Before I came to Mohe city, I have always been thinking this is a place without history, only with coldness and desolation. It turned out I was way wrong, the history of Yanzhi Gou(Rouge Brook) just amazed me from head to toe. As as a branch of Ermuer River, Rouge Brook is located inside the Mohe county, with an overall length of 14 kilometers. So far it seems pretty normal, just a regular brook. But the history of it is about to get revealed. For local Chinese, they like to call the river with gulch-gold as the word “gou”, meaning brook or ditch.
Rouge Brook area is abundant with gulch-gold, that’s why the Qing dysnasty ruler-Dowager Empress Cixi took it as her private place to make place for make-ups. According to the identification of scientists, the gold from here has extremely high purity, with 87.5% gold, 7.9% silver and other impurities 4.6%.
It is pretty interesting how people found this golden spot in the first place. In 1877, an old guy was digging up grave for his dead horse but only to discover some golden sprouts on the river bank. He plucked a handful of sand from the river and half of it were shining gold. The news spread like wildfire.People swarmed here to find their own gold and hopefully made a good fortune out of it.
In my mind’s eye, Rouge Brook should be a beautiful and peaceful place, maybe with a little trace of elegance. But the real look of it hit me hard, the water is almost dried up, everything is wracked, the bank, the trees, the atmosphere. The only thing that hasn’t changed is its name.
According to historical records, there were about 50 thousand people busing looking for gold in Rouge Brook. Tons of whorehouse were start to emerge as required. Some of their face-washing water would flow into the brook with rouge floating on the surface. There is a whore grave about 2 kilometers from Rouge Brook, with all kinds of beautiful women caved on the wall from that special age.
Inside the house, they have some clothes, tools and pictures in the showcase.On the left side of yard is the grave. It was a f birch forest with a wooden deck that you can go through. Tour guide says in spring there would be a sea of white flowers, maybe it’s for mourning the miserable woman in six feet under.
Local gold diggers have this tradition to worship mountain god when they go looking for gold. In their own words, finding gold inside the earth. It is not like they can get what they want everyday and someone get lost. That is when they need to find something to have faith in and not give up that easily. Therefore tall trees or mountains become the a basic form of nature worship.