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Jiangcheng History

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 long-standing and harmonious history in Jiangcheng Hani and Yi Autonomous County.


The History of Hani Ethnic Group

In Hani legend a Sky god named Abo-Momi sent a buffalo to the earth to teach man that grass and trees must be planted to enable crops to grow everywhere else. If man would do this they would be able to eat every second day. Unfortunately the buffalo had a poor memory and told them the crops must be planted. He also told them to let the grass and trees grow everywhere else. If they would do that, the buffalo said, they would be able to eat twice every day. Man obeyed the buffalo's message but found their lives did not improve at all. When the buffalo returned to the sky, Abo-Momi was displeased and sent the buffalo back to the earth to help the Hani cultivate the soil. The water buffalo is still revered today among the Hani. When a Hani man dies his buffalo is slaughtered and buried with him, so that the beast can guide him to the next world.

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 History of Yi Ethnic Group

Some scholars believe that the Yi are descended from the ancient Qiang people of today's western China, who are also said to be the ancestors of the Tibetan, Naxi and Qiang peoples. They migrated from southeastern Tibet through Sichuan and into the Yunnan Province, where their largest populations can be found today. They practice a form of animism, led by a shaman priest known as the Bimaw. They still retain a few ancient religious texts written in their unique pictographic script. Their religion also contains many elements of Daoism and Buddhism. Many of the Yi in Liangshan and northwestern Yunnan practiced a complicated form of slavery. People were split into the nuohuo or Black Yi (nobles), qunuo or White Yi (commoners), and slaves. White Yi were free and could own property and slaves but were in a way tied to a lord. Other ethnic groups were held as slaves.

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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