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111 The Fudzin River Valley A Chinese Farming Fanza. Cooking Antlers in Velvet. Anofriyev as Leader of the Team. The Boat Overturns. The Forest Understory. Forest Birds. Encounter with a Promyshlennik. We left Koksharovka on June 6th. Our horses were rested and walked with greater energy, irrespective of the fact that there were just as many horseflies and blackflies as the day before. It was particularly difficult to walk at the rear of the detachment; this was where the bulk of the biting flies congregated. When the flies are bad it’s best to walk ahead of the horses. The road leaving Koksharovka followed the right bank of the Ulakhe River. The going was fairly easy; only in one place did the trail rise a bit into the mountains because the river ran directly against some cliffs. The path dropped back into the valley once this obstacle was bypassed . The FudzinRiver flows from west to east,but inits lowerreaches itturnsnorth,hugstheleftsideofitsvalley,thenmergeswiththeUlakhe River about 2 kilometers later. The Korean rhododendrons were in full bloom, making the cliffs upon which they grew appear purple-violet in color. The Fudzin River valley is largely a meadow with old, solitary oak, linden, and gnarled black poplar. The low mountains on either side of the valley are covered with mixed forest dominated by fir and spruce. The valley’s wild beauty was tempered by human sign. Similar to quail hiding from a hunter, here and there we could make out the gray 13 112 The 1906 Expedition forms of Chinese fanzas among the trees. They were cozy-looking and had an air of peace, quiet, and hard work about them. There were vegetable gardens and vast grain fields near the fanzas. These fields had just about everything you can think of—wheat, corn, millet, oats, poppy, legumes,tobacco,andmanyothercropsIdidnotrecognize.Thegardens closer to the fanzas had beans, potatoes, radishes, pumpkins, melons, cabbage, lettuce, turnips, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and various pea strains.ThefieldsweredottedwiththebluesilhouettesofChineseworkers . They stopped working once they saw us and followed us with their eyes. Apparently the appearance of a military unit worried them greatly, and the presence of our pack horses indicated that our detachment had come a long way, and was going a long way. I went up to one of the fanzas where a very old man was working in the garden out front, weeding the beds and moaning each time he bent over. It was evident that this was difficult work for him, but he was not about to sit idly by and be a burden to the others. There was another old man working next to him who was somewhat younger. He was making the vegetables look attractive by adjusting their leaves and trimming them back where they had overgrown. Both old men greeted us in their own language as we walked by, then wiped their faces with a dirty rag and followed behind as we approached the fanza. This complex comprised three structures: a house in the middle and a barn on either side. There was a courtyard between them, swept clean and tidy, and the whole thing was surrounded by a fence the same height as the barns. Noticing strangers, the dogs barked furiously and rushed out at us. This noise roused the owner, who immediately ordered the workers to help us unsaddle the horses. A Chinese fanza is a unique kind of structure. Its walls are made of clay and its roof is gabled and covered with reeds. There are latticed, paper-covered windows that take up almost the whole front façade, and the sides and rear of the building have no windows at all. The window frames are arranged so that they can be lifted up and out of their base. There isn’t a lock on a single door, and the only reason doors are closed at all is so that the dogs don’t get in. Insidethefanza,oneithersideofthedoor,therearelowstonestoves with metal pots built into them. Smoke from these stoves travels along The Fudzin River Valley 113 the wall through exhaust channels, which warms the stones and the limestone kangs where people sleep. Each kang is about 2 meters wide and covered with straw mats. The exhaust channels from the stove are also made of stone and protrude a little ways out of the fanza, but still remain underneath the awning. The Chinese always sleep naked with their heads facing the center of the structure and their feet against the outside walls. Fanzas often...


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