Unusual Intellectual Heritage
The Liukeng inhabitants advocated education and regarded Confucian doctrines as standards of morality. They tried to invigorate clans through education. During Ming Emperor Wanli's reign (1573-1620), the village had 26 academies, and during
Qing Emperor Daoguang's reign (1821-1851), there were 28. A cultural relics expert once commented, "The architectural style of ancient residences in Liukeng differs from that of imperial buildings, ordinary farmers" residences, or of ordinary merchants' residences. The character of Liukeng residences is reminiscent of feudal scholars. Inscriptions portraying the ideology, culture and morality of Confucianism cover lintels, screen walls, gables, and archways. According to rough statistics, the village now has 170 inscribed boards, 200 inscriptions on walls, and 100 pairs of couplets. More than 60 percent of the halls in Liukeng's residences hang boards with the name of the hall inscribed on them. Many of the inscriptions were written by famous scholars.
A pair of 600-year
-old stone lions in
front of the former
residence of Dong Sui.
Paintings and Sculptures
Over time, many ancient buildings in Liukeng Village have become dark and gloomy. But the paintings and sculptures on lintels, window lattices. Walls, eaves, pillar bases, and ceilings are still very beautiful.
Huaide Hall, or Phoenix Hall, at 68 Shubei Lane, built during
Emperor Wanli's reign (1573-1620), is the most well-preserved Ming building in the village. Three pictures of relief sculptures consisting of 70 bricks lie inside the hall.
Signs of gold plating
can be found on
ancient window lattices.
Every window lattices, partition, and douguong (brackets atop support columns) in Liukeng Village is a work of art. The inch-long patterns of fugures, flowers , and animals on window lattices are vivid and lifelike, and several lattices form a complete drama plot. Beautiful colored paintings and ink-washes have been left on outside walls, door lintels, and ceilings.
The largest stone carvings in Liukeng Village are two red sandy rock lions in front of Dong Sui's former residence. They are more than 400 years old. To avoid damage by the Red Guards during the "cultural revolution" (1966-76), they were buried underground. Now unearthed, they represent ancient splendor.
Culural Relics in Homes
Nearly every home in the village contains state-level cultural relics in he hands of villagers are up to state ratings. Historians regard the more than 20 kinds of clan genealogy since the Ming Dynasty as the most precious.
At present, the state cultural relics department is sorting out and registering the artifacts that have been preserved in the village.