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Former Residence of Joseph Rock

Former Residence of Joseph Rock locates in the Yuhu Village in Lijiang. The house belongs to Joseph Francis Rock, who is the Austria-American botanist, anthropologist, explorer, linguist, and author. Joseph Rock stayed in this house for 27 years, during his study to the unique culture of Naxi people and the local plants. As the first foreign discoverer of Naxi culture, local people respected him very much, and called him “The Father of Naxiology”. 


Introduction to Joseph Rock

Joseph Francis Rock was born in Vienna, Austria in 1884. In 1913, he received American citizenship. In 1922, Joseph Rock was the adventurer and photographer of the National Geographic, and he traveled to Yunnan Province through the borders with Thailand and Myanmar.


Yuhu Village is an old village locating at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The area was full of creatures and cultural sources, and that’s why Joseph Rock decided to study the Naxi cultures and made this oldest village as the base of his China exploration and discoveries. In 1926, he focused on Naxi's religion, culture, and ancient language. 


Joseph Rock lived in Yuhu Village and other places in Lijiang from 1922 to 1949. He collected thousands of botanical specimens, seeds, and taken thousands of valuable photos on flora, fauna, and local customs. He also translated many books, such as Southwest China Naxi Ancient Kingdom, Naxi English Encyclopedia Dictionary. As the first foreign scholar to introduce Naxi and Lijiang ethnic culture to the western world, Joseph Rock has made a great contribution to the cultural exchange.


Introduction to Joseph Rock’s house

Former Residence of Joseph Rock has two stories, including three rooms and a courtyard.


East of the site was the former headquarters of the adventure team of the US National Geographic Association in Yunnan. Upstairs is the living room, where Joseph Rock lived for more than 20 years. The living room shows the basic facilities, which Rock used at that time, including the bed, the desk, the chair, the brazier, the bookshelf, and the clock as well as other necessities in the room. The north-facing hall is the "Exhibition Hall of Former Residence of Dr. J.F. Rock", showing the photos taken by Rock, and many other things that Rock left in Lijiang, such as fur coat, carpenter's tools, sport gun, dentist tools.

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