Dali marble, quarried mainly in Cangshan Mountain,
has an age-old mining history. Dali marble, beautiful in patterns
and colours, refined in texture and multiform in variety, has a
strong anti-corrosive nature. Among the multiform varieties, there
are "yunhui" (grey clouds), "caihua" (coloured flowers), "shuimohua"
(wash painting), "cangbaiyu" (white jade), etc. The reserves of "yunhui"
are the richest. "Shuimohua" is the most famous and valuable. It
is good for making high-grade building material and handicrafts. A
poem depicts the special features of Dali marble thus: "Marble
flower patterns are blazing with colours, exquisite, glistening,
It is marvellous and picturesque that no painting
in this world can compete with. Such great riot of colour and
patterns are resembling the life of man and the beauty of nature."
The market of tourist souvenirs made of Dali marble
with natural patterns has a very bright future.
SCHIZOPYGE TALIENSIS (popularly known as
It is a fresh water fish in Erhai Lake, mostly at
the Xishan (Western Hills) source of Erhai Lake. Schizopyge
Taliensis favours swimming in clear water and striving against
swift current. It can spring up like a bow when it holds its tail
in its mouth and then releases.
With a fat and round back, the fish has white
scales, opulent meat, fewer bones, very small gall bladder, fine
texture and high protein, soit is nutritious. Therefore, it has
been reputed as "the best of all fish" by the local people. An
adult fish weighs 200 to 300 grams.
Snow Pear, planted and cultivated in Haidong
District, on the eastern shore of Erhai Lake, is one of the finest
pear species. It is round as a ball, green in peel and white in
pulp. A big one can weigh one fourth of a kilogram. With rich
sugar content, apple-acid, protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron,
vitamin B and C, the pear is juicy and sweet, and has the quality
of promoting the production of body fluid and quenching a thirst.
It moistens the throat and relieves a cough.
Tuocha (white tea or a bowl-shaped compressed mass
of tea leaves) is the traditional local tea and s&ely produced by
the Xiaguan Tea Plant. The material is the first-harvest leaves of
the year. Through the process of screening, rubbing, compressing
and drying, the lump of tea leaves is made to look like an
upside-down cake, called Tuocha, black in colour. The tea water is
clear, aromatic and sweet. To drink Tuocha persistently will have
the result of reducing fat and hypertension. So now it has become
a best seller both at home and abroad.
DALI STRAW HATS:
Straw hats are made of wheat straw in plait
patterns, by going through bleaching treatment, sewing together
into hats and then fitting out with pink coloured ribbons. The
Dali straw hats have more than ~7o patterns and designs. The best
ones are those which require the finest wheat straw with best
weaving techniques. Straw hats are the favourites of young boys
and girls of the Bai nationality while they are having outings and
visiting friends or relatives. And it is said that straw hats are
used as gifts among young people while they are courting or
getting married. Like marble articles, straw hats are another kind
of the most important handicrafts of Dali. In recent years, more
patterns have been designed and more hats produced. It is not only
favoured by the minority people at home, but also welcomed by
people abroad. It has good markets in America, Australia, the
Philippines, Japan and Hong Kong.
It is also a traditional product of the Bais in
Zhoucheng Village. The process of making this kind of cloth is
like this: First, the villagers fold and tie white cloth by hand
in the patterns of the Eight Diagrams (Bagua), butterflies, the
Three Pagodas with their reflections and plum flowers, etc. and
then dye the pieces of cloth for more than 10 times in indigo-blue
water (both imported indigo-blue and local made indigo-blue are
used), and finally, hang them up in the open air to dry and untie
the nods and spread them out. Now, you'll see the patterns of
white and blue prints on the cloth. The characteristic of the
tie-dyed cloth is simple in style but the colour sustains. It is
an excellent material for making tourist products such as clothes,
window and door curtains, table cloth, wall hangings, souvenir
bags and handkerchieves, which are applauded warmly in both
domestic and foreign markets.