Jiangtaibu, Gansu, taken by Sowerby, July 27, 1909. From Through Shên-Kan.
Jiangtaibu is now part of Guyuan in Ningxia. According to the book Through Shên-
Kan, there had been a recent rainstorm which left plenty of standing water. The
expedition departed from here the morning after this photograph was taken.
The Jiangtai Walled Village
On March 20, 1909, on their way to Lanzhou, the Clark expedition
traveled from Jiangtaibu via Shanjiaji to Jingning. On July 25, on their return
journey, they had a brief pause in Shanjiaji and recorded the meteorological
data: sunny, no wind. That evening they stayed in Jiangtaibu.
Through Shên-Kan, p.58–71: “The villages were all prosperous-looking
places, where the rich crops of cereals afforded a pleasing contrast after the
meager productions of the famine-stricken wilds west of Jing-ning. There was no
sign of opium, and this was partly explained by the fact that the inhabitants of
the valley were all Mohammedan. Indeed, on this journey it was noticed that,
wherever the ordinary Chinese tilled the soil, the best land was devoted usually to
the cultivation of the poppy; whereas the Mohammedans used all their land for
cereals, hemp, and other useful products.”
On October 5, 1935, during the Long March, the Central Red Army
led by Mao Zedong arrived at Shanjiaji in Ningxia. Mao visited the mosque
to call on the imams, exchanged gifts and after dinner with them, was
accommodated in a residence next to Shanyitang Mosque. The next morning
he departed in the direction of Liupan Mountain and just three hours after
he left, the residence he stayed at, and the mosque, were bombed by aircraft.
Two days later, after they had traversed the mountain, Mao wrote a poem,
“The Mountain Liupan,” including this well-known verse, “One who fails to
reach the Great Wall is not a hero.” The Great Wall he mentioned is thought
to be the section in the area of Liupan Mountain, which was built during the
The Red Army passed through Shanjiaji three times, and due to the
friendly relationship they had established with the local Hui people, they
were provided with help on each occasion. Commemorating the centenary
of Chairman Mao’s birth, the Hui people raised funds for a monument on
which was written “People’s Savior; A Great Leader”.
Village with stables, Jiangtaibu, Guyuan, Ningxia. By Sowerby. July 27, 1909. Smithsonian Institution Archives, Image #2008-3084
Jiangtaibu market. March 15, 2009. On October 22, 1936, the Nos. 1, 2, and 4 divisions
of the Red Army joined forces here. The stables in the old photo no longer exist and the
area is now covered by this square. Market fairs with fixed dates are held here weekly.
Remains of the Qin Dynasty Great Wall at Guyuan.