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Chuxiong Overview


Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture (楚雄彝族自治州) is named after the Yi ethnic minority that live in the area. The Yi are one of the largest ethnic minorities in China, and are spread throughout the southwest.


Chuxiong is famous for "Yuanmon Man", th fossils of lama ancient ape of Lufeng about 80 million years ago. It is the well- known as one of the birthplace of humanity and a treasure house of ancient living things' fossils. Other scenic spots like Wuding Lion Mountain and Colorful Yuanmou Earth Forest are attractive too.


The main scene of Lufeng is the dinosaur fossil, a provincial class scenic spot area and the Ramapithecus fossil. The scenic area is made up of the dinosaur hill, the relic of the Ramapithecus fossil at Shihuiba and Wutai Mountain, with an area of 50 square kilometers.

Since 1938, dinosaur fossils have been found constantly in Lufeng. 24 categories 33 species and hundred of complete dinosaur fossils have been unearthed. The discovery site of the skull, teeth fossils of many Ramapithecus is listed as a " major cultural relics reserve unit " by the State Council. Four dinosaur fossils are exhibited in Lufeng Dinosaur Museum. The largest is more than nine meters long and the shortest is 2.4 meters long.


Photos and diagrams of dinosaur fossils from all over of the world are also exhibited. There are also the halls of ancient living beings, the hall of bronze ware. earthenware, and the hall of ancient pithecanthropus. At Shihuiba is the pagoda of the sun, the moon, the star. An 11.5 meters high and the glass fiber reinforced plastic sculpture of the ancient pithecanthropus is established. The Dinosaur fossil of Lufeng was once sent to Japan for exhibition.  


Chuxiong City (楚雄市)

Chu-hsuing (Chuxiong) was interesting as being the home of Miss Cordelia Morgan, a niece of Senator Morgan of Virginia. We found her to be a most charming and determined young woman who had established a mission station in the city under considerable difficulties. The mandarin and other officials by no means wished to have a foreign lady, alone and unattended, settle down among them and become a responsibility which might cause them endless trouble, and although she had rented a house before she arrived, the owner refused to allow her to move in.


She could get no assistance from the mandarin and was forced to live for two months in a dirty Chinese inn, swarming with vermin, until they realized that she was determined not to be driven away. She eventually obtained a house and while she considers herself comfortable, I doubt if others would care to share her life unless they had an equal amount of determination and enthusiasm.


At that time she had not placed her work under the charge of a mission board and was carrying it on independently. Until our arrival she had seen but one white person in a year and a half, was living entirely upon Chinese food, and had tasted no butter or milk in months.


We had a delightful dinner with Miss Morgan and the next morning as our caravan wound down the long hill past her house she stood at the window to wave good-by. She kept her head behind the curtains, and doubtless if we could have seen her face we would have found tears upon it, for the evening with another woman of her kind had brought to her a breath of the old life which she had resolutely forsaken and which so seldom penetrated to her self-appointed exile. 


Lufeng County (禄丰县)

Famous for the 1975-80 excavations of about a dozen eight million year old Ramepithecus fossils, including teeth and skulls, the county of Lufeng has been unearthing fossils since the early 20th century. A Dinosaur Museum in Lufeng town seems to be the solitary attraction.


Yuanmou County (元谋县)

In Shangnabang village, 1965, a 1.7 million year old Homo erectus known as 'Yuanmou Man' was discovered. He was the first Homo erectus to be found in China, and had the ability to manufacture tools and use fire. Aside from this landmark discovery, Yuanmou county sports the Yuanmou Earth Forest (元谋土林), which is located only a few kilometres west of Yuanmou town.

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