Category: Featured, Honghe Hani.

World Heritage Site#1111 :: Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces

WHS#1111 | Honghe Hani | Tourist Maps | Travel Guide | Photo & Video Gallery | News Update

hanghe hani rice terraces

State Party: China
GPS: N23 5 35.8, E102 46 47.93
Date of Inscription: 2013
Criteria: (iii)(v)
Property : 16,603 ha
Buffer zone: 29,501 ha

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The Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, China covers 16,603-hectares in Southern Yunnan. It is marked by spectacular terraces that cascade down the slopes of the towering Ailao Mountains to the banks of the Hong River. Over the past 1,300 years, the Hani people have developed a complex system of channels to bring water from the forested mountaintops to the terraces. They have also created an integrated farming system that involves buffalos, cattle, ducks, fish and eel and supports the production of red rice, the area’s primary crop.

The inhabitants worship the sun, moon, mountains, rivers, forests and other natural phenomena including fire. They live in 82 villages situated between the mountaintop forests and the terraces. The villages feature traditional thatched “mushroom” houses. The resilient land management system of the rice terraces demonstrates extraordinary harmony between people and their environment, both visually and ecologically, based on exceptional and long-standing social and religious structures.

The landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces was inscribed into Unesco world heritage list based on,

Criterion (iii): The Honghe-Hani terraces are an outstanding reflection of elaborate and finely tuned agricultural, forestry and water distribution systems that are reinforced by long-standing and distinctive socio-economic-religious systems.

Red rice, the main crop of the terraces is farmed on the basis of a complex, integrated farming and breeding system within which ducks fertilise the young rice plants, while chickens and pigs contribute fertiliser to more mature plants, water buffalo slough the fields for the next year’s planting and snails growing in the water of the terraces consume various pests. The rice growing process is sustained by elaborate socio-economic-religious systems that strengthen peoples’ relationship with the environment, through obligations to both their own lands and to the wider community, and affirm the sacredness of nature. This system of dual interdependence known as the ‘Man-God Unity social system’ and its physical manifestation in the shape of the terraces together form an exceptional still living cultural tradition.

Criterion (v): The Honghe Hani Rice terraced landscape reflects in an exceptional way a specific interaction with the environment mediated by integrated farming and water management systems, and underpinned by socio-economic-religious systems that express the dual relationship between people and gods and between individuals and community, a system that has persisted for at least a millennium, as can be shown by extensive archival sources.

Category: Featured, Honghe Hani
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