Culture Carried on the Back

“It is easier to climb to heaven than to take the Road in Sichuan.” This is a poem by Li Bai that complains about the poor traffic in Sichuan. Situated in the southeast of Sichuan province and nearby to Wuling Mountain, Youyanng is on the east side of the YunGui Plateau. With luxuriant forests, this area is strategically located and difficult of access. Normally, villagers can be seen “shouldering” heavy loads in flat areas. However, in plateau carrying loads on the back is more efficient because villagers can use both hands to assist their climbing. Thus “carrying on one’s back” becomes an indispensable part of production and life, creating a culture on the backs of the local people.

According to the content and material, this “culture” carried on the back falls into two main types: “basket” and “bucket”. The “basket” is weaved by bamboo and rattan, usually used to load solids. While the “bucket”  is a wooden container that can hold liquids. These two kinds of containers have different styles in different geographical conditions.