Carrying a Truck Chassis, Chungking to GuiyangCarrying a Truck Chassis, Chungking to Guiyang

“Not far along the road and still in the mountains, we encountered another very much more modern type of heavy loads. First eight men carrying on poles the crate engine of a small lorry; next sixteen men, also with poles and ropes, carrying the entire chassis of the vehicle, stripped of every movable part. The road was a bare six feet wide.”

 C.P. FitzGerald was intrigued by the life of the people who frequently traveled these roads. “Porters and litter bearers are always Ssu Ch’uanese, and usually ragged wretches drawn from the poorest class who have taken to the roads to earn a hard living. … They spend their en2re lives traveling to and fro over these mountain roads and though unable to read and quite unfamiliar with maps, many porters know every road in south‐west China.”C.P. FitzGerald spent a lot of time studying the different trade routes in the Dali area. This picture was taken on one of these roads between Chungking and Guiyang. During this era trade routes were essen2al. Many of these routes went on to Sichuan and Tibet after trading goods in Dali. The Dali region became a center for people on the ancient trade routes; Xizhou was one of the villages that prospered most from this crossroads. Most of the trade that happened in this area was between the Tibetans and the people of Yunnan. The Tibetans came down looking for tea and the Bai people would trade to get salt, medicine, mushrooms, and other goods.