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Title: The Dong oral architecture : carpenter, architecture and phenomena among the Dong people in southwest of China
Author: Kong, Derong
ISNI:       0000 0004 6062 5619
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2016
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The Dong is a minority mainly living in southwest China. The Dong people do not have written language, the dissemination of knowledge mainly relies on the oral education and practice, forming a unique process and method of oral education, of architectural construction and the use of architecture. In this thesis these three processes are linked together and understood to produce ‘Oral Architecture’. Oral architecture is a process through which the Dong architectural activity is reproduced and passed down through generations, letting people participate and observe phenomena, and thus apprehend the meaning of things and community. It is built on the relationships between people, activity and building. The series of activities that relate to buildings are simultaneously the motivation to construct intra-community relationships, to maintain traditions, and promote the broader process of living closely within their particular environment. Through field research, interviews, literature review, case studies and other methods, I have collected information about the process and methods of the Dong oral education, of architectural construction, and the use and meaning of their architecture. Informed by architectural phenomenology, the thesis offers a qualitative analysis of this data in order to summarise and understand the mode and concept of Dong oral architecture. The structure of the thesis provides a broad introduction to Dong society and culture, before analysing the education and practice of Dong Carpentry; the construction of the Dong House and the Drum Tower (the most important public building in any Dong village). Concluding chapters focus on how systems of meaning and ‘reading’ are supported by Dong building and their practices of everyday life, as well as the significant events of birth, marriage and death. All translations from Chinese are by the author unless otherwise stated.
Supervisor: Blundell Jones, Peter ; Walker, Stephen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available