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Jiangcheng Culture

Jiangcheng Hani and Yi Autonomous County (simplified Chinese: 江城哈尼族彝族自治县) is an autonomous county under the jurisdiction of Pu'er City, in southern Yunnan, China, bordering Laos and Vietnam to the south, making it the only county in the province to border more than one country. By road, its seat, the town of Menglie (勐烈镇), is 520 km (320 mi) from Kunming and 145 km (90 mi) from Simao District, the municipal seat of Pu'er.Jiangcheng, as with much of southern Yunnan, has a warm humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cwa), with muddled distinction between the seasons and daytime temperatures remaining warm year-round. There are various ethnic groups and their customs which promote the colorful and harmonious culture in Jiangcheng Hani and Yi Autonomous County.


The Culture of Hani Ethnic Group

Hani houses are usually two or three stories high, built with bamboo, mud, stone and wood. The traditional clothing of the Hani is made with dark blue fabric. The men dress in short jackets and in long wide pants. They also wear white or black turbans. The women dress depending on which clan they belong to. There is no gender difference in the clothing of children under the age of seven. Hani are known for their vocal polyphonic singing. Eight-part polyphony was recorded in the 1990s. They play traditional musical instruments, end-blown flute labi (俄比), and three-stringed plucked lute  lahe. Part of thousand years old culture are terraced fields.

Hani People’s Customs

Black is the favorite color of Hani People. For these farmers and residents on high land, heavy and durable clothes that keep warm and endure dirty environment have obvious advantages. Additionally this is also demonstration of the hermit living style and attitude of the locals, their uncultured dress material and less developed dyeing techniques. The embroidery and silver ornaments on the clothes stand for the terraced fields which go layers upon layers. The crabs, clams and fish suggest Hani People's adoration for water. Hani men basically wear tight shirt, loose pants and black scarf while the female dress with complex decoration. What is worthy of mentioning is that the ancient Hani did not have shoes and socks. They wore a sort of special wooden shoes, whose soles were not slippery and therefore good for walking on the muddy rice paddy.


The Culture of Yi Ethnic Group

The Yi play a number of traditional musical instruments, including large plucked and bowed string instruments, as well as wind instruments called bawu (巴乌) and mabu (马布). The Yi also play the hulu sheng, though unlike other minority groups in Yunnan, the Yi do not play the hulu sheng for courtship or love songs (aiqing). The kouxian, a small four-pronged instrument similar to the Jew's harp, is another commonly found instrument among the Liangshan Yi. Kouxian songs are most often improvised and are supposed to reflect the mood of the player or the surrounding environment. Kouxian songs can also occasionally function in the aiqing form. Yi dance is perhaps the most commonly recognized form of musical performance, as it is often performed during publicly sponsored holidays and/or festival events. Yi people's son's given name is patronymic, based on the last one or two syllable of father's name.

Yi People’s Customs

The Yi people’s traditional costumes vary in different regions, . In Mt. Liangshan area in Sichuan Province and west Guizhou, men usually wear black jackets with tight sleeves and right-side askew fronts, and pleated trousers with wide bottom. While in some other areas, men wear tight-bottomed trousers, and grow a small path of hair above the forehead to be tied with a turban.Women wear embroidered jackets and pleated long skirts hemmed with multiple layers. They use turbans to wrap their hair. Middle-aged women wear black turbans, while young women prefer embroidered square kerchiefs. Their accessories include earrings, bracelets, rings, collar press, and so on. When going outdoors, men and women wear a dark woolen cape with long tassels reaching to the knees.

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