1, 2, 3… 598 “Tuo” in Chongqing
“Tuo” Chapter of Chongqing Toponym Culture Map (Picture provided by Chongqing Geomatics and Remote Sensing Center)
CHONGQING (CQNEWS) -- Tuo (沱 in Chinese), meaning backwater bay, is a special place name associated with river landform. Tangjiatuo, Guojiatuo, Wangjiatuo, Lijiatuo… Chongqing has lots of “Tuo”. Chongqing Geomatics and Remote Sensing Center, Chongqing Planning and Natural Resources Bureau, launched “Tuo” Chapter of Chongqing Toponym Culture Map. Take a count of how many “Tuo” there are in the city of mountains and rivers.
Rivers, the basis of production and life in Chongqing, are not only a major artery for transportation and shipping, but also an important source of water and food for the people of Bayu, and a water source for agricultural irrigation. Therefore, Chongqing area has a large number of place names related to rivers, including Jiang, Xi, Gou, Tuo, Hao, Qi, Xia, Chi, Tang, Yan, Tan, Dao (Ba) and so on.
Tuo means backwater bay. Backwater is the direction of water flow in the Tuo which is opposite to the direction of water flow in the river. When water is spinning around in the Tuo, Chongqing people call it a Backwater Tuo. The middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River also have bays, but because of the gentle water, it is difficult to form a backwater, and therefore they are called “Bay” rather than “Tuo”.
Not only is the water flowing relatively slowly in Tuo, but it is also deep enough for fish to breed. Since it is separated from the mainstream, it is no longer subject to river erosion, making the shoreline of Tuo more suitable for human habitation. Tuo is also suitable for boat parking, which often forms docks, while docks often form streets. Therefore, there are usually large towns (streets) or significant harbor areas near Tuo.
Chongqing has numerous large and small rivers such as Yangtze River, Jialing River, Wujiang River and other rivers, so it is difficult to count the Tuo on these rivers. They are either named after the shape of the Tuo or the shore reference, such as Qiaojiaotuo, Niujiaotuo, Baishatuo, Lanhuatuo, and Datuokou, or they are named after the surname of the family dwelling on the shore, such as Tangjiatuo, Guojiatuo, Wangjiatuo, and Lijiatuo.
According to preliminary statistics, the central city of Chongqing with “Tuo” place name of about 32, the whole city of about 598. In the city’s towns, streets and townships, there are seven with “Tuo” and 37 community villages with it.
Examples of towns, streets and townships with “Tuo”
Guojiatuo Sub-district in Jiangbei District: In the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, the Guo family lived in a clan at Tuo by the Yangtze River, hence the name Guojiatuo (also known as Luoqisi).
Lijiatuo Sub-district in Banan District: It is said that there were brothers surnamed Li ferrying people here in the early days. During the domination of Daoguang Emperor in Qing Dynasty, a person surnamed Mou had donated farm property to set up a free ferry here, known as the Lijiatuo Free Ferry. After the completion of the sub-district, it is called Lijiatuo to this day.
Weituo Town in Hechuan District: There is a dangerous beach called “Qingzhu Tubian” on a Tuo in this area, the waves of which surge like water boiling. Therefore, taking the meaning of boiling, it is called Weituo. (Translated by Wang Huixin, Fathom Language Limited)