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Gongshan History

Gongshan Derung and Nu Autonomous County is a small county in northwest Yunnan Province, People's Republic of China. It has an area of 4,506 square kilometres and a population of 35,910 as 2012 census. The isolated, special environment and rainy, humid climate of Gongshan makes it a good grain-producing area, as well as a place where various ethnic groups and religions live with and influence each other.

The History of Dulong People

Few historical records were found regarding the origin of this ethnic group till today. But relative references show that they were once under the rule of court-appointed Naxi headmen through the Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368) to the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911). They had no uniform name and were called 'Qiao' in the Yuan Dynasty and 'Qiu' or 'Qu' people after the Qing Dynasty. With the founding of the PRC in 1949, following consultation with the ethnic group it was decided to agree upon the official name of Dulong ethnic group.

A Peaceful Buddhist Village

There is a unique township in Gongshan county---Bingzhongluo. As multiple ethnic groups have settled and thrived in the area, they have also come to learn to respect the different beliefs and religions.

Lama village, a multi-ethnic village located in the central area of the tableland, was so named because of its lamasery, the "Puhua Temple."Compared to Chongding village, not far away, houses in Lama village were more concentrated, but a little simple and crude. Living standards in this village are not very high, and the environment rather isolated.

Although small, Lama village is home to a variety of ethnic groups. Nowadays, however, it is very difficult to distinguish the ethnicity of villagers in Bingzhongluo from their appearance and customs.

Puhua Temple is located on a tableland called Changputong and its white enclosure and gate have been newly renovated. Its abbot, 72-year-old Ganma Yuanzhai, said the temple belongs to the karma bka' brgyud pa sect, and dates back over 200 years.The abbot is a Nu and joined the temple as a boy aged 12. The abbot said the temple gets very crowded during the Tibetan New Year, according to the Tibetan lunar calendar, and on the Fairy Festival of the Nu people which falls on the 15th of the third lunar month.

The lamasery, explained the old abbot, was not only influential in the area, but was the only lamasery in the whole prefecture. That was why among the 5,700 population of the township, about 2,000 were followers of Tibetan Buddhism.

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