room with a television set; a bedroom with several beds; and an outhouse
toilet. Like most local villagers, she spoke a regional dialect that our Chinese colleagues,
even those from Kunming, had difficulty understanding.
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