Mushroom House of the Hani Nationality
Hani Nationality always lives on the mountainside facing to the sun and nestle their villages along the mountain. There are always about 30 to 40 households in a village, or several hundred households at maximum. The houses of the Hani Nationality are distributed along the sloping terrain, in varying heights and picturesque disorder, which create a pure and diversified scene.
It is said that the Hani people lived in the cave in ancient times. The high mountain and the steep road brought them a lot of inconvenience. Later, when they moved to a place named "Reluo", they saw that the big mushrooms scatting all around the land could not only resist wind and rain, but also can provide shelter for ant and small insects. Then, they began to build the mushroom house.
The mushroom house has beautiful and unique appearance. It is warm inside the house even in the chilly winter while cool in the scorching summer. The Malizai in Yuanyang County, Honghe State is the largest village of Hani Nationality.
The mushroom house of the Hani Nationality is made of soil foundation wall, bamboo and wood frame and couch grass roof. The roof consists of four slopes. The house is composed of several layers: the lowest layer for feeding cattle and sheep and piling agricultural tools; the middle layer built by wood board has three rooms, the left, right and middle one. In the middle lies a square fire pond with fire all the year around; the top layer is covered with soil which is good for fire-proofing and storing articles.
The house uses soil and stone as main materials with two types of roofs: the flat roof for Tuzhang house and double-side-slope or four-side-slope roof for couch grass house. On the steep land where flat is rare, the flat roof is more popular because it is fire-proofing and convenient for drying grains, therefore the space are utilized effectively.
In the history, where there is the Hani People, there is the mushroom house. It is scattered through out the Hani Country. After the long-term development and improvement, the mushroom house is now drawing near to the perfect while still retaining the traditional characteristics. The mushroom houses, together with the towering mountains, charming Cloud Sea and beautiful terraces, have created the wonderful and splendid scene of Ailao Mountain.