Strongly Fortified Stone Houses in Guizhou Province
Most of the dwelling houses of the Bouyei Ethnic Minority are stone houses of stilt style or half-side building style. Zhenning Autonomous County and Anshun City of Guizhou Province inhabited by Bouyei ethnic group are abundant in high-quality building stones. The local Bouyei people tailor measures to suit local conditions and make use of local stones to build their houses with distinctive ethnic characteristics.
The walls of the stone house are built up with stone stripes or blocks to a height of 5 or 6 meters featuring weather-tight stone roofs to protect from wind and rain. Except for the purlines and rafters, all are made of stones, even including domestic tables, benches, kitchen stoves and earthen bowls. Everything looks unadorned and impregnable.
In West Guizhou Province, starting from Guiyang Cityall the way to Pingba County, Anshun City, Puding County, Zhenning Autonomous County and Guanling Autonomous County, there is a kind of stone house out of the common whose foundations, walls and roofs are all made of stones except for several beam columns.
Lime mortar is generally used as adhesive for foundations and walls of the stone houses, while adhesives made of sticky rice or water extracted from the Chinese goosebeery roots are for taller buildings, which is a kind of special architectural technique with a long history in Guizhou Province.
The stone houses place great emphasis on decoration which is of great variety. All symbols and patterns have certain symbolic meanings and are not designed simply for the sake of decoration and beauty but with profound cultural connotations.