Chinese Name: 德昂族
English Name: The De’ang nationality
Languages: Dai language 傣语, Chinese 汉语, Jingpo language 景颇语
Total population: 2.0*104 (China mainland 2022)
Distribution: Dehong, Baoshan, Lincang, Yunnan Province
The De’ang nationality 德昂族 is a mountain minority in the border area between China and Myanmar 缅甸. The De’ang people do not have their own written language. Because they have been with the Dai people 傣族, Han Chinese 汉族, Jingpo people 景颇族 and other ethnic groups for a long time, many people speak Dai, Chinese and Jingpo languages.
The De’ang people are a typical large scattered and small inhabited ethnic group, with a very wide distribution range. The De’ang people in China are mainly distributed in Dehong 德宏, Baoshan 保山 and Lincang 临沧 in Yunnan Province. In addition, the De’ang people are a cross-border ethnic group, and there are a certain number of De’ang people in Myanmar.
The history of the De’ang nationality
The De’ang people originated from the ancient Pu people(The ethnic groups distributed in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River 长江 during the pre-Qin period 先秦时期). Since modern times, people of all ethnic groups, including the De’ang and Jingpo peoples, have fought together against British imperialism’s aggression against our territory in western Yunnan.
On the eve of the founding of New China, the De’ang people actively assisted the Chinese People’s Liberation Army to encircle and wipe out the Kuomintang 国民党 troops fleeing to western Yunnan, ushering in the liberation of the De’ang area.
The religion of the De’ang nationality
The De’ang people are a group of people who believe in Buddhism. De’ang people believe that good people can go to heaven after death and be transformed into human beings, while bad people can go to hell and suffer torment after death. Therefore, social stability, national peace, industriousness and thrift in the places where De’ang people live have become common practices.
The Cultures of the De’ang nationality
The architecture of the De’ang nationality 德昂族的建筑
The buildings of the De’ang people are famous for their bamboo buildings. For a long time, bamboo buildings have been the common residential form of the De’ang people from all over the world. Bamboo buildings of the De’ang people are mostly built on mountains, mainly in square and rectangular forms, with symmetrical, harmonious, rigorous and solemn aesthetic characteristics.
The costume of the De’ang nationality 德昂族的服饰
The clothing of the De’ang people has a strong national colour, which expresses the unique aesthetics of the nation and its pursuit of beauty. De’ang men mostly wear blue and black blouses and wide and short trousers. The head is covered with a black and white cloth turban, and the ends of the turban are decorated with colourful pom-poms. De’ang women usually wear navy blue or black short blouses and long skirts. Horizontal stripes. Young people, both men and women, like to wear silver collars, earphones, earrings and other jewellery.
Among the costumes of the De’ang people, the most striking thing is the waistbands on women. According to the custom of the De’ang people, when a girl becomes an adult, she will wear several or even dozens of waistbands around her waist. The De’ang people believe that the more waistbands a girl wears and the more delicate it is, the more intelligent and capable she is.
Therefore, adult women wear waistbands and take pride in being more. When young men and women are in love, in order to win the love of girls, young men often make great efforts to make vine waistbands engraved with animal and plant patterns and give them to their beloved girls, so the waistband becomes a token of their love.
The diet of the De’ang nationality 德昂族的饮食
Tea is the most important drink of the De’ang people, especially adult men and middle-aged and elderly women who drink a cup of strong tea almost every day. Tea is not just an important drink in daily life for De’ang people, tea also has a very important position in their social life.
Whether it is visiting relatives or friends or asking for a marriage proposal, tea is always used as a gift. Even if there is a conflict between neighbours, the wrong side could ask for forgiveness by sending a bag of tea. It can be thus seen that the role of tea cannot be replaced by other money and things.
The festivals of the De’ang nationality 德昂族的节日
Water Splashing Festival 泼水节
On the seventh day after the Qingming Festival every year, the people in De’ang put on festive costumes, carry clean water from the well on their backs, bring all kinds of food prepared by themselves, and hold bunches of flowers in their hands to gather at the Buddhist temple for the festival. People fetch water according to the ceremony and give it to the elders could wish them good health and long life. Furthermore, The newlyweds who have been splashed with water can get everyone’s blessing and wish them happiness forever.
Closed and Opened Holidays 关门和开门节
The Closing Festival is often the busiest time for agricultural production. It requires young men and women to self-discipline, concentrates their energy, and engage in agricultural production. It is not thus allowed to talk about love during this period.
Contrary to the Closing Festival, the Opening Festival opens the door to love and marriage. At this time, the busy farming season has ended, and the unmarried girls will go to the Buddhist temple to burn incense and worship the Buddha the next day to thank the Buddha for opening the door to love and marriage.
The marriage of the De’ang nationality 德昂族的婚姻
The marriage of the De’ang people is monogamous. When young men reach the age of fourteen or five, they can play reeds outside the house of young women at night to attract girls to fall in love. After the two sides establish a relationship, they can give each other daily necessities, and finally invite the old man to the woman’s house for matchmaking.