Home Institution

Plymouth State College

Publication Date

Spring 2006

Program Name

China: Yunnan Province - Language and Cultures


On the eastern mountainside of Nixi cling several tall, red earthen houses, the winding road to Deqin cuts between; they face a swell in the middle of the valley where several more houses stand, and one in mid-construction. The two clusters of beautiful Tibetan houses are connected by a fairly recently added crushed stone road, walled in by rough stonework patched with cement. The village is surrounded by evergreens and blossoming mountain laurels. To the north the green mountains are staggered until they slowly fade into pale blue creases humbled by a high snowcapped range at the Tibetan border. To the east rises a bald mountain holy to the Nixi villagers and with a barren peak is appropriately called the grandfather and faces on the western side the grandmother peak where pines reach the summit. The city of Zhongdian lies only 15 miles to the south, hidden by a drastic snowcapped mountain daunted by black stone cliffs between the white snow-slides.

There are only 11 families in Nixi, making up a population of 213 people, although on a typical day there are a couple dozen working elsewhere. The population of Nixi is of the Zang nationality, and dominantly Tibetan although several members have married outside their nationality. For as far back as the elders remember, Nixi has never been isolated; interregional relations, trade and outsourcing have always been a functional part of survival. But over the past decade a new change is coming with the introduction of new technologies, appealing job opportunities and an influential media. This paper will analyze recent history as how the villagers have adapted to survive, the villagers present fulfillment, and their hopes for the future. It is critical to remember throughout that cultural tradition, unique lifestyles and community organization go beyond profitability value but instead are valued because they are in existence as a fragment of a diverse whole.


Place and Environment | Rural Sociology


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