Skip to main content

On Technology and Ritual of Chuandou House Construction in Southwest China: The Case of Dong Minority Area

Abstract

This study is based on field work conducted in the mountainous countryside of Dong minority area, southwest China, where the custom of chuandou house construction has been preserved relatively completely. In this paper, we try to depict the whole construction process of traditional chuandou dwellings, from the very beginning of material preparation to the completion of one house, by explaining some details of the various steps of the construction process, including design principles, rituals, characteristic details on engineering, etc. During our research, we followed the work of a group of chief carpenters residing in the Dong minorities area. Ritual and technology are two arms helping them to maintain their professional authority towards other people involved in the construction process. Furthermore, we examine the relationship between ritual and technology, how the two can be combined, how they influence the appearance of houses and how one can master them and pass down their knowledge and know-how to future generations of carpenters.

References

  1. Chen, Yaodong. 2010. Lubanjing jiangjiajing yanjiu [The investigation of Jiang Jia Jing]. Beijing: China Architecture & Building Press.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Fan, Yin, Hongyi Lv and Yan Shi. 2009. “Nanyuanbeizhe-Yunan shandi chuantong minju muzuo jishu ji yingxiang yinsu yanjiu [Study on the Timber Structure Techniques and Its Influencing Factors of the Vernacular House of the Mountain Area in Southern Henan].” Architecture Journal 2009 (z2): 63–67.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Guo, Husheng. 2016. Zhongguo gudai jianzhu jishushi [History and Development of Ancient Chinese Architecture]. Beijing: China Architecture & Building Press.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Li, Fengan. 2015. Dongzu chuantong jianzhu jian [Research on Traditional Architecture of Dongzu]. Beijing: Wenshi Press.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Li, Shiwu. 2016. Zhongguo gongjiang jianfang minsu kaolun [The Study of Handicraftsman in the Construction of Buildings in China]. Beijing: China Social Sciences Press.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Liu, Yong. 2017. Beijing chuantongminzhai yu mugongjiangzuo [The Traditional House in Beijing and Wood Construction]. Beijing: Science Press.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Liu, Zhiping. 1990. Zhongguo juzhu jianzhu jianshi: chengshi, zhuzhai, yuanlin [A Brief History of Chinese Resident: Urban, House, Landscape]. Beijing: China Architecture & Building Press.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Liu, Zhiping. 1957. Zhongguo jianzhu leixing ji jiegou [The Type and Structure of Chinese Architecture]. Beijing: China Architecture & Building Press.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Pfaffenberger, Bryan. 1988. “Fetishised Objects and Humanised Nature, Towards an Anthropology of Technology”. Man, New Series 23(2): 236–252.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Qiao, Xunxiang. 2014. “Shilun chuandoujia yanjiu quxiang [Research on the Tendency of Column and Tie Construction].” Huazhong Architecture 2014 (3): 168–171.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Ruitenbeek, K. 1993. Carpentry and Building in Late Imperial China, A Study of the Fifteenth-Century Carpenter’s Manual Lu Ban Jing.

  12. Yang, Hongxun. 1999. “Riben liedao de huangdishi mingtang [The Imperial Ceremonial in Japan].” World of Antiquity 1999 (4): 78.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Zhang, Yuyu. 2010. Fujian chuantong damu jiangshi jiyi yanjiu [Studies on the Craftsmanship of Traditional Chinese Carpentry in Fujian Region]. Nanjing: Southeast University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Zhang, Qiang, and Peng Yong. 2010. “Shannan chuantong minju jianzao jishu yanjiu [The Study on Structural Techniques of the Traditional Dwellings in Southern Shanxi].” Sichuan Building Science 2010 (3): 263–265.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Zwerger, Klaus. 2012. Wood and Wood Joints. 2nd ed. Basel: Birkhäuser Architecture.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Congcong Ren.

Rights and permissions

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ren, C., Bian, R. & Li, S. On Technology and Ritual of Chuandou House Construction in Southwest China: The Case of Dong Minority Area. Built Heritage 2, 39–48 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03545701

Download citation

Keywords

  • chuandou
  • technology
  • ritual
  • chief carpenter