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Heqing Culture

Xinhua, A Village Of Silversmiths

Xinhua, also known as Shizhaizi, is a Bai ethnic village in the northwest of Heqing County of Dali Prefecture. It’s only 40 kilometers or 30 minutes’ drive from Lijiang.

In the dialect of local Bais, Xinhua is called “Nahezi”, “Buhezi”, and “Zhoyiguozi”. For centuries, Xinhua has been noted for its silverwares preferred by Tibetans and other minority groups. Villagers there inherited the family trade since the Nanzhao Period (738-937) in the Tang Dynasty. Each family is a factory or workshop for handicrafts made from silver, copper, and even gold. Marked as “Shizhaizi Silverwares”, silverwares from Xinhua Village are especially popular in ethnic areas of Yunnan, Sichuan, Qinghai, Tibet, Xinjiang, Gansu, Inner Mongolia, Guizhou and Hunan etc; some are even exported to India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal, Japan and the United States.

Located at the foot of the Phoenix Mountain, Xinhua Village boasts many natural springs whose water gushes out from gardens of local families. A wide area of wetlands has been conserved around the Black Dragon Pool (Hei Long Tan) that is also locally called “Shizhaizi Dragon Pool”. Pastoral sceneries of farmlands, stony hills and streams can be upheld all the year around. Taking into consideration of its traditional workmanship and abundant subterranean water resources, the China Ministry of Culture Department and China Rural Development Committee bestowed Xinhua Village “the Hometown of Folk Arts” and “the Hometown of Folk Culture”. In 2010, Xinhua Village was approved as a state 4A-level scenic spot.

In the south village (Nanyi Village) of Shizhaizi, you can visit Yuhuangge (Jade Emperor Temple) on the Phoenix Mountain and the Patron God Shrine near Xingzi Dragon Pool; while in the north village (Beiyi Village), you can explore to Heguang Temple and a seven-storeyed pagoda.

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