Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the gap between urban and rural areas has gradually expanded in order to develop China’s economy. The “three rural issues” (agriculture, rural areas and farmers) have become the weak link in the socialist construction of China. In order to solve this problem, China has successively put forward strategies such as coordinated urban and rural development, the construction of new socialist countryside, and urban and rural development integration  . At the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held in 2017, General Secretary Xi Jinping proposed the strategy for “Rural Revitalization”, and pointed out in the meeting that “the problem of agriculture, rural areas and farmers is a fundamental issue concerning the national economy and the people’s livelihood.”
Qiang ethnic minority are an ethnic with a long history, wide distribution and far-reaching influence among the big family of Chinese nation. In ancient times, the Qiang people mainly lived in the northwestern part of China, and many ancient literatures referred to “Qiang” as a nation engaged in livestock production. Qiang ethnic minority claims to be “Erma”, “Rimai”, “Rima”, “Ermai”, who mainly live today in Mao County, Wenchuan County, Li County and Songpan County of Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Beichuan County, Pingwu County of Mianyang City, and Danba County of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture  .
As an important Qiang district in China, Aba Prefecture bears a strong minority culture and is a key protected area of the Qiang culture. The cultural heritage in the region has a high protection value of tourism, history and culture. Excavating history and culture and developing tourism can solve the problem of local economic development to a large extent. However, with the acceleration of urbanization, the cultural heritage is facing the risk of decline or even disappearance in the region. Therefore, it is imperative to carry out the protection of cultural heritage.
2. Status of Cultural Resources Protection
In the long-term historical evolution process, the Qiang ethnic minority has formed a unique ethnical culture, covering a series of national cultural forms such as language, costumes, handicrafts, food, folk art, sports competitions, etiquette and festivals; At the same time, it formed cultural systems such as religious culture, Shibi culture, Dayu culture, and red culture; and it preserved material cultures such as ancient ruins, ancient buildings, important historical sites of modern times and representative architectural relics. In the region, now there exist 9 state-level material cultural heritages, 14 provincial-level material cultural heritages; 9 national-level intangible cultural heritage projects; 3 provincial-level intangible cultural heritage projects; 7 state-level inheritors of intangible cultural heritage, 45 provincial inheritors of intangible cultural heritage and 52 national-level inheritors of intangible cultural heritage. As shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Protection situation of cultural heritage. Data source: Wenchuan county, Li county, Mao county people’s government.
Affected by social economy and natural disasters, the protection of cultural heritage in the region faces great difficulties. The protection of material cultural heritage mainly face the collapse of a large number of ancient buildings in the district, such as Bova Loess Group (Figure 2: Bova Loess Group, Figure 3 and Figure 4: collapsed Bova Loess Group); For the better protected areas, the traffic is limited, and there are fewer visitors and tourists, which leads to the relative stagnation of economic development in the region; The preserved traditional Guanzhai has some modern elements; There are fewer experts for restoration of buildings and sites with professional knowledge and skills in the region; Some buildings or sites have lost their authenticity and integrity during process of restoration and reconstruction or have not reached professional standards; The protection and management of some of the remains did not do well, lack of publicity and with low visibility. The protection of intangible cultural heritage mainly include the heavy loss of Qiang language, mainly because young people are reluctant to speak Qiang language and cannot speak Qiang language; Traditional techniques such as papercuts, silverware, and handicrafts are less inherited, which has a risk of lack of inheritors; Traditional Qiang folk songs and dances, operas, competitions and other traditional programs are at risk of loss; The inheritors of Shibi culture are mainly middle-aged and older, with a small number of people, there are problems such as the lack of inheritors and the narrow transmission of culture.
3. The Status of Cultural Industry Development
In recent years, the cultural industry has developed rapidly in the range of study, the construction of the cultural industry system has been gradually improved, the operational mechanism has been further optimized, and the cultural industry has maintained a good momentum of development. Culture and tourism have further integrated development, and Wenchuan Sanjiang, Pingtou Village in Mao county, and Taoping Village in Li county have successfully created national
Figure 2. Bova loess group. Date source: Wenchuan county museum.
Figure 3. Collapsed Bova loess group. Date source: Wenchuan county museum.
Figure 4. Collapsed Bova loess group. Date source: Wenchuan county museum.
4A-level tourist attractions. A group of charming townships, tourist boutique villages and happy beautiful homes with Tibetan and Qiang cultural characteristics, such as Wenchuan Shuimo and Yingxiu, have become a beautiful human landscape on the Tibetan-Qiang Cultural Corridor  .
Relying on the local characteristic culture, the research area has initially formed a cultural industry system with taking cultural entertainment, festivals and exhibitions, cultural tourism, sports culture, education and training, leisure and entertainment. The region has carried out various large-scale cultural and art events as well as mass cultural activities for the benefit of the people. It also had successfully hosted the cultural performances with the theme of “Kangyang Wenchuan, Senlin Yiyang”, cultural and natural heritage and the “Belt and Road” theme activities; It also held foreign cultural exchange activities, including folklore performances of Wenchuan County’s “Qiangfeng Qiangyun”, Puxi Ancient Dwarf Festival in Li County, and folklore performances of “Year of Qiang” in Mao County. The cultural activities in the Qiang cultural district fully embodies the organic combination of “sending culture” and “cultivating culture”, and we constantly dig deep into the traditional excellent national culture, create its own unique characteristic cultural brand, enrich the cultural life of the masses, develop and grow the folk art team, which has inspired the enthusiasm of the whole people to love local culture.
4. Development Dilemma of Cultural Industry
4.1. Infrastructure Construction Is Weak
From county to township and village, due to restrictions imposed by personnel and funds, the management and maintenance of cultural infrastructure cannot keep up, the utilization rate of facilities and equipment is also not high, for example, most of the Training Institute in the region are vacant, and the role they played is not enough. The construction of some cultural facilities and equipment has deviated from the reality of regional cultural life differences. Some facilities of public cultural service are inconvenient, and the departments of cultural facilities and equipment departments has caused idle and waste of limited cultural resources  .
4.2. Professional Talents Are Extremely Lack
The personnel structure is unreasonable, and the introduction of talents is relatively difficult. Due to the shortage of professionals, the orderly conduct of cultural work is restricted. There exist the cultural staffs in county and townships in the region commonly: the professional ability of cultural work is not enough, the service level is not high, and the full-time staff is not in place; some minor grade staff do not have enough knowledge of cultural work and are lees sufficient attention to it. Cultural cadres bear other administrative tasks for many years, which make them difficult to concentrate on cultural management services. The training mechanism for cultural talents needs to be further improved. There are only a few ways to train cultural talents, and there is a shortage of professional and technical personnel and cultural industry management talents.
4.3. The Cultural Industry Is Developing Slowly
The Qiang area has a rich cultural heritage, and is full of charm and attraction, with developed tourism. However, the tourism service industry is greatly affected by the off-season, adding the lack of relevant elements in the cultural market, has seriously restricted the development of related cultural service industries. In addition, due to economic backwardness, the cultural consumption is at a lower level, which restricts the driving force of cultural production to a certain extent, additionally adding sparsely populated in such large land, which lead to a long battlefield in cultural market management and high management costs  .
4.4. Industrial Resources Are Scattered and the Degree of Intensification Is Low
Although there are a certain number of cultural enterprises in the Qiang culture region, the number is small, most of them are self-employed households, and the resources are scattered, they have not yet formed an aggregation effect, and they also have not formed the foundation of a cultural industrial zone. The scale of the cultural industry is small, the structure of the cultural industry is single, and the emerging cultural formats, such as cultural tourism, arts and crafts and cultural creativity, start late. And the tourist souvenirs and cultural derivatives with competitiveness are lack of excavation  .
5. Discussion on the Development Model of Cultural Heritage Protection
5.1. Integrate Regional Cultural Resources and Establish a Cultural Protection Base
Integrate traditional ethnic characteristics, cultural resources and various other cultural resources in the region, with the purpose of preserving cultural sites, take development and conservation as directions, focus on shaping and overall transformation. Based on the culture of Qiang, we will build a concentrated preservation zone for the Qiang culture and gradually build a multi-level, network-like protection system for ancient Qiang cultural relics and sites.
Select representative cultural heritage sites in the area to create visits, browse, experience, popular science bases, and design contact tours. At the same time, in line with the principle of productivity, the Qiang culture protection system is established, and cultural enterprises, institutions of higher learning, research institutes and other organizations are introduced to realize the joint design and construction of production, education and research.
5.2. Establish a Digital Protection Center and Compile a Cultural Series
Promote the organization and publicity of the intangible cultural heritage of the ancient Qiang people. Establish a digital protection center and publish a series of books are the most excellent and effective ways.
In the establishment of the Digital Protection Center, it is mainly to closely integrate the information technology and cultural resources protection inheritance, vigorously promote the restructuring of cultural resources, and build an integrated digital protection construction center for ancient Qiang culture with the characteristics of Qiang and modern multiculturalism integrated with cultural protection, cultural heritage, cultural display and cultural education. The digital protection, inheritance, development and utilization of the traditional material and intangible heritage of the Qiang people are carried out by means of advanced digital information collection, digital processing, digital storage, digital display, digital communication and other modern information technology.
In the compilation of cultural series, the main consideration is to carry out from three directions―the intangible cultural heritage skills itself, inheriting the history of population and community research. And this work is also a necessary condition for the inheritance and training of intangible cultural heritage. Therefore, the series of intangible cultural heritage organizations are published, regardless of the external publicity in the experience zone, the actual needs of the training work, or the future national projects, which is of great significance.
5.3. Create Regional Special Attractions and Shape National Brands
As the key culture of the Aba Prefecture, the Dayu Museum can be established based on the Dayu Culture in the shaping of national brands, and based on this, the Dayu Festival and the Dayu Cultural Exchange will be hold to promote the Dayu Culture.
In addition, as the essence of the Qiang culture, the Shibi culture belongs to a witch culture in the region, and the Shibi itself is a concentration of cultural knowledge of the Qiang people. It masters certain cultural knowledge and is worshipped by the people. Because the Qiang people have no words, the scriptures used in the various activities are mostly passed down by mouths and ears from generation to generation. Therefore, the culture of the Bible is added to more mystery.
Shibi also has the nature of witch doctors, and it can cure diseases through Qiang medical treatment. While developing the mysterious culture of Shibi, we can organically combine the culture of Shibi, the medicine and medical treatment of Qiang, and the tourism of health cultivation, adding vitality to the forward development of the mysterious culture. On the basis of the international brand of Dayu Culture, the Shibi Culture Mystery Construction Project casts a layer of slogan on the Qiang culture and attracts foreign tourists to enter the experience zone.
Facing “Rural Revitalization” strategy proposed in the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, in order to solve “three rural issues” (agriculture, rural areas and farmers), China’s rural areas must largely rely on exploration of cultural resources, and develop tourism and other formats. As a national key Qiang area, Aba Prefecture has a strong cultural heritage. However, due to its insufficient protection and development, the current protection of regional cultural resources is relatively backward. Although the development of cultural industry has shown a good momentum to a certain extent, there is still existing some problems, such as a lack of professionals, weak infrastructure and low intensification. Therefore, in order to develop the local economy and protect traditional culture, we can select local resources to carry out cultural base construction, build a digital protection center and compile a cultural series based on local traditional culture, and build national free brand based on Dayu culture and Shibi culture. The limitation of this study lies in the fact that there are many types of cultural heritage in the region and their distribution is scattered. Therefore, this paper only describes the overall situation of cultural heritage protection in the region, but does not elaborate on the current situation of each kind of cultural heritage protection.
The project was funded by Graduate Innovative Project of Southwest Minzu University (Study on the Protection and Utilization of Cultural Heritage in the Qiang District under the Concept of “Rural Revitalization”―Taking Aba Prefecture as an Example, Project number: CX2018SZ147).