Photographs of the fishing village Chongwu 崇武镇 dated to early 1986. While visiting with puppet play troupes in Quanzhou at the behest of my friend Dr. Rainald Simon (one of these troupes I later brought to Beijing to perform at the German school there), local colleagues recommended a visit to this village. Sitting right on the Fujian coast, Chongwu has historically been a very prominent place, famed for example for its masonry - it is a village almost entirely constructed of stone, as can be seen in many of the images. It is - not surprisingly -protected by a solid, 2567 meter long wall dating back (in parts) to the Ming dynasty, complete with gates, gate towers, and the shrines to see wayfarers off with good-luck wishes.
Another important characteristic of Chongwu are the women. Although ethnically Han, they dress atypically, and have preserved many customs not found elsewhere. They are also described as very hard-working, and are employed in road and other construction enterprises.
One custom that I only saw in Chongwu relates to cats which appear to be used as messengers to communicate with wish-granting deities. This practice may no longer be legal these days, and maybe it wasn't legal when I visited in 1986, but the cats strung from the city wall certainly carried messages around their necks (as can be seen in #24 and 25)
Kodak CP100 color negative film, scanned at 1200 dpi as TIF files with a Canon 8600F, converted to JPG, and individually post-processed for sharpness and color fading. Some images cropped.
Thomas H. Hahn
© Thomas H. Hahn Docu-Images