The traditional buildings commonly seen in Mazu can all be divided into two time periods. The early inhabitants largely came from Lianjiang, Changle, and other areas of Fujian, and they mainly constructed buildings in the Eastern Min style, with raised gables to prevent the spread of fire. These included brightly colored, flame-shaped raised gables on temples, as well as relatively modest and simple raised gables resembling waves atop dwellings.
Present day village homes, on the other hand, are stone structures mainly constructed from local yellow granite or blue limestone from the mainland; all are square in appearance, and this style has come to be called “chop” buildings because of their resemblance to Chinese ink stamps. Some have walls built carefully using even stones and herringbone brickwork, others employ a relatively haphazard stacking of smaller stones atop larger ones. As for the roofs, early houses of the wealthy usually had peaked roofs with five ridges and four inclines, while the roofs of most ordinary people’s houses have a single ridge atop two inclines. For ease of maintenance, roofing tiles are not permanently fixed in place, but are rather held in place by stones placed on top of them. Because of the ventilation that this allows, the buildings are also called “breathing houses."
Last updated: 2010/06/18 10:54