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Cangdong Village Project

A collaborative research program studying the home villages of Chinese migrants.


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Cangdong Village in the 1800s


During the 1800s, more than 2.5 million people left China’s Pearl River Delta region, creating new communities around the world. Their cultural and economic influences also transformed their home villages, which became known as qiaoxiang.


Cangdong Village is a qiaoxiang located within the county-level city of Kaiping in Guangdong Province. About 25 generations of the Xie clan have lived in Cangdong Village since it was founded during the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368). By the 19th century, it was home to over 400 people. People began to migrate from Cangdong Village to the United States and other destinations in the 1850s.

音乐家们正在仓东村进行表演(2017年) | Musicians playing in Cangdong Village (2017).

Cangdong Village Today


Today, Cangdong Village has about 50 residents. In partnership with the Qiaoxiang Cultural Research Center at Wuyi University, they established the Cangdong Heritage Education Center to promote the tangible and intangible heritage of local village ways of life and the role of Overseas Chinese in the Pearl River Delta.

田野工作者们在重建的夫人庙前工作(2016年)| Field researchers at work in front of the reconstructed Furen Temple (2016).

The Cangdong Village Project

2016年和2017年,仓东村遗产教育中心与斯坦福大学北美铁路华工项目的研究人员开展合作,共同研究清末(1875-1912)和民国初期(1912-1949)的侨乡生活和物质文化。仓东村项目是一项跨国和跨学科的研究项目。来自建筑史、历史学、历史人类学和民俗学的专家全面探索侨乡和海外华人聚居区的日常生活和村落文化。( 点此链接了解更多信息

In 2016 and 2017, the Cangdong Heritage Education Center invited researchers from the Stanford University Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project to study the material practices of village life during the Late Qing (1875–1912) and Early Republic (1912–1927) periods. Cangdong Village Project is a transnational and interdisciplinary effort. Specialists in architectural history, history, archaeology, and folk life studies are all involved in holistically exploring the daily life and village culture of qiaoxiang and Overseas Chinese settlements.  Learn more about the project.


Historical Timeline



Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) 

Xie Rongshan founded Cangqian Village. The two sons of Xie Rongshan lived in the eastern and western areas of the village. Eventually, Cangqian Village was formally divided into eastern and western parts, named Cangdong and Cangxi.



Late Qing Dynasty (1875-1912)

Many residents migrated to the United States, Canada, Australia, Southeast Asia, and Hong Kong to work and send remittances home. Some settled abroad permanently and others returned. Some of them built their new homes at Cangdong Village with overseas remittances.



Republican Period (1912-1949)

Remittance payments from abroad enabled the construction of new homes, ancestral halls, and village infrastructure, along with a regional market and schools. This was the peak period of development in qiaoxiang (home villages) in the Pearl River Delta region.




Cangdong Village is a center for returning Xie Clan migrants and their descendants who come to the village to visit relatives, see their family homes, and honor their ancestors. The Cangdong Heritage Education Center promotes local heritage.