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Located in the south of Hubei, known as "the South Gate of Hubei", Xianning has great renown for “Chibi old haunt of the Three Kingdoms, inland nuclear power city”, which has great advantages of its "mountain", "water" "geography","location","culture","scenery","energy"and the trend of development. Xianning is a suitable place to do ...[more]
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Xianning City, attached to Hubei Province, known as “the southern gateway to Hubei”, is famous for sweet-scented os... [more]
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Lying in the southeast of Hubei Province, along the south bank of the Yangtze River, and at the junction of Hunan, Hu... [more]
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 Despite the late administrative construction of Xianning (prefecture-level city), the counties and urban districts under its administration all have a long history. The territory of today’s Xianning belonged to Jing Chu in the Xia and Shang Dynasties ( about 2200-1100 BC), Nan County in the Qin Dynasty(221-206 BC ), [more]
A Selection of Photos: Legend of Baoshi Village
http://English.xianning.gov.cn 09-03-26
 

  A great merchant was born in this courtyard.  Photographed by Hou Yali 

  Elegant dragon eaves are just a common building in Baoshi Village—a treasure house of art. Photographed by Pan Jidong

  “Dying out” and “newly born” in such a close distance. Photographed by Yan Wenfeng

  The ancient stone weir  Photographed by Zhang Guilin 

  Baoshi River has south and north banks, the merchant princes of the Shu family and landlords who live on charging rents mainly lived in the south bank while the people live the north bank are mainly petty dealers. (Photographed by Zhang Guilin)

  The decorated archway built in the front of Shu Hongxu’s residence, the plague writes “Tian yuan bu gun” (an honor awarded to one who has made great contribution in guarding the laws and discipline of imperial court) was awarded by the king of Chu in Xiyue.

  Baoshi Village is located in Chuangwang Town, 25 kilometers far away from the north of Tongshan County, Xianning City. Baoshi River, originated from the national key scenic spots of Jiugong Mountain and the Sun Mountain, flows through Baoshi Village and divides the village into south and north bank. Because the riverbed is filled with pebbles, the river is named Baoshi River. Though Baoshis of Baoshi Village can’t sing, there is a beautiful legend.

  Legend says that long ago there was a young man of Baoshi Village herding his horses on Baoshi River bank with lush waterweeds. One day an old man with grey hair and white beard passed by the river, he suddenly stopped and said to the young man “Lad, could you sell the big pebble at your feet to me?” The young man felt very strange and thought it might be a rare commodity which could be stored to sell at a high price in the future, so he charged for ten tales of silver. The old man searched his pockets and found that he didn’t take any money with him, so he made an appointment with the young man that he would come back to buy the big pebble with silver in half a month. When the old man left, the young guy took the big pebble home and studied it over and over again, but he didn’t find anything special. He was so angry that he threw it into the dark corner of the room and let it be.

  Half a month later, the old man came to the young man’s house for the big pebble according to their appointment. The young man hunted through the house for a long time and finally found it in the dark corner. The old man lifted it up and examined carefully, then he suddenly overshadowed. He said to the young guy “I don’t want this stone any more!” The young fellow couldn’t figure it out, so he asked the old man for answer. The old man said “That day when I passed by I found that there was a magic horse in that stone, but you carried it home and threw it in the dark corner without paying any attention to it for half a mouth. The magic horse had no grass to eat and no water to drink inside the stone, now it has already died.” Hearing those words, the young fellow regretted so much ,but too late..

  There are how many stars in the sky then there are how many pebbles on the land. Maybe the missing magic horse made people realize that anything in the world had spirit. Perhaps out of gratitude, people addressed the pebbles in the river respectfully as Baoshi. It is not inveracious at all to call the pebbles “Baoshi”. The ancestors of Baoshi Village made full use of this local material to build weirs to prevent water, pave the roads and construct the sills of house. Thus Baoshi Village, a happy paradise was built.

  Baoshi Village is a land of outstanding personality. It is known that since the Shu families settled in Baoshi Village and started their business in the early years of Hong wu Ming Dynasty, they have bred rapidly and reached about one thousand families in its heyday in the late Ming Dynasty, most of which were noble families. On the south bank of Baoshi River, there still stands Shu’s ancestral temple. According to the historical records, in the Jiajing years of the Ming Dynasty it was permitted to ally clans and construct ancestral temples, later only those who had been the emperor or been given the title of marquis could name their temples  “ ancestral temple”, others were called ancestral hall. From this we can see how noble Baoshi Village used to be. Baoshi Village of that time had four characteristics. First, there were many people who had been imperial officials. Among them including Shu Guanghui whose name was gloriously written in the national history and Shu Daohong whose was distinguished in his times. According to Shu’s genealogy records the number of officials whose rank was higher than eighth-rank was more than one hundred. Second, there were lots of professional talents. There were a great many law practitioners, Kungfu masters, doctors of traditional Chinese medicine and drama masters who were famous in the local place and well-known in Peking, the capital city. Third, there are numerous merchant princes. There were two commercial streets respectively located on the south and north bank of Baoshi River. Later they became trading centers of the border area of Hubei and Jiangxin Provinces. In the period of the Republic of China it was called “the small Hankou”. Fourth, it had well-developed social undertakings. There are more than ten various kinds of charity organizations such as the School Aiding Organization which donated money for children to receive education and so on.

  The dragon eaves, hexagonal tiles, delicate carvings and pebble paved alleys are network- like crisscross, and peaceful and deep like a quiet valley. It seems that there are fragments of history written among the gray bricks, black tiles, white walls and ruins. The black and shinning old-styled door, which was made by wood slabs ranged together, is carved which vicissitudes. The moss, which is as deep green as waterweeds, seems to be hiding pieces of poems of the Tang Dynasty and verses of the Song Dynasty which can be chanted for thousand of years.Strolling on the flagging of Baoshi Village, it is quiet easy for someone to walk into the history of thousands of years and into the long period of time which has passed.

  Baoshi Village which possesses the profound and thick cultural foundation as well as the historical, traditional and classical beauty is become more mild and gentle after the baptism of the years. Baoshi Village is also becoming dilapidated gradually after the grinding of the years. How to protect this “Baoshi” of ancient dwellings is an urgent topic. (Reported by Song Zhiqiang Du Peiqing and Shu Jide)

  Reported by Song Zhiqiang and Du Peiqing  (http://www.xnnews.com.cn)


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