Allegorical Architecture: Living Myth and Architectonics in by Xing Ruan

By Xing Ruan

Bargains an architectural research of outfitted types and construction forms of the minority teams in southern China and of the Dong nationality specifically.

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Extra resources for Allegorical Architecture: Living Myth and Architectonics in Southern China

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It was at this time that the Dong began to be regarded as a branch of the Liao. In the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), these same people were variously termed the Dongmiao, the Dongmin, the Dongjia, or simply the Miao. Although no monographs were produced, a number of arguments had been advanced about the Dong through ethnographic research in the Republican period (1912–1949). One of the most intriguing propositions was that the Dong were the living remnants of the ancient Han (Zhang Min 1989). This argument was initiated by observation of the Dong language, folk songs, mourning apparel, and even physique and facial features.

From the other village, the young men ­deliberately walk back and forth three times, playing flutes and drums, before the women are coaxed into accompanying them to their village for more fes­tivities. Another popular musical form of the Dong is the folk opera. A man named Wu Wencai wrote and performed the first Dong operatic play about 150 years ago (Li Ruiqi 1989). Accompanied by lyric pipa songs, this play marked the formation of a Dong tradition that is still being carried out today. Stories of Dong operas come from both Han and Dong narrative poems.

Indd 22 Allegorical Architecture 10/2/06 1:27:28 PM an elitist group within a minority group. But the historical and political fabrications of the Dong have been materialized, indirectly and yet intricately, through architecture, which is instrumentally empowering in the life of the Dong. Since architecture is not a text, meanings are transmitted through a nonlinguistic but allegorical manner. The distinctive workings of architecture are most evident in the case of the Dong among other non­literate minority groups in southern China, which indeed is an architecture-based culture.

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