WildChina’s t-shirts arrived at Sichuan’s Mupi Village last week. The village is located at, Pingwu county, one of the hardest hit counties from the Sichuan earthquake.
Pingwu is a mountainous county located along the upper reaches of the Fujiang river, in the far northwest of the Sichuan Basin. 94% of the county’s area is above 1,000 m elevation. The average yearly temperature is 14.7 °C (58.5 °F).
Pingwu County is one of three counties in Sichuan where the Baima language is spoken and is the center of the biggest remaining giant panda habitat in China, i.e. the Minshan Mountains. Close to the Baima Ethnic Township, for example, the national panda reserve “Wanglang” is located. The WWF has conducted an Integrated Community Development Project in the Baima township to reduce direct and indirect poaching threats to the panda population. A temple named “Baoensi” is also located there.
The history of Pingwu goes back over 1,700 years. In 108 CE, the Eastern Han established Guanghan County, which was ruled from present day Wen County. Beginning in the 3rd century CE, a number of kingdoms belonging to the Di tribe were set up in and around Pingwu County. In 280 Pingwu County was first established. The name Pingwu originates from the name of the previous Yinping (阴平) and Guangwu (广武) counties.
By the 6th century, the Di kingdoms saw their power wane, and much of the area surrounding present-day Pingwu County was integrated into the Yarlung dynasty. Despite this, the area of contemporary Pingwu County was not occupied by the Yarlung dynasty during the 7th century, resulting in a linguistic identity more akin to that of the Di tribe.