Tianlong Tunpu, 72 kilometers west of Guiyang, is a small village near Huangguoshu Waterfall. Since the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368), Tianlong had been an important military fortress, guarding a major gateway to the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan.
In 14th century during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Ming dynasty stationed troops for both defense and land reclamation in Guizhou. The military elements in the design of Tianlong are readily apparent. At the time, stone was the toughest material readily available. You will see the relics of the construction use of stones everywhere in Tunpu - the cobbled roads, stone houses, stone tiles, stone gates, stone city walls and stone watchtowers…
Troops and their relatives came from the middle and lower reaches of the Changjiang (Yangtze) River. Over the centuries, the garrison forces turned the neighbourhood into farmland, grew crops, and constructed villages of stone houses for their own needs and use.
Tunpu People has survived here for hundreds of years. They continue to lead a life almost the same as their ancestors 600 years ago. As you come closer, you may easily mistaken the dwellers for ethnic minorities, as they wear traditional costumes, usually long robes of blue with loose sleeves, and cuffs embroidered with laces for the womenfolk, and have special hairstyles. In fact, they are an ancient clan of Han Chinese, the ethnic majority of China today. Secluded from the outside world, Tunpu people have strictly maintained their customs and proudly preserved the traditions of the Ming era.
Many of women in Tunpu make cothes themselves by weaving cloth and sewing. They are also good at making embroidered shoes, which is their own way to beautify their feet. The sole is made of cloth; the vamp is slightly up-urved; and the upper is embroidered with colorful patterns of flowers, fishes, birds, and insects. Two long white ribbons along the upper brims make a puttee around the leg from ankle to leg. You may pick some as unique souvenirs back home.
What can we see in Tunpu
Entering the lanes of the village, you will see barracks. The mountains around the tunpu are almost an archive of historical buildings. Ancient ramparts and the castle-style Wulong Temple are all national cultural relics. A Ming-era factory where soldiers produced weapons is in the rear of the mountain. Beacon towers, battlements and sentry posts dot the landscape.
Ground Opera is an ancient opera in Tunpu, there is an old theatre where you can watch 30 minute show. All actors are local people. There are anywhere from 40-50 to more than 100 masks in an opera. The audiences stand on high spots nearby to get a better view of the performance. Battles are a popular theme in the opera. More informations of Group Opera...