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Zhiyan Village

Zhiyan Village is located at the northeastern edge of Lanxi. Zhi is the name of a fungus said to bring good fortune it is also the name of the imposing mountain behind the village. Yan is a dam to regulate the flow of a stream. The village had the good fortune to be located where a stream flowed out of the mountains, guaranteeing it a water source during dry times, whereas other villages had to store water in ponds. Half-moon Reservoir at the bottom of the village is fed by the stream and is said by the villagers to represent their accumulated good fortune.

After 1949 a large dam was built, giving all villages access to running water and irrigation. Before the large reservoir was built Zhiyan was part of Jiande, although due to the mountains villagers were more toward Lanxi.

Today the village has a population of 1700, of whom 1400 belong to the Chen lineage. As the Chen genealogy explains they traces their origins to the 12th century. Over time the lineage was organized into branches, each with its own ancestor temple where sacrifices were held twice a year.  The genealogy explains how those temples were supported.

 This Zhiyan Village website subsites for the various temples, photos of street scenes and private homes, religious sites, funeral preparation, translations of documents in the Chen genealogy going back to the sixteenth century, and notes from interviews with an elder.

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Hall of Filial Devotion 孝思堂

Hall of Abundant Splendor 光裕堂

Hall of Promoting Goodness 濟美堂

Hall of Completing the Will 成志堂

Hall of Succeeding Glory 承顯堂

Hall of Continuing Virtue 衍德堂

Documents from the Genealogy

Tour of the Village and Ancestral Halls

Still Images from Zhiyan Village

Detailed map of Zhiyan Village (in Chinese)

Field notes from 2002 interviews (in Chinese)