Azheke plan motivates heritage folks to value Hani tradition

By carving in hospitable mountains’ slopes into the small patios of arable land, the Hani people have created the marvelous traditional agriculture featuring terraced rice fields.


Today the agricultural wonder remains as grand as ever, while the people there are leading a more radiant life, especially those in Azheke.

Azheke, a village located in a core area of the Hani Terraced Paddy Field, is the world’s sole cultural heritage named after a single ethnic group.

Located in south Yunnan’s Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, the heritage site was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2013.

Now, Azheke has grown to be a living museum displaying the Hani people's traditional mushroom-shaped huts consisting of mud and wood with straw roofs, which is known as “Mushroom Village”.



China has engaged in a huge program of poverty reduction focusing on development-driven poverty alleviation in rural areas. Azheke Village is no exception.

Wang Ranxuan, chief of Azheke Village came to work in the village and helped villagers reduce poverty. He said in the past, the income of the villagers was so meager that most young people chose to work outside their village.

In January 2018, a team led by Bao Jigang, a professor at Sun Yatsen University in the southern province of Guangdong, came to investigate the traditional housing at the invitation of the local government.

In July, the team proposed an "Azheke plan"-motivating villagers to protect their traditional houses via a dividend system.




A tourism company was set up in 2018, with 65 households receiving 70 percent of its share. The total tourism income of the village reached more than 700,000 yuan.

Now, as the "Azheke plan" was carried out, developing tourism has increased the income of each household and lifted the village out of poverty.

Despite the sweeping changes taking place, the Hani people still proudly embrace their traditional culture.

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