Chinese Nation – De’ang nationality


The De’ang nationality, also known as the “Banglong nationality”, is a mountainous minority in the border area between China and Myanmar. The national language belongs to the Wa De’ang branch of the mon Khmer language family of South Asian language family. It is divided into three dialects, namely “blue”, “Rumi” and “rejoin”. There is no national character. Because of long-term contact with Dai, Han, and Jingpo, many people speak Dai, Chinese, and Jingpo.


The De’ang Nationality mainly lives in the border area between the people’s Republic of China and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. It is a typical ethnic group with large dispersion and small settlements, and its distribution is very wide. On the Chinese side, it is mainly distributed in Dehong, Baoshan, Lincang, and other three prefectures and nine counties in Yunnan Province, and on the Myanmar side, it is in Shan state, Kachin state, and other places.


De'ang nationality village



The De’ang people believe in Buddhism. The De’ang people in Dehong Prefecture and Lincang City believe in strict mountain Hinayana Buddhism, which forbids killing or injuring all living things. On this point, it is different from the local Dai belief in killing animals of Hinayana Buddhism, although its doctrines are common. The De’ang people worship heaven and hate hell. They think that good person can go to heaven and turn into people after they die, while bad people go to hell after they die. Therefore, in the place where De’ang people live, social stability, national peace, diligence, and thrift are common.


The De’ang people believe in Buddhism, and one of the best buildings in the village is the Zang house with Buddha statues. Most villages have their own Buddhist temples, Buddhist masters, and young monks (children who become monks). Buddha knows Dai’s language and recites Dai’s scriptures. Besides giving alms to the masses on religious festivals, they are fed by the whole village in turn on weekdays. The De’ang people all over the country believe in different religious sects. Some of them can feed pigs, raise chickens or kill animals. Some of them are strictly forbidden to kill animals. Even animals seriously damage crops and are not allowed to hunt. They do not engage in production on religious festivals and death days.


De'ang nationality building



(1) Closing day

The closing day is called “Jinwa” in the De’ang language. Every year, it begins on September 15 of the Dai calendar (the middle of June of the lunar calendar) and lasts for three months. The closing day is the busiest time of agricultural production. It requires young men and women to self-discipline, concentrates, and engage in agricultural production. That is to say, the door of love and marriage should be closed. During the festival, it is not allowed to talk about love, to marry a man or a woman, or to stay in the village. They should live in Buddhist temples and concentrate on chanting scriptures to improve their virtue. In the first three days of the closing day, people go to the Buddhist temple to work, while young men and women gather together to sing “BIE Gan Chai” (De’ang folk song) and dance. Three days later, every seven days, people will use flowers, incense, candles, and other small offerings to the Buddha. On the eighth day, they will go to the Buddhist temple to worship the Buddha, listen to the Buddha chanting, pray for the Buddha to protect people and animals, and have a good harvest.

(2) Open door Festival

Karmen Festival, called chew in De’ang language, is held every year on December 15 of the Dai calendar (September of the lunar calendar). It is the last day of the Gunmen Festival and lasts for three days. The open door Festival is to open the door of love and marriage. By this time, the busy farming season was over. On the first day, a religious ceremony was held in De’ang village to celebrate the harvest. The next day, unmarried girls will go to the Buddhist temple to burn incense and respect the Buddha, and thank the Buddha for opening the door of love and marriage. On the morning of the last day, the young men and women would listen to the Buddhist preaching, and then the local people would go to the market and visit the Buddha.


(3) Make a pendulum

Do pendulum, that is to do a big tribute, also known as “catch pendulum”, is generally held in February and March of the lunar calendar during the leisure time. Putting is based on the village. Before setting up, the village should prepare food, funds, cattle, meat, and other supplies in advance, to provide accommodation for the participants from other villages. The first day was to welcome the Buddha. The next day, after worshiping the Buddha, people listened to the Buddha’s sermon. On the last day, the guests left and the people in the stockade gathered to sing and dance. It is said that the pendulum can make the villagers clean and safe, avoid disasters, and exorcise ghosts.


(4) White firewood

Bahai, called “Kongtong” in the De’ang language, is held on the evening of December 14 of the lunar calendar every year. The so-called white firewood is a kind of tree with no skin and a white surface. Before the festival, De’ang village sent people up the mountain to cut white firewood and put it near the village in the shape of a “well”. On the evening of the festival, after dinner, people go to the Buddhist temple to “invite” the Buddha statue to the white firewood pile and light it. People in the village sit around the fire to cook. Monks in the temple also take part in the white firewood burning that night to chant sutras and pray for the good luck of the Deang people. When the firewood pile is burned up, they carry the Buddha statue back to the temple and disperse. The next day, the Buddha in the Buddhist temple put the charcoal in the earthen pot for the altar to warm the Buddha.


(5) Water splashing Festival

The water splashing Festival (local people call it “watering flowers”) is an annual traditional festival of the De’ang people, which takes place on the seventh day after the Qingming Festival. There are three days of the festival. On the day of the ceremony, the people of De’ang put on their festive costumes, carried clean water from the well on their backs, brought all kinds of food they had prepared, and held bunches of flowers in their hands. They gathered at the Buddhist Temple (Zang room) of the village for the festival. The ceremony was presided over by the elder with high expectations in the village, who delivered a congratulatory speech. At the end of the speech, the young men beat the elephant’s foot drum and danced up the elephant’s foot drum. The young women danced “Sand Dance” with the sound of drums. Other people hold bamboo water pipes, hold them over the top, and pour water into the water tank of the Dragon carving Sutra, in turn, to take a bath for the Buddha statue, which symbolizes the incarnation of the Buddha. It means to remember the kindness of our ancestors and wish us good luck in the coming year. In the meantime, people are carrying empty bamboo tubes, scrambling to pick up the water from the Buddha statues, or drinking into the stomach, or washing their faces and hands, to avoid the disease and make the next year auspicious. After the first ceremony of water splashing, people began to put the food on the plate for offering in front of the Buddha statue, recite the sacrificial words in unison, and then let the people participating in the water splashing Festival taste it.


After the above ceremony, people will take the elephant foot drum team as the leader, form a long line, cross the mountains, come to wells, springs, and rivers to get water to celebrate their festival. During this period, every time water was taken, a ceremony of taking water and offering things was held. There will also be a ceremony to spread smoke and sing songs. There are certain rules in the procedure of getting water. On the first day, we can only get water from the well beside the village. On the second day, we can get water from the spring in shanking. On the third day, we can get water from the river. First, we can get near and then far away. That is to say, we should rely on our own hands to develop water resources and not wait for the gift of nature. There are strict rules for sprinkling water. On the first day, you can only water the Buddha statue first, and then wash your hands for the Buddha and the monk, not on your body. The masses should not pour water on each other. The next morning, young men and women or children, carrying bamboo water pipes, went to the elders’ homes to wash their hands and face, which meant to thank them for their dedication and wish them health and longevity. From the third day, they began to water each other by sprinkling flowers on each other, and the main object of watering is the newly married couple, which means congratulating them on their harmonious coexistence and eternal happiness. When watering, newlyweds should not refuse or resist at will, otherwise, they will be regarded as unruly people.


De'ang nationality festival



Tea is the most important drink of De’ang Nationality. In particular, adult men and middle-aged and elderly women almost have to drink tea every day and like to drink strong tea. When they drink tea, they often put a handful of tea into a small teapot and add a little water to decoct it. When the tea is dark brown, they pour it into a small cup to drink. Because this kind of tea is very strong, so most people are very excited after drinking it, and they can’t sleep at night. The De’ang people are addicted to it because they often drink it. As long as they don’t drink it for a day, their hands and feet will be weak. On the contrary, if you cook a can of strong tea and drink a few mouthfuls when you are tired, you will immediately feel refreshed and your spirit will be doubled.


Tea is not only an important drink in the daily life of De’ang people but also plays a very important role in their social life. They can’t do without tea almost all the time. De’ang people pay attention to “tea to the meaning” when guests come to the door, they must first simmer tea to treat each other; when visiting relatives and friends and asking the matchmaker to propose, they must take tea as a meeting gift; if there is a wedding, they need to invite relatives and friends to come, a small tea wrapped with the red cross line will become an “invitation”; if there is a conflict between the two people, the negligent party only needs to send a bag of tea to seek the understanding of the other party. It can be seen that the role of tea can not be replaced by other money.


Due to the special status and function of tea, tea consumption is very large. Therefore, every household of De’ang people is used to planting some tea trees in front of and behind the house and beside the village. The people of De’ang are good at drinking strong tea and planting tea, so they are called “ancient tea farmers” by the surrounding nationalities.


De'ang nationality food


Clothes & Accessories

The dress of De’ang Nationality has a strong national color, which shows the unique national aesthetic and its pursuit of beauty. The men of De’ang Nationality usually wear blue and black big skirts, wide and short trousers, wrapped in black and white cloth headscarves, and the two ends of the scarf are decorated with colored POMs. Women of the De’ang Nationality usually wear Tibetan blue or black double-breasted short coats and long skirts. They wrap their heads with black cloth, inlay two red stripes at the skirt edge, use four or five pairs of large square silver plates as buttons and weave colorful horizontal stripes on the long skirts. Young people, both men, and women like to wear silver collars, earrings, earrings, and other jewelry.


In the dress of De’ang Nationality, the most striking one is the waistband on the women’s body. According to the custom of the De’ang people, when a girl comes of age, she has to wear several or even dozens of waistbands around her waist. The waist hoop is mostly made of rattan, some of which are made of rattan in the first half and spiral silver in the second half. The rattan ring is different in width and thickness. It is often painted red, black, and green. Some of them are engraved with various patterns or covered with silver or aluminum. This unique custom is the continuation of the custom of “winding the waist with rattan and bamboo strips” in the manager tribe, the forefathers of De’ang Nationality in the Tang Dynasty. As like two peas, the ancestors of the de and people came out of the gourd. When they first came out, the men were all alike, and the women were flying everywhere. Later, the God of heaven distinguished the appearance of men. To tie the women, the men used rattan to tie them in a circle. The women couldn’t fly anymore, so they had to live with men. Today’s waist hoop is developed from the bamboo hoop at that time. From this myth, we can see that the origin of the waistband has a certain utilitarian purpose, but with the development of history, this symbolic meaning has been lost, and the waistband has become a kind of decoration and a symbol of beauty. The De’ang people believe that the more “waist hoops” a girl wear, the more delicate she is, the more intelligent she is. As a result, adult women wear waistbands and are proud to wear them. Young men and women in love, young men to win the girl’s love, often painstakingly, carved with animal and plant patterns Teng Mi waist hoop, to give their beloved girl, so the waist hoop has become the keepsake of their love.


De'ang nationality clothes


Also, among the De’ang’s ornaments, the colorful pommel has its own characteristics. The ends and chest of men’s turbans, the hem and collar of women’s clothes, the earrings of young men and women, and the circumference of tube handkerchiefs are decorated with colored POMs.


The women of De’ang Nationality, like many southern minority women, like bobbins, but the difference is that their bobbins are long skirts with colorful stripes and wavy lines. They cover their breasts on the top and ankles on the bottom, which are novel, generous, and dazzling. There are obvious differences in the patterns of women’s skirts in different branches. The skirt of women who call themselves “Liang” branch is decorated with wide lines of red, green, yellow, and black; the skirt of women who call themselves “belie” branch is decorated with bright red lines; the skirt of women who call themselves “Rumi” branch is decorated with black lines and red and white stripes. Therefore, according to the color characteristics of the lines and patterns on the De’ang women’s skirts, the local people call them “Hua De’ang”, “Hong De’ang” and “Hei De’ang” respectively.

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