Wengding, which means “connected rivers” in the dialect of the Wa ethnic group, is a Wa village 30 kilometers away from Cangyuan county seat. It’s made up of 98 families or about 400 villagers. Wengding Village has kept primitive Wa residential architectures and ethnic culture. It has been the best-conserved primitive ethnic community and the must-see tourist site in Lincang Municipality. Cangyuan is normally referred to as “Ah Wa Shan” because it is inhabited by most of the Wa ethnic members in China. It’s located in the southwest of Lincang Municipality.
Some traditions and customs of Wa
(1)-Wood-drum: from altar to stage In the religious ceremony of Wa people, a wood-drum is considered the most sacred due to its magic connection with God. Nowadays, the wood-drum is regarded as their talisman. For a festival or celebration, Was would perform Wood-drum Dance to express their happiness
(2)-Combing: The Wa Youth’s Marriage Custom Wa youths in Cangyuan have their unique way of expressing love. Usually a Wa lad will invite the girl he loves to comb for him when sitting on their own bamboo stools and whispering to each other. When being “combed”, the Wa lad will offer tokens like a comb, a towel, a silver bracelet or silver ear-rings.
(3)-Hair-swaying Dance, a show of Wa feminine beauty The Hair-swaying Dance reveals the Wa female beauty and symbolizes their maturity. Wa women traditionally keep long hair, and put on Hair-swaying Dance hand in hand without musical instruments.
(4)-Buffalo-worship, replacement of Head Custom In old times, Was used to have the head custom, using the heads of men to make sacrifice to the God of Rice. But it has been replaced by buffalo heads that are aslo a symbol of wealth. On an important ceremony, Was will hold a buffalo-butchering ceremony.
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