Cottage of Daur Ethnic Group

Cottage with a -like Roof & “Manzi Kang” (Heated Brick Bed)

Most of the Daur villages are situated against mountains and by rivers and have lovely scenery. Houses and compounds are trimly built. Rows of tall thatched cottages shaped like the Chinese character produce a handsome and rough impression. Fences made of Chinese tamarisk twisted into various patterns surround every house. The courtyard has a strict setting, stalls and cowsheds located far from the yard so as to keep clean.

The Daur people usually use pine or birch wood as the frame of their traditional house, with mud bricks or furrows as the wall applied with yellow mud inside and outside, a thatched roof, and two or three or five rooms accordingly. In a double-room house, the western room is the bedroom while the eastern one is the kitchen. As to a three- or five-room house, the middle room is the kitchen and the others on its both sides are living rooms. The house usually sits in the north and faces the south, designated for day lighting and characterized with many windows. Along the southern, northern and western sides or along the southern, eastern and northern sides in the living room there are three heated brick beds connected together, which have a popular name as Manzi Kang. Mangzi Kang is quite capable of keeping warm. Therefore it is necessary heating equipment for the Daur people in winter.

In a Daur house the western room is the distinguished one, inside which the brick bed in the south is regarded as the one of honor and is usually occupied by the senior. The son, daughter-in-law and their kids mostly take the northern brick bed or that in the eastern room. The western room is designated only for guests, with the bed usually covered with a reed mat or felt.

With the development of economy and improvement of living conditions there are more and more brick house nowadays. Nevertheless the custom such as sleeping on the heated brick bed is still quite popular among the Daur people.