Along the way from Anshun westward to Huangguoshu Waterfall, traveler can see houses upon houses made of stones.
The owners of the houses are mostly Buyi people. No bricks or tiles can be seen in the entire village, as people build walls with rocks, roofs with stone slices, and partitions with stones too. The bounding walls, passages, bridges, perches on the hills, and even domestic utensils including pestles, mills, bowls, troughs, and jars, etc, are all made of stones. It is a stone world.
The Stone Village is a Buyi village with such typical stone architecture. It is about 6 km from Huangguoshu Waterfall and the residents are mostly under the surname of Wu. The legends say that 600 years ago, a Buyi man with the surname of Wu settled down here and all the villagers are his offspring. Nowadays the village has 200 households with over 1000 residents.
The Stone Village is embraced by the mountains and surrounded by rivers. It has large patches of fields in the front and green trees in the back. Beside the village there is the wide, limpid Stone River, where groups of fishes swim after each other. Above the river there is a five-arch stone bridge that is over 30 meters long and 5 meters wide. The five arches with their reflections form circles, into which the limpid water and green mountains on the other bank are reflected, forming five colored screens with different patterns. The sunlit stone houses on the bank, together with the surrounding bamboo woods and fruit trees, are like white clouds that scatter between the green mountains and limpid water. It is indeed a picturesque scene.
The stone architecture in the village is very special. The houses are built from top down along a rugged slope. The rows upon rows of houses are orderly distributed on the mountain. Some stone houses have their doors facing the same direction in an irregular array; others are staggered in distribution and form a courtyard with one principal room and two wing rooms; still others are separate courtyards with a stone bounding wall and an arch entrance. Under the bamboos and willows at the end of the village there are also placed several stone stools and chairs. The houses are constructed with wood and stones instead of bricks or tiles. The villagers make wooden joints for the framework, and the number of braces varies from 7, 9 to 11.3-room and 5-room houses alike, the room in the center is often used as the living room with the naked ground as the flooring, and the two rooms on both sides of it are used for bedrooms paved with stone planks. The cellar is used as the stable. When constructing the house, the workers first build two relatively high foundations with stones which are usually over 2 meters high, and then build wood-braced framework on the top of them. As the foundations are relatively high, every household has to have a stone staircase built to enter the house. After the house framework is erected, workers then build stone walls of the rooms and cover the house with thin stone planks. Some houses are partitioned with stones and supported by stone braces, others are either piled with stone blocks and stone mats or built with laying stone techniques, others are built with stone materials that are smoothed by hammers, and still others are first piled with rugged stones, the joints of which are later filled with mortar or cement. The entire house is very beautiful, featuring close joints, rhythmic lines, and exquisite workmanship.
Thanks to the many stone hills and much shale in the neighborhood that have provided the villagers with natural resources of stone materials, and to the construction practice throughout years that has brought forth many skilled craftsmen, the stone-wood architecture has been constantly improving in quality. As the stone houses are built with materials taken from the neighborhood, they are inexpensive, wood-saving, fire-resistant, comfortable, enduring, and warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Particularly, they need no bricks and tiles, which are earth-saving and energy-saving and has been praised by experts.
The women of the stone villages are deft and clever. Every woman can do needlework skillfully. Their specialties include wax printing and brocade weaving. About 80% of the adult women in the village can do wax printing and half of the households have dying jars. About one third of the farmers are also engaged in brocade weaving. The wax printing and brocade weaving of the stone village are famous for their rustic elegance and exquisite craftsmanship. The brocade is splendid in color and the wax patterns are light and graceful. With the continuous development of Huangguoshu Resort in recent years, the Stone Village resort has attracted lots of tourists from home and abroad with its beautiful landscape and the traditional handicrafts such as wax printing and brocade weaving.