Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Zigong (自贡) Salt Merchants and Our Family Salt Business

Salt was once one of the major revenue sources for the government, almost half of the revenue for ancient China. The chief inspector of the salt administration stated, "the best salt in China is produced from the salt wells of Sichuan." The best salt wells in Sichuan were in Zigong. More than 50% of the salt from Sichuan was from Zigong. It was like a gold rush at its peak with increased population as high as 40% and they came from all walks of life all over China. Salt trading was always the most profitable business and salt merchants were the wealthiest people. Zigong had always been one of the richest cities in China until the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.  The Qianlong Emperor (乾隆) was once upset with his son for oversleeping and being late for his studies. He said, “if you want to have an easy life, go to be a Yangzhou salt merchant’s son.”
     Zigong Salt History Museum (founded in 1959) was the only salt museum in China. Previously, it was the Xiqing Assembly Hall (西秦会), built in 1736. Xiqing Assembly Hall, along with its attached buildings covers an area of 6,303 square meters (about 1.6 acres). It was founded by the salt merchants from Shaanxi (陕西) (my father’s hometown) as their meeting place, costing over 50,000 tael (about 12,195,000 dollars). It used the highest architectural technologies at the time and was a symbol of wealthy salt merchants. The guilded hall took sixteen years to complete. It had a beautiful exterior and internal structure, with many delicate stone and wooden carvings. There was a large stone centerpiece of a dragon and phoenix in the yard inside of courtyard. The guild hall hosted Sichuan opera for salt merchants and local elite at festivals. Opera was my grandmother’s favorite, but I could not stand for it since it was too slow. It took five minutes to finish one sentence. It took an hour actually to kill someone. I loved the Lantern Festival. Zigong was the origin of the Chinese Lantern Festival  which Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai copied later. I wish I could go every day instead of once a year after New Year. Zigong Lantern Festival 2013
 

     I spent my first 9 years with my grandparents in Zigong.  The salt museum was one place I visited countless times as if I had grown up inside and the salt saturated my blood. I prefer salty over sweet, and beef over any other kinds of meat because the abundant of both. It was within walking distance from our home. My grandmother took me there. My uncle took us there, we took visitors there, and our school took us there. At the time, I was not interested in salt and salt history. Someone told me that the whole structure did not use a single nail. It was a giant wooden lock. I ran upstairs and downstairs looking for a nail because I did not believe it. Salt was everywhere and it was so cheap and I did not know it was very expensive in the past.
A model of a salt well drilling bits 
Brine used to be carried by man (above) and a model of a salt well drilling tower(below)

An unexpected byproduct of the drilling and resulting wells was natural gas. It was used to boil the brine. The salt deep percussion drilling techniques used in Zigong - 400 years before the Europeans. Europeans copied and further refined the percussion drilling methods

Zigong’s salt museum, which was also built by Shaanxi salt merchants, this building was constructed entirely of wooden interlocking structures.
    The Yan family was a pioneer of the Four Salt Giants and a Hakka family that also came from Fujian and Guangdong in 1733. They settled in Fujian in the Tang Dynasty, just like our Shangguan family, but they moved to Guangdong first, then to Sichuan in the Qing Dynasty.
     Here was the Yan’s family roots:
唐开元年间,颜回四十代生颜真卿,唐书法家,被后人奉为迁河南始。真卿五传生颜泊登武第,提兵平闽,遂为入福建祖。明朝末年颜泊十代生颜标兰移居广东海丰黄铜铺,为人粤始祖。 再四传生颜廷跃(字文扬)于雍正11年(1733)携夫人温氏及三个儿子由粤迁蜀,卜居威远南乡何家坝。派衍六房子孙众多,故推公为入川始祖”
     Guan family came to Chongqing, Rongchang County (雍正 2 年荣昌县) in 1724, then Neijiang (内江), where we had already established our ancestors’ shrine in Neijiang. Our ancestors were blacksmiths when they came to Sichuan. They were also oil merchants who owned oil houses. More than four generations ago, during the Chen (成) and Zhao (朝) generation, pioneers and hardworking people bought land, built houses, established the salt business in our branch family.  The Yan family came to Weiyuan (威远), Sichuan in 1733. Guan should have already settled in Sichuan, but they moved into the salt business. Tong Xong Hue (同乡会) was and still is one of the most important organizations, especially in a new place. The construction of Guangdong’s Nan Hua Palace (南华宫) started in 1899, its wall connected with Fujian’s Tien Shang Palace (天上宫) which was built in 1850. Tien Shang Palace was for Mazu (媽祖), also spelt Matsu and Ma-tsu. Mazu is the Chinese goddess of the sea who is said to protect fishermen and sailors. Both were built by salt merchants from Fujian and Guangdong. Guangdong’s salt merchants had to use Fujian’s 天上宫 before theirs were built. My ancestors must have contributed to the building of 天上宫. Yan and Guan had to know each other very early on, since they were both Hakka and together in the salt business.
Guangdong’s Nan Hua Palace (南华宫) started in 1899, its wall connected with Fujian’s Tien Shang Palace (天上宫) which was built in 1850. Both were built by salt merchants from Fujian and Guangdong.

     Guan Chen Gue (官成桂 1809-1872) was smart and quick to react (性敏逹明哲智畧过人). He was likely already in the salt business as a young adult. Chao Xuan (朝瑄) and his son Ting Ming (廷铭) were excellent businessmen and merchants who earned millions of yuan (致资巨万 “enormous amount, countless”) according to our family book. Chao Zhong (朝宗1841-1882) was a brilliant businessman and merchant (精明纯雅商业超羣). He was my great-great-grandfather. Chen Xiang (官成祥1820-1906) was a fifth level official (清正五品概授奉政大夫) in Xu Xian 叙县 (today’s 叙永县) for transportation. The place Xu Xian was the central water transportation hub. Chun Qiu Ci (春秋祠) was built by salt merchants in 1900. Most locals still think there are hidden treasures and the clues are in Chun Qui Ci. The road to get there was the most difficult way in and out of Sichuan at the time. Our ancestors all lived by rivers, which they could travel by boat. In 1812, Guan LiJi (立基 1780-1826) was named the Qing government’s official salt inspector (候补分司-盐务分司长官,掌督察各盐场, 辅助盐运使 盐法道管理盐务). LiJi was in charge of salt wells and salt transportation. He died in Feng Swei 浙省严州府分水县 (today’s Hangzhou 杭州 there is a Shangguan town 上官乡). Together, they likely brought my family’s salt well business to its peak, which was also around the time the Guan fortress was built. Guan might even be an especially important partner on the financial side of the deep drilling and our family’s blacksmiths could have expertise for drilling bits. My grandfather's private education (家塾) could very likely be the same one that the Yan family had. Yan and Guan could very likely have been connected for generations, which the Chinese called Shu Jiao (世交), not just later in my grandfather’s generation. My uncle did not remember much about the generations before.
Young Tong Bank (永通钱庄) from the Young Tong Salt Well (永通井) (owned by my great-grandfather, lost to Yan Family) from 自流井的夫子
千年盐都——富贵甲金川 
千年盐都——盐井边的繁华  
      It was a mystery about where the Guan family fortress funding came; it could not be just from one grandfather as they said. It was a mystery why the Guan fortress did not have its name inside or outside (无联无匾). It might mean the real owner/owners of the complex did not make it back, and left the Guan’s in the complex waiting. Guan’s sons bought their own houses outside of the Guan fortress even before the builder Guan’s death. Clearly, they did not want to move again, since the Guan’s huge family complex was not just theirs; their father wanted at least one son to stay inside the complex in his will. In addition, the fortress was built for defense only, so it was not really good for everyday living in peacetime.
     My uncle remembered that Guan Chao Zong (官朝宗公) had two sons. Too bad those daughters were not in my uncle’s memory since they married outside of the family, would not carry the family’s name, and would not even be in a family history book.
1.Guan Tin Liao (廷燎公).
2. Guan Tin Kun (官廷焜公), we lost contact.
     Guan Tin Liao (廷燎公) married the wealthy Liu (刘) from Neijiang (内江). Her family owned the big family courtyard (东兴镇七拱子刘家三重大院).  Liu gave him five sons and two daughters. Five sons had the same generation name Xuan (选) and their own name after. Each one of their names had (金) on the left side of their names, which means gold. Of the two daughters, one married into the wealthy Wang (王) family and another married into the wealthy Tong (童) family back in Neijiang. One family owned a big sugar plantation and the other owned a big silkworm farm in Neijiang (内江). Contact was lost with them.
     Guan’s five sons had nineteen more sons and fourteen more daughters. The sons all had private teachers and were all educated (家塾). The grandchildren (boys and girls) went to Yucai (育才小学) grammar school, followed by Xuen Chuan high school (旭川中学). Both private schools were built and run by wealthy salt merchants in the 1920s.
     Guan Xuan Quan (官选銓), whose style name was (官一书), was my grandfather’s oldest brother. He had inherited the family business, salt well, and salt refinery plant where liquid was processed into crystals, then salt until 1940. He had to sell them for various reasons. He then was put in charge of 大文堡, the salt well belonging to one of the New Giant Salt Merchants Yan (颜心畬 1886-1961). The Yan family has risen again (颜昌英) after about 100 years.
     Yan’s great-great grandfather, Yan Congying (颜昌英1789-1871), together with Li (李), the Wang王 family, and Hu (胡) had a salt empire. They were called the Old Four Salt Giants. The Yan family was the first of four giants; after Yan’s (颜昌英) wife died only giving him one daughter. He married a girl from the Li family, who had nothing then. Li gave him six boys and three girls. The Yan and Li families started inter-marrying after that. The Li family eventually took over the Yans and became the first of Four Giants. Yan’s family alone earned 500,000 Liang silver a year (a typical family needed 30 Liang a year to get by). In 1835, Yan family drilled the world's deepest well for its time, reaching 3,300 feet. The deep drilling techniques used in Zigong were 400 years ahead of the Europeans.  Joseph Needham (Cambridge University Professor, 1900-1995) listed more than twenty important inventions that had entered Europe from China in his Science and Civilisation in China (1954–2008). One of them was deep-well drilling technology.  Europeans copied and further refined the percussion drilling methods later on.  This technology can still be seen in the modern drilling techniques used for oil and water.
千年盐都——深井下的宝藏
     Private salt trading was illegal throughout Chinese history, but extremely profitable. About half of the salt was sold privately, since the taxes were too high. Private salt was cheaper and better quality. The government tried very hard to stop private trading; the late Qing had guns, but still it never stopped. British Salt Inspector Sir Richard Dane, who went to the salt city, knew first hand how the British and other foreign powers, the Qing government, salt merchants, bandits, and warlords struggled to get a share of the salt money.
     The Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864) was led by Hong Xiuquan against the ruling Qing Dynasty. He was a Hakka from Guangdong. The rebellion did not really end till 1871. It was one of the deadliest military conflicts in history. The Qing’s humiliating defeat in the First Opium War and the unfair treaties were seen by most Han Chinese as a result of the ineffective, corrupt Qing rulers. Anti-Manchu sentiment was strongest in the south among the working classes that flocked to join Hong Xiuquan.
     The Taiping Rebellion stopped the Qing Emperor’s salt route and major income. In 1853, the Qing Emperor “川粤盐斤入楚, 无论商民均许自行贩鬻” made the private salt trade legal and went along with private trade as long as they paid what was due to the government. Many salt merchants became rich; over 1,700 families in Zigong became really rich and the First Giant Four rose up. Our Guan family was one of those families.
     Three of the four giants: Li (李)、Yan (颜)、Wang (王) spent seven years and 100,000 liang silver to build the famous San DuZhai (三多寨) fortress in 1859 on the top of a steep mountain, in order to protect themselves from the bandits and warlords during the Chaos period. The name of the fortress means more happiness, more longevity, and more sons/men (多福, 多寿, 多男子). In reality, there were five families’ ancestor shrines inside; most people believed the big three led and many salt merchant families contributed. In 1860, during Sichuan’s Li and Lan rebellion 李永和、兰朝鼎起义 (1859-1864), 1000 families hid inside this fortress. I am sure our Guan family was among those inside. The fortress was strong enough to protect all the families inside.
     It was not difficult to notice Yan’s influences on the SanDuZhai (三多寨) fortress. It was Hakka-style inside and out. It was similar to the Guan’s complex for defense, except this one was on a highland. It had the same circle of defenses. The stone walls were 10 meters high and the highest places reached 30-50 meters high. The walls were 3 meters wide by 4,650 meters long. On the west side, there was a second wall that ran 600 meters long. Just like the Guan complex, there was one entry door with 5 backup reinforced doors. There were 300 family courts inside with a large farmland, small lakes, 2555 shooting holes, 24 cannons, and 24 towers.
San Du Zhai (三多寨) fortress
The water inside this fortress


 The Land inside this fortess
One of the house inside this fortress
The Only Entry of the Fortress
     The salt wealth and the salt empire rose and fell with the Taiping Rebellion and Hong Xui Quan Heavenly Kingdom army. When the Hong failed, the normal salt route opened up again. Sichuan Salt went back to its normal position again. The four Giant Salt Merchants started declining as well. Of course, their children did not help by smoking opium and living a wasteful lifestyle either. The Qing Emperor controlled the salt even more, since he needed money for the numerous treaties he had signed.
     In 1877, Din Boozhen (丁宝桢) wanted the government to control the salt trade again. The popular Sichuan dish “Gong Pao Chicken” was named after him. The four Salt Giants, together with others, fought against the government. Some died and some fled. Around 1900, the Giant Four disappeared. There were ugly fights between the Yan and Li families about money, since the Li’s took over the Yans. The Yans owed money from the Li’s that the Yans simply could not pay back. The Li family then went down as well before 1900.
     Yan was a Hakka and their Hakka mothers started their home based business. They sold mostly specialty food, some of which became famous and are still there today. When Yan XinYu (颜心畬) was ten, he lost his father. He went to work for a salt well company when he was sixteen years old. The salt well could very likely be Hakka or even our Guan’s since people from the same origin stayed very close for generations and we were all Hakka. His learning of the business from us then taking over ours made sense, just as the Li family did to them.
     In 1937, Sichuan Salt was back up to its glory again when Japan cut off its coastal salt route, just like the Taiping Rebellion cut off the Qing Emperor’s salt route, except that there was no more emperor. The second salt boom “川盐济楚” started again. By 1938, Yan XinYu’s (颜心畬) monthly earning exceeded 100,000 Yuan. The Yan family owned over twenty-three salt wells. They became one of the Salt Giants again. The other big salt merchants were the Hou侯 family、Xiong (熊) family and Lou (罗) family, 余 述怀 and 刘瀛洲. The Xiong (熊) family became Roman Catholics. Yan and three others built a steel factory. In 1945, Japan surrendered and the salt trade started to decline once again.
The five sons of Guan Tin Liao 廷燎:
1. Guan Xuan Quan (官选銓1887-1960) was the oldest son born on April 11th and my grandfather’s oldest brother. His style name was Guan Yu Su (一书). He had private education at home with teachers coming to his home (家塾). He was head of the house in charge of family’s salt business. He had three wives. He died in his home at Young Tong Salt Well (永通井). 
   The first was from the Li (李) family, likely from the Salt Giant Li family who gave him a daughter and died.   The second was a Lou (罗), likely from the Salt Giant Lou family, who gave him three sons. The first son (#1 in boys) and second son (#2 in boys) died somehow though my uncle did not say why. The third son Guan Juyao (官举尧) (#4 in boys) enrolled in Shu Guang High School (蜀光中学) in February 1935. He joined the Nationalist Army, which was fighting the Japanese invasion, and died.   In 1940, three powerful sisters from the Soong (宋) family came to Zigong and investigated everything. From 1943-1944, General Feng (冯玉祥) came to Zigong twice,  made his fund-raising speech in our ancestor’s gathering place 南华宫/天上宫, his “还我河山” which means, “Return My Country” and brought the salt city to a boiling point. The city donated the most money in China. Most was from the salt. The Wang family alone donated 10 million. A total of 120 million was donated; the average family gave 3,000 and average person gave 600. Girls and housewife donated jewelry, clothes, and shoes they made. Many joined his army. The picture of a heart shape was made with all gold rings that still exist today.  One-third of China's taxes, food for the Chinese army and Chinese soldiers came from Sichuan.

这个城市在抗日战争时捐款最多,如今却被人遗忘
 还我河山 (Return My Country) still there today

     General Feng (冯玉祥 1882-1948) was a warlord who joined the Nationalist Party (KMT), supported the Northern Expedition, and became blood brothers with Chiang Kai-shek. He later broke with Chiang again in resisting Japanese incursions in 1933. He spent his later years supporting the left wing of the KMT, which cooperated with the Chinese Communists. He was also known as the Christian General for his zeal to convert his troops. Han Fuju (韩复榘 1890-1938) gave up fighting Japanese and as a result lost at Shandong. His mistake cost my grandfather’s nephew his life. Our Guan Juyao (官举尧) was a Nationalist Army Captain, who after losing the battle, swam across the Yellow River at Fu Nin Crossing (风陵渡, which was full of Chinese history) in southern Shaanxi, my father’s hometown. He got very sick afterward and died in Han Zhong (汉中), where he was buried. I stayed in Han Zhong after my field trip to Wudu in Gansu in the eighties, not knowing he died there.
     This was a big blow to his father (选铨) who was desperately in need of sons. Good sons brought the family fortune, although it clearly showed that my family was in decline with or without sons. There is an old Chinese saying that, “a good business could not pass onto three generations.”
     The third wife was from Qian (钱 her surname means money) who gave him one son and two daughters.
      The first son carried most of the family weight, with many privileges too. He always got the biggest slice of the pie. He tried his best to keep the family business going, but still failed. He was forced to sell his own business, then my grandfathers. One of the Guan’s family rules was, “Never sell business or land to Non- Guan.” It must be the only reason I could think that my family never went back to their roots. Not Neijiang, nor Fujian. Although my cousin said his father (my oldest uncle) told her that the family we worked for was related to us, I needed to find out when and who. Xuan Quan (官选銓) became the head manager of Yan Xin Yu’s (颜心畬) Double Happiness Well (双福井), owned by Yan Xin Yu and his cousin Yan Xian Yong (颜宪阳).
2. Guan Xuan Jian (官选鏗 1892-1962) was my grandfather’s second oldest brother. His style name was Guan Wei Xin (维新). He and my grandfather co-owned a salt refinery in 1936. It was at about the same time, like his oldest brother, when they had to sell their salt well business. He too went to work for the Yan family as well. He managed a different salt well in (伍家坡). He moved back to Neijiang (内江) right before the Communists took over in 1949. He had one wife, Liao (廖), who lived to age ninety-three. She gave him five sons and two daughters.
3. My grandfather Guan Xuan Zhen (官选鏳1895-1968) was born on Oct 31. His style name was (官泽书). He had private teachers at home as well (家塾). He married Xia (夏氏 1903-1978).
My grandfather Guan Xuan Zhen (官选鏳1895-1968)
My grandmother Xia (夏氏 1903-1978)
     After losing the salt business, he did not go to work for Yan. For a while, he rented his equipment out; my oldest uncle used to help collect rent, since my grandfather had difficulty walking. It seemed everyone had an angry dog waiting for him, barking at him. Then, my grandfather had a rice business, since my grandmother’s side had farmland. My grandfather stopped working because his arthritis worsened and he could not even get out of his bed. There were two very difficult years before my oldest uncle started working. Our family had to let go of all family helpers. My grandmother, with her bound feet, had to do everything all by herself. All her kids tried their best to help her. My mother and her younger sister even helped carry a bucket of water home from a mile away after school. Normally, one person could carry two buckets of water on their shoulders, one on each side. My mother told me that the Yang () family that lived next to my grandparents in Gongjing used to be our family’s helper. Their daughter was my mother’s age; she did not go to school like my mother, and my grandparents used to pay her to carry water. Her son was the one who exposed himself in front of me under my uncle’s peach tree when I was five; I did not know they were our helpers until now.
     I was trying to ask my mother and uncle their impression about their father, since my memory of him was that he was always lying in the dark corner of the house. I did not remember much about him. They told me it was their mother who saved the family. Without her, they might not have been able to survive. They did not have anything to say about their father.
     In my oldest uncle’s five pages of family history, my real oldest uncle did not survive. As a result, the oldest uncle I have is actually the second oldest. I could not understand why almost all the children died before they lost their salt well business. The children survived after they lost their business. I never even knew there was another son before my oldest uncle, since no one had ever mentioned him to me, not even my grandmother who had told me most of her life, which she never told her children. She told me the second youngest son died from pneumonia and a cousin died from jumping up and down after receiving a perfect score. For some reason, she did not tell me that there was another child who died before my oldest uncle and any other cousins who died before that, as if those 10 years were blocked out in her mind.
     It was overwhelming for me. My grandmother told me she got married when she was fifteen and her life went downhill after that. I did not feel much at the time since I was seventeen. Now, I am trying to imagine her growing up in a wealthy home, the youngest and only girl with nine older brothers, raised by just one mother or more than one?, since now, for the first time, I know my Guan families had more than one wife. She must have been spoiled at home. She loved the Sichuan Opera; she used to go to see it everyday before she became married. Maybe she was already in love with someone there, maybe an opera singer. I was not surprised that she could sing opera very well herself. I only heard her once in my high school years and I was shocked she could sing so well when she was over seventy years old. When I asked her to sing again, she stopped and never sang again.
 Sichuan Opera: Journey to the West 川剧《火焰山》四川省川剧院
     Parents arranged marriage, a grand plan for the family’s future. She should have known. Still, she was suddenly married into a stranger’s home. My grandfather was twenty-three at the time, not the oldest, but the third boy in the family, the middle, growing up in the home of a wealthy salt well owner. Not a good picture for newlyweds. It took almost ten years for them to finally accept each other after their first son died. I asked my mother and uncle if my grandfather had more than one wife. They all said there was only my grandmother. My grandfather did love my grandmother and she loved him back by taking care of him over forty years and raising his five children.
     My grandfather was thirty-two years old and my grandmother was twenty-four years old when she delivered my uncle, the second son. Their first son’s death made the family lose faith in my grandmother’s ability to take care of the second son. I did not understand why other members of the family could not take over, or even the Tao Temple. Taoism had been our family’s religion, tracing back to Fujian. Unless something happened that changed their minds, they decided to send him to the Christian Church in my city. My uncle ended up in the Christian Church’s care until he went to grammar school. I had to look in “Wikipedia,” since I did not know anything about Taoism.
     In the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911), the Manchu royal family honored Tibetan Buddhism and showed no interest in Taoism. In this way Taoism eventually lost the support from the upper rulers and it became a secret religious organization. During the Opium War, Taoism further declined through the oppression of imperialism and western culture. Many Taoists lost their focus on religious study.
道可道, 非常道 "The Way that can be described is not the true Way."
名可名,非常名 "The Name that can be named is not the constant Name." That was one way to explain why the Guan Complex did not have any name.
     A number of martial arts schools, particularly T'ai Chi (太极拳), Bagua (八卦掌), and Wing Chun (詠春) use Taoist principles and some consider their art to be a way to practice Taoism. Taoists make use of the yin and yang symbol. A zigzag with seven stars is also sometimes used, representing the Big Dipper. Taoism incorporated Buddhist elements during the Tang Dynasty. Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism influenced one another. They share similar values. Most Chinese people identified with all three at the time.
4. Guan Xuan Yong (官选鏞 1897-1963) His style name was Jun Young (俊杨). He had a private education at home as well (家塾). In addition, he was trained in traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture and had his own clinic. He was one of the four best doctors in the city and one of the founders of the city hospital. He also co-owned a coal mine and had two wives. The first was from Wang (王) family who gave him 2 sons and 3 daughters. The second wife was from the Chen (陈) family, a well-educated woman. She was the principal of a school. She gave him 3 sons and 2 daughters. His mother stayed with him and until she died in his house.
5. Guan Xuan Ci (官选鎡. 1901-1957). His style name was Jun Xiang (俊祥). He had private teachers who came to his home (家塾). He married a woman of the Zhen (曾) family who give him a daughter (# 4 in girls) and a son (# 14 in boys). He was addicted to opium and did not hold a steady job. His wife left him, bringing their children with her and married a rich man. We lost contact with her. 

Please help to rebuild the eleventh generation
(1699-1775) grandfather Guan Yuen Hui ' s tomb: 亟待修复的内江官氏祖坟-云辉公墓

Please wire your donations to Yuen Hui ' s tomb restoration payable to: 
Guan zhong pu (官众仆)
新修内江官氏祖坟外地捐款帐号:   中国工商银行四川内江支行玉溪路分理处
                                                      官众仆 621723 2307000080724
(由本人负责管理海内外捐款,保证每一分钱都用到修祖坟上。重申:人民币1万以上刻碑面、1千以上刻碑阴、100以上记入族谱)

千年盐都

 See more: Joseph Needham (9 December 1900 – 24 March 1995), also known as Li Yuese (李约瑟)
 Simon Winchester on The Man Who Loved China
Madeleine Zelin, The Merchants of Zigong: Industrial Entrepreneurship in Early Modern China. New York: Columbia University Press, 2006. xxiv + 404 pp. $45 (cloth), ISBN: 0-231-13596-3.

盐帮菜食盐为百味之祖,自贡为井盐之都,盐帮为美食之族。吃在四川,味在自贡。植根于巴蜀文化,结胎于川菜系列,伴随着盐业经济的繁荣与发展而形成的自贡盐帮菜,成为有别于成渝两地“上河帮”、“下河帮”菜系的川南“小河帮”杰出代表。自贡盐帮菜,既是中国饮食文化中的一朵奇葩,又是中国盐文化的组成部分,也是千载盐都风情民俗的重要体现,更是当代川菜系列中的重要品牌。
《巴山蜀水》 第4集 深山宝藏 (叙永县) , clues about hidden treasures.
中国古镇(16)仙市:盐埠传奇
中国古镇(83)五通桥:国盐重镇
中国古镇(22)福宝:盐帮驿站
自贡蜀南珍品“龚扇”
妈祖
Empress CiXi also love this Baboo Fan
see how Salt Merchant's Fan was made, one in 2-3 months

Sichuan Folk Songs (四川民歌专辑)
千年盐都——探秘恐龙公墓