Yuanyang Rice Terraces, located on the southern slopes of Ailao Mountain in Yuanyang County (part of Honghe Hani Autonomous Prefecture) and located in the south of Yunnan Province has been a masterpiece of the ingenuity of the Hani people for generations. Southern Ailao Mountain, with this typical tiered landscape, is famed for its unique frontier scenery.The Hani people's ancestors came to this steep mountain area 2,500 years ago. In their struggle against the difficult terrain they successfully established the terraces, where they grew rice in order to make a living. The technology of developing fertile land on rugged mountain slopes didn't spread all over China and Southeast Asia until 14th century. The creativity of the Hani people turned this mountain area into one of artistic beauty. In recognition, the Ming Dynasty emperor granted the title of 'Skillful Sculptor' to Hani people and their good reputation was passed down from generation to generation. At present, known as 'land sculpture' the terraced fields have been being officially acknowledged by UNESCO as a World Cultural and Natural Heritage site.
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