Naxi - Settlements

Naxi villages range greatly in size from only a few to more than 200 households (20-1,000 people), with the average somewhere around 40. The area also boasts several towns, the largest being Lijiang with a population of about 25,000. The principal factors influencing settlement size are the availability of cultivable land and water for irrigation. The settlement pattern of most villages is characterized by closely clustered domestic compounds, surrounded by vegetable gardens and orchards and, further out, fields of grain and other staple crops. Domestic compounds consist of walled courtyards enclosing at least two principal buildings, a house and a stable. Traditional Naxi houses are of whole-log construction, with roofs made of slats weighted down by stones. Increasingly, houses of this type are being replaced by Hanand Bai-style houses with wood frames, tamped earth or adobe walls, and tiled roofs. House architecture reflects Naxi views of cosmology, kinship, and gender.

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