Honghe Hani Rice Terraces

Rice terraces with forest and traditional village.

A traditional integrated farming system developed by Chinese Hani ethnic group.

Yuan Yuan

Water has an inseparable connection with the Hani people. The Hani people built their villages backed by forests and on a half-hill steep slope based on their understanding of nature, forming a forest-village-terraced vertical structure. The entire village is surrounded by forests. The Hani people use terrain to introduce water from the upland mountain forest into the village and terraces through ditches. The rainwater stored in the forest can provide sufficient drinking water and irrigation water for the people and animals in the village. The Hani people built basins in their villages for drinking, washing clothes, washing vegetables, etc. Rice is the main crop of the Hani people, and a rice-fish-duck compound agricultural system has gradually developed. At the same time, the Hani believe that water is sacred
and can bring life to everything. Therefore, in the traditional culture of the Hani people, there are festivals to worship the god of water.

Circular Stories

Circularity of the system.

Throughout the year, except in September and October, there is always water in the terraces. Every May, farmers start ploughing the fields and start putting fish fry and ducklings into the fields. By mid-September, people are ready to harvest the planted red rice and start salvaging the fish in the paddy fields. After the farm produce is sold at the market, people drain the water in the fields and start preparations for the annual harvest festival. Villagers celebrate the harvest and pray for the new year during the festival. In November, farmers open canals to let water from the mountains flow into the terraced fields. Water storage during the non-cultivation period is a way of protecting the soil quality of the ridges, making them less prone to collapse.