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Shaxi the faded caravan culture history

Shaxi is the gateway to Tibet ,the last town between Dali and Tibet also is one of the key point  alone the old Tibetan  road down  to  connect  south Asia  ,its  located in the south part  of of its head town Jianchuan ,mountains in Shaxi is also the extension parts  of Himalaya mountain ranges.the average  altitude is 2000m ,the valley is surrounded on four sides by green mountains ,Black muddy river flow though the rich, flat, farming  lands like a silver long scarf .there are 5 ethnic groups live here the Bai ,Naxi,Lisu,Han and Yi ,there are 65 villages with only  about 20000 inhabitants.

Before 1952 no roads are built from this part to Tibet ,the only transportation means for goods and trading  was horse caravan on earthly trails  .therefore Shaxi  is also view as the only surviving market town on the tea and horse caravan trail.

2 kinds of caravan groups ,one works for government, the other is made of individual trading  group.the caravan groups could be teamed up by their ethnic identity  as well as their believes ,such groups as Muslim caravan group.Bai caravan group etc .it could be teamed up as where they are from originally ,such as Shaxi caravan group ,Deqin group .

In this particular organization 3 persons are in charge .they are the head leader ,the vice  leader and the manager .to be a head leader one must  need to know very well about goods trading alone the trails ,includes local products from different regions ,pricing as well as handful of social network .who are also capable of dealing with different caravan groups,government officers ,local inn runners or  whoever you may encountered along the long trip  .he also needs to know everything about trails conditions ,rest stops ,bridges etc like back of his palm .while  the leader is away then the vice leader became  his replacement .the manager  dealt  with expenses such as incomes and outcomes ,he acts like a finance manager in all .

The rest of the people in such a  groups are horse  man.one horse man may take care of  4 horses .one caravan group consists 5 horse man as a unit

Lots of these groups contently travel to north part of Tibet ,west part of Burma and south Thailand .oftern such a journey would cross different ethnic groups in different territories ,and every part you came across all speak different languages.there is a such leader in dali from the past used to travel up to WEIXI ,he was able to speak Bai,Han,Naxi,Yi,Tibetan languages to assure no matter where his group went they could have a smooth journey .

The caravan culture disappeared long ago  due to the roads developments in SW Yunnan  .but the footprint of these great horse groups and its very trails  are still stands somewhere still beyond the face of time .one day you can go out there and see it with your owns eyes .this is probably  the charm of history combined with travel  ,it awaits us for more discovery and connections with the long gone past  .

Enjoy your reading !