Ethnographic sources corroborate this point. During the Ming and Qing, Xifan lived in large numbers across the mountain regions in the western part of present-day Mianning. The Tibetans in Lianhe Township in Mianning also live in two-story homes, and place an image of the family deity on the upper floor. People known to the Han Chinese as Xifan were already living in the territory that is present-day Mianning in the Yuan dynasty. The Ming seized the opportunity presented by the suppression of the rebellion to eliminate the native officials of Suzhou, and bring the area under the direct control of Suzhou Guard. In the early Ming the absorption of the Xifan into the garrison system was the result of the use of force. The collective memory of garrison military households became an important basis through which the lineages of Mianning and Xichang traced the origins of their ancestors.