Gaotai residential area is a Uighur ethnic neighborhoods in the northeast old city of Kashgar, which is built in the 40 meters high, more than 800 meters long loess cliff. It has a long two history, more than two thousand years old, there had been Uygur ancestors living there as early as one thousand years ago. One thousand years ago, one of Uighur earthenware artist accidentally discovered the earth on the cliff was suitable to be made into pottery, after that a lot of earthenware artists move their earthenware workshops there. In the eyes of Uighur people, the ancient earthenware workshops are the symbols of the birthplace of Uighur earthenware culture. Today, Gaotai residential area has become a unique culture, history, folk landscape in Kashgar. There are more than 600 families, 2,400 residents living in Gaotai residential area, most of them are engaged in traditional handicrafts, in addition to the pottery crafts, but also the production of Uygur folk art, such as the unique flower hats, clothing, embroidery, leather goods, woven goods and so on.
The Uighurs living in the Gaotai residential area inhabit here for generations, houses were built on the cliff, whenever increased a generation, they would stamped one more floor on the existing buildings, from generation to generation, so that the houses are all room with room, floor with floor, layer upon layer. These houses are mostly mud houses, but there are also some new brick houses. The garden layout, interior and exterior architectural, decorative style, all of these reflect a strong ethnic Uighur folk customs and traditional culture.
It was 6 or 7 P.M. that we went to visit the old city, walking in the street, you could come across the girls covered with scarf veil, as well as the old people and innocent Uighur children.
With the development of tourism, a lot of residential areas begin to open to the tourists. This is a government-sponsored house to shelter the lonely elderly people.
When we left, this old grandmother said goodbye to us at the door.
Generally, the local people do not allow tourists to enter their bedrooms, especially the girls’ boudoir. After getting the host’s agreement, I was allowed to enter into his daughter’s bedroom to shoot photos. Look, the stove in the middle of room was the highlight.
This Uighur child pouted in front of my lens, looking innocent and cute.
This Uygur man was busy with his household, he was greeting to me.
In the winding narrow alleys, I seemed to be walking in a maze. The main vehicle in this old town is bicycle.
You can see a variety of hand-workshops: stithy, wood production shops, musical instruments…
All the doors here are double-leaf doors, and the old doors reveal the historical vicissitudes of the old houses. Some of the doors are half open, while some are closed, but their meanings are not the same. If the door is half-open, it means the host is at home, but if the door is closed, it means only the hostess at home.
The countless streets are interlinked in the old city, one lane connects with other lane, twists and turns, but do not have to worry about getting lost, because those go through alleys are hexagonal brick roads, while those dead-end ones are square brick roads.
Several little cute Uygur steal the show
Generally speaking, Uyghur women are not let other men see their faces except their father, brothers, husbands. So you can often see the women covered with veil on their faces in the old city walking in the street. But with times went on, many women begun to open the veil. This Uighur woman was knocking coal in front of the door.
We came to a shop where sold Uighur hats, handmade fabric products, this Uygur little boss put on the hat we liked as the model, and smiled to us with sort of shy.
Because the Gaotai residential area is built on the cliff of 40 meters high, it is inconvenient to in and out of this area. When we left there, we came across a Uighur child pushing a bike on the step. Finally, I made an effort to help him carry his bike to climb the step.
We overlooked the Gaotai residential area from the window of the hotel.