After visiting Rareseed Pasture we drove up to the Wuhe terrace. Located in the rift valley Wuhe terrace is a popular place for growing both coffee and tea. I passed over the terrace on my Chinese New Years Bike trip in 2017. One of the most interesting parts of the terrace is the Saoba Stones.
These stones date back to the Neolithic period and have a commanding view from the terrace. The Wuhe Terrace was the home turf of the Ami so they have multiple legends to explain the existence of the pillars. One of them states that the pillars are boards of wood that turned into stone to protect a group of hunters that got caught in a bad storm.
In actuality, the Soba Stones are much older than the modern Ami people and date back to the stone age. Like Stone Hendge in the UK and many other stone monuments erected by prehistoric people, we have no clear answer.
With no clear answer, we get to engage in one of my favorite sports! Wild! Mass! Guessing! The location of the stones must be important. First of all, they are elevated and have a commanding view of the countryside. Secondly, they are near the Tropic of Cancer. Most likely the Saoba stones had religious significance to the people living at the time. I am sure that they could observe that the sun came to its maximum northern point in that area. Furthermore, it seems logical that the sun would go up a hill where it can look over their world, and that is where you should build a religious marker.
My conclusion is simply that the Saoba Stones had some religious connotation for the Neolithic people that built them. It’s possible they saw the sun as divine, or perhaps that Wuhe terrace was divine itself and that is why the sun would go their every year.