Behind the Baisha’s Millenary Weirs
发布日期:2021-01-11 浏览次数:

Water conservancy is the lifeblood of agriculture, and the designing and construction of dams are complex projects with great impact on the future. Behind the realization of each of these projects, there are numerous moving stories. The recent listing of the Thirty-Six Weirs of the Baisha River among the seventh batch of the 2020 World Heritage Irrigation Structure (WHIS) was a major event for the worldwide popularity of Jinhua’s Wucheng District.

The Baisha Weirs were built during the reign of Emperor Guangwu of Han in 27 CE and cover most of the basin of Baisha River. A total of 36 weirs were built and 19 of them are still in service. This 1900-year-old historical project is the sixth one in Zhejiang and the first one in Jinhua to be recognized as WHIS.

A number of historical records prove that the Baisha Weirs were originally built by General Lu Wentai of the East Han Dynasty and his 36 subordinates. Over a hundred years later, the population along the Baisha River adopted the strategy ideated by Lu Wentai, then named Master of Baisha, to build ponds serving as water storage and open canals serving as water irrigation ducts. In extending the project along the 50 km of the middle and lower reaches of the Baisha River, the 36 weirs came into being.

Lu Wentai, courtesy name Gao Ming, was born in Fanyang, Prefecture of You (today’s Dingxing County, Hebei Province). During the later years of the reign of Emperor Cheng of Han (33-7 BCE), he served as an official of the infantry and later was appointed general. When Wang Mang usurped his predecessor (approx. 9 CE), Lu took a leave claiming illness to avoid pledging allegiance. He then sustained Liu Xiu (Emperor Guangwu) to establish the East Han Dynasty. But after the founding of the Dynasty, Lu did not maintain his high-ranking post and decided to retreat with his 36 subordinates to the upper reaches of Baisha River, present-day Tingjiu Village.

Baisha River originates from the Nanshan (South Mountain) and flows north through Shafan, Langya, Bailongqiao, Linjiang, and enters the Wujiang River. Confronted with the Baisha River, Lu Wentai experienced the deep difficulties of the locals: when sunny, they would be suffering from droughts; when rainy, they would be hit by floods. He made the decision to build a system of weirs and streams to irrigate the vast fields and benefit the people, also preventing the local area to suffer again from drought and flooding. In his poem “Fond Memories of the Baisha River,” grand councilor of the Song Dynasty Wang Huai (1126-1189: see note 1 below) chants:

Along the Baisha stand thirty-six dams

To restrain and release spring’s floods.

Fields and crops are free from drought

In a farmland of bountiful falls.

The Baisha Weirs and Lu Wentai’s contribution are also chanted in “Untitled,” a poem by Song Yue, first magistrate of the county of Tangxi during the Ming Dynasty:

A fortress of strength for his country,

He then retired in quiet modesty.

He fell outside the emperor’s good graces,

But after death he gained honor and praises.

Water sluices across the thirty-six dams

standing dutifully to beautify the land.

The people of the Baisha basin have permanently benefited from Lu’s great affection, virtue, wisdom, and courage. The villagers of the Baisha basin remained extremely grateful to Lu Wentai and erected temples and sculptures honoring him.

A total of 36 temples are recorded only in the Baisha basin, and others are present in the neighboring counties, including Lanxi, Suichang, Pujiang, and even Yiwu and Lishui. Lu Wentai was conferred by six emperors posthumous titles seven times in history, including Firm and Majestic Marquis (武威侯 Wǔwēi Hóu) and Bright and Sharp Marquis (昭利侯 Zhāolì Hóu). Wu Chen (?-1396), great secretary of the Eastern Library during the Ming Dynasty, dedicated to Lu Wentai a special inscription, “Records of the Zhaoli Temple,” which says:

In the midst of Han, crystal waters meander

Placid and lush are the banks of the Baisha.

Grand fields and planting become shelter for our farmers.

Numerous are the written records about Lu Wentai leading the villagers to control the water and make contributions to the irrigation project. But the most popular stories are still the oral legends passed down by the people. These legends mostly describe Lu’s active life in digging, farming, and transportation of goods. His deeds of caring for the people and fighting for the cause are also chanted. Mythical elements are also present, but the spiritual purpose is to show the merits and deeds of a hero of water management of ancient times.

In the village of Tingjiu, where Lu Wentai lived in semi-seclusion, there are many cultural relics and historical sites, such as the tomb of Lu Wentai, an ancestral hall, the Jinchai Well, and the Tingjiu Weir. Lu’s tombstone is located at the edge of the village, and it shows an inscription reading “Tomb of Sir Lu, Honored by the Emperor.”

The tomb is a cultural site protected by the municipality, and locals have the custom to visit the tomb and worship it. The Ancestral Hall is also located at the edge of the village; built by villagers of the Baisha basin, it works as a temple to commemorate Lu Wentai’s achievements in water control. (Text by Du Shunhua, photo by Qian Yuan, translated by Marco Lovisetto, edited by Mariam Ayad)

Translator’s note:

1. Wang Huai (王淮; 1126-1189) a native of Jinhua who earned his jinshidegree in 1145. After serving in Linhai, Taizhou, he was court official in several places and a Hanlin academician. He became Vice Grand Councilor in 1175 and Grand Councilor in 1181.

Lu Wentai’s Tombstone, Tingjiu Village

千年白沙堰 背后的动人故事

水利是农业的命脉,修堰筑坝是一项造福子孙后代的艰苦而伟大的工程。在这个过程中,也留下了许多感人的故事……

近日,美丽的婺城区又多了一张世界级的金名片,白沙溪三十六堰入选第7批世界灌溉工程遗产名录,这件大事也刷爆金华人的微信朋友圈。

白沙溪三十六堰自东汉建武年间(公元27年)开建,覆盖了白沙溪的大部分流域,至今仍有19座堰在发挥作用。这是一座具有1900余年历史的千年古堰,是我省第6个、我市首个申请灌溉世界遗产成功的工程。

据多方史料记载,白沙溪三十六堰为东汉辅国大将军卢文台带领其麾下36名将士所创建。其后百余年,白沙溪沿岸的广大乡民百姓,根据白沙老爷卢文台的以潭筑堰蓄水,开渠引水灌田的方式方法,先后在白沙溪中下游50公里段,陆续建起了36座拦水堰坝,从此有了三十六湾清清水,波光闪闪如龙鳞的历史。

卢文台,字高明,河北省保定市定兴县人,西汉末任步兵校尉。王莽篡汉时,卢侯谢病在家不肯归顺新朝。其后,协助刘秀建立东汉王朝,但建朝后卢侯不恋高官,主动退隐,率部三十六人,退隐白沙溪上游的停久村(今亭久村)。

白沙溪源于南山之麓,日夜流淌一路向北,经沙畈、琅琊、白龙桥、临江,汇入婺江。面对白沙溪水势湍急,晴则旱,雨则涝,连年灾荒,百姓深受其害的惨状,卢文台看在眼里,急在心上,决心治理白沙溪。他带着部将垦辟田畴卢畈,自食其力,治理白沙溪,终筑三十六溪堰,灌溉良田万千,使数万百姓受益,白沙溪两岸免受旱涝之灾。

白沙三十有六堰,春水平分夜涨流。每岁田禾无旱日,此乡农事有余秋。这是宋代名相王淮游览白沙溪后撰写的《白沙溪遗兴》。

当年辅国有奇功,勇退归山作卧龙。不向生前承帝宠,却从殁后拜侯封。巍巍古相临清渚,寂寂遗踪对碧峰。三十六湾溪堰水,至今利泽未曾穷。明朝汤溪建县时,首任县令宋约赋诗《无题》盛赞卢文台的丰功伟绩。

卢文台的大爱、大德、大智、大勇,一直影响着白沙溪两岸的乡民。白沙乡民一直饮水不忘挖井人,在卢文台殁卒以后,纷纷在各自家乡的溪口村头建庙塑佛,纪念他的丰功伟绩。

据不完全统计,仅在白沙溪流域就有白沙庙36座之多,还有周边邻县,如兰溪、遂昌、浦江,甚至义乌、丽水等地,也都有纪念、敬祀卢文台的白沙庙宇。历朝历代,从唐代到宋元,先后有6位皇帝7次对卢文台追敕封诰,依次封其为武威候”“保宁王”“昭利候”“灵贶候”“孚应候”“广济王”“忠烈王。明东阁大学士吴沉特地为卢文台作《昭利庙碑记》:炎汉中叶,龙飞白水。悠悠辅苍,白沙之浜。有田树艺,庇我农人。郑渠白渠,专美靡许。泛我清泉,渥我稷黍。降我丰穰,盈我仓庚。

有关白沙老爷卢文台当年率乡民治水、建功立业的文字记载有不少,但至今流传最多的还是老百姓口口相传的故事传说。这些不可计数的民间故事传说,大多描述了他生平凿岩开渠、垦荒种田、撑排运货之类的生产活动,也有他关爱民情、断案清明的事迹。其中有神化的部分,但其精神宗旨无不展现了古代治水英雄卢文台的功德善行。

在卢文台隐居过的亭久村,至今分布着众多文物古迹,如白沙老爷卢文台墓、祖墎殿、金钗井和卢文台率领部将36人兴建的停久堰等。卢文台墓就在亭久村边上,墓碑上刻着《敕封昭利侯卢公之墓》的碑文。

卢文台墓如今是市级文物保护点,常有当地百姓去坟前祭拜。祖墎殿坐落于亭久村边,是白沙溪流域各村村民为纪念卢文台治水有功而建的庙宇。文/杜顺华 /钱媛图3亭久村边上的卢文台墓碑





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