The unique beauty of the water wheels in the highlands of Nghe An

Dinh Tuyen - 22/10/2023 10:14
( - In the western region of Nghe An, alongside the winding blue rivers stretching across lush green fields, are the water wheels that characterize this highland region.
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Water wheels have been a longstanding items in Que Phong, Quy Chau, Tuong Duong, Con Cuong... intimately connected with the traditional farming methods of the highland people of Nghe An. In places where the flow of rivers and streams is lower than the farmland, instead of damming the water, local people create water wheels and harness the power of water to irrigate the fields. Photo: Dinh Tuyen
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The water wheels are entirely handmade, utilizing readily available natural materials, and have become a distinctive feature of the highland residents. Depending on the size of the water wheel, the corresponding length and quantity of paddles are determined. The paddles are connected to the rotating axis, forming a sturdy frame by skillfully drilling holes in the axis corresponding to the number of paddles to ensure a snug fit. They are then secured with flexible ropes made from vines or rattan. Photo: Dinh Tuyen
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Around the frame of the water wheel, woven fan blades made from bamboo are placed to divert water and generate rotational force. Photo: Dinh Tuyen
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Mr. Sam Van Thanh in Chau Tien commune, Quy Chau district shared: "Every year, around the beginning of the spring crop (around the 12th lunar month), people repair or make new water wheels to prepare for irrigating the new crops. To complete one water wheel, people have to work continuously for about two weeks, and often households owning nearby fields collaborate on one water wheel. Many water wheels are erected close to each other, one connected to the next, forming a cluster of water wheels." Photo: Dinh Tuyen
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These water wheels serve to irrigate the fields, contributing to a bountiful harvest season. Photo: Dinh Tuyen
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The joy of a fruitful season for the local farmer. A water wheel can be seen in the background. Photo: Dinh Tuyen
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In Yen Hoa commune (Tuong Duong), the distinctive feature here is the system of nearly 50 water wheels along the Cha Ha stream. Besides providing water for irrigating the fields, the dense water wheel system here has created a lively and attractive landscape, showcasing creativity in labor and production, deeply embodying the highland region's cultural identity. Photo: Dinh Tuyen
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Next to the water wheels, local residents cast their fishing nets. This simple image evokes the peaceful life of the highland region. Photo: Dinh Tuyen
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Thai ethnic young women play by the water wheels. Photo by Dinh Tuyen.
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These water wheels are intertwined with the lives of many generations of highland residents, containing the dedication and wisdom of the ethnic communities. Therefore, preserving the rotations of the water wheels contributes to preserving the cultural essence of the mountainous communities of Nghe An. Photo: Dinh Tuyen
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