House and Architecture of Nu Ethnic Group

House with thousand of feet reaching the ground

“The Nus lived at the top of mountains.” “They covered houses with bamboo and weave bamboo into wall.” These are description of the Nu people’s life by the ancients. 

House of the Nus is pile dwelling style and is often built at the foot of a hill. There are mainly wooden house and bamboo strips house. Most of the Nus in Gongshan region live in wooden house or house half of which is earth and half is wood. This kind of house is wide, and the wall of it is usually built with logs as walls and thin slab stones covering the roof. The slab stone is about 1 chi (a Chinese length unit) square, and is paved on the roof from the eaves. The first piece is put on the roof flatly, the second is put on the first one, and the third is put on the second¡­ until the slab stones reach the ridge. The Nu people in Fugong all live in bamboo strip house. This style of house is low and small, the wall and the partition are made of bamboo strips, and it is covered with board or slab stone. The house usually has two storeys, and the second floor is divided into two rooms. The outside room is for entertaining guests and has fire pit. An iron tripod or stone tripod is put over the pit for cooking. The inside room is bedroom and both storeroom. The first floor is for storing farming tools, stuff or closing domestic animals. The floor slab is made of board or bamboo strip mat, which is laid over many wood stakes on slope. These wood stakes and poles support the whole house like thousand of feet, so people call it “house with thousand of feet reaching the ground.”

The structure of the bamboo or wooden house with thousand of feet of the Nus is simple, and also is suited to the character of the mountain region, which has much rain and fog. According to traditional custom, if a family construct house, other people of the village will come to help, and they can finish building it in one day. 

Nowadays, with the development of social economy, the living style of the Nus is developing toward direction of diversity and modernization.