Zhaoxing Dong Village

The Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture of Guizhou is a magical place. There are three kinds of characteristic buildings that are common here: Drum Tower, Huaqiao and Diaojiao Tower, but they are rarely seen in other places.

Drum Tower

The Drum Tower is a landmark building in the Miao and Dong villages in southeastern Guizhou. It stands out among the village buildings and attracts attention. Drum towers in different villages have different shapes, showing the different personalities and characteristics of the villages.

Octagonal Drum Tower with dense eaves
Square Drum Tower with dense eaves
pavilion-style drum tower

drum tower shape,on the floor planThere are square, rectangle, regular octagon;architectural styleThere are pavilion style, dense eaves tower style, gate tower style, hall style, and the dense eaves tower style is the most distinctive.

The Drum Tower is a public building in Miao and Dong villages, and it is the central place for villagers to gather, relax and other social activities. It has ten functions, such as gathering the crowd to discuss affairs, drumming and reporting letters, resolving disputes, singing duet songs, setting ancient times to rest, blowing and stepping on the hall, storing reeds, picking up things, hanging horns, and giving alms to straw sandals.


flower bridgewind and rain bridgeIt is named after the promenade on the bridge that can shelter from the wind and rain, and some of the promenades are carved with beams and painted buildings. The bridge body of Huaqiao was originally made of wood, and the promenade on the bridge was also made of wood and covered with tile roofs. The main function of the promenade is to provide protection for the bridge body from rain and decay. In some promenades, there are beautiful people leaning on, for passers-by to rest and villagers to enjoy the cool and chat. The flower bridge promenades that pay attention to some are often carved and painted, and even pavilions and corridors are combined to make them more stylish and beautiful.

single-span flower bridge
Double-span flower bridge

The simplest flower bridge has only one span. The wooden bridge body is directly placed on the bases on both sides of the bridge, and a simple corridor is covered on the bridge body without any decoration. If the river surface is wider, the flower bridge is made of multiple spans, and the bridge body rests on the bases on both banks and the piers in the river.

stilted building

stilted building, so-calleddry fence building, named after the floor in the house is suspended and does not touch the ground. The stilted buildings in southeastern Guizhou have “Full hanging feet”and”half sling”Two.

Fully dry-column stilted building
Semi-dry stilt building

Full hanging feetAlso known as a fully dry-column building, the floor is all suspended, and a ladder or steps are required to enter the house from outside.half slingAlso known as semi-dry shed building, part of the floor is flush with the ground, and part of the floor is suspended. Diaojiaolou is a common form of residential building in southeastern Guizhou. Even the granary for storing grain is made into a small Diaojiaolou, standing in a pond, which is said to be able to prevent rodents, insects and fire.

stilt type granary

According to architects, the stilted building is a unique creation of dry-column-style buildings under mountainous conditions. It is an improvement of the architectural art of the Miao ancestors who migrated from the Taihu Lake water network area to Guizhou and combined with the geographical characteristics of Guizhou.

Why are Drum Towers, Huaqiao and Diaojiao Towers prosperous in southeastern Guizhou, but not in other places in Guizhou?

This is because the wood industry has flourished here since ancient times, and there are abundant wood resources. The material used in these three types of construction is wood. Although reinforced concrete has been used in some places, wood is still the main material in general.

In the case of inconvenient road traffic in ancient times, Qingshui River used to be the main transportation channel for wood transportation for a long period of time. Today, the timber production in southeastern Guizhou still occupies an important position in Guizhou province.

Why is Qiandongnan rich in timber resources?The special geological conditions here have contributed greatly.

In “The oldest rock in Guizhou is actually here, have you been there?” The article introduces that the oldest rock in Guizhou is exposed in the Fanjing Mountains, which is a shallow metamorphic rock formed 870 million years ago. Southeast Guizhou is another ancient rock distribution area in Guizhou. The rocks exposed here are also shallow metamorphic rocks formed more than 800 million years ago, and the area is much larger than that of Mount Fanjing.shallow metamorphic rockIt is easy to weather to form thick soil, which provides excellent soil conditions for the growth of forest trees. In addition, the climate is warm and rainfall is abundant, so the trees are lush and the wood resources are very rich.

Because of this, the compatriots of the Miao and Dong nationalities in southeastern Guizhou make full use of the abundant wood resources, give full play to the superior characteristics of wood materials, and create and develop the unique culture of drum towers, flower bridges and stilted buildings, forming admirable local characteristics.

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