Chinese Name: 怒族
English Name: The Nu nationality
Languages: Nu language 怒语, Chinese 汉语
Total population: 3.8*104 (China mainland 2022)
Distribution: Yunnan, Tibet
The Nu nationality 怒族 is one of the ethnic groups with a smaller population and more languages in China. The Nu people are mainly distributed in the Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture 怒江傈僳族自治州 in Yunnan Province. The Nu people are a transnational ethnic group, and there are also Nu people living in Myanmar.
The history of the Nu nationality
Judging from the many Neolithic relics and related legends collected in the Nu area, the Nu people may have been in the late Neolithic stage 新时期时代 before the 16th century, when they used wooden hoes and bamboo hoes in addition to stone hoes.
In the spring of 1950, the whole territory of the Nujiang River was peacefully liberated, and a new page in the history of the Nu people was opened. Since the implementation of Chinese economic reform 中国改革开放 and the country’s western development strategy, with the hard work of the Nu nationality people, all aspects of the Nu nationality area have achieved an earth-shaking historic leap, and people’s living standards have been greatly improved.
The religion of the Nu nationality
The Nu people mainly believe in the primitive sect and accept that all things have animism, and all things such as wind, rain, sun, moon, mountains, forests, trees, and stones are objects of worship. In addition, many Nu people in the northern part of Gongshan 贡山 believe in Tibetan Buddhism 藏传佛教 due to the influence of the Red Lama Temple. In the late 19th century, after imperialism spread Catholicism and Christianity to the Nujiang area, some people also converted to Catholicism and Christianity.
The Cultures of the Nu nationality
The costumes of the Nu nationality 怒族的服饰
The clothing of Nu men and women is mostly made of linen cloth. Women generally wear linen robes with open fronts and wide breasts, and a piece of red edging cloth is attached to the front and back of the clothes. Young girls like to add an apron to the outside of the burlap robe and embroider the edges of the clothes with lace of various colours.
Men generally wear a linen robe with an open chest and a knee length, with a cloth belt or rope tied around the waist, and the front placket above the waist is pulled up, which is convenient for loading things.
Nu men and women pay attention to decoration. Women wear coral, agate, etc. into beautiful headgear and pectoral ornaments worn on the head and chest. Men with long hair like to wear a machete on the waist, crossbow bows and quiver bags on their shoulders.
The diet of the Nu nationality 怒族的饮食
The Nu people are accustomed to eating two meals a day, and most of their staple food is corn. Common vegetables are green vegetables, cabbage, radish, melon beans, peppers and so on. In May and June every year, it is necessary to collect wild vegetables such as bamboo shoots, wild lilies, various tuberous roots and ferns, as well as ginger, green onions, peppercorns, etc. for seasoning.
The Nu people are good at making wine, among which the Gudu wine 咕嘟酒 of the Nu people in Gongshan is the most distinctive. When drinking wine, the honey can be seasoned. It is a common phenomenon for the Nu people to get drunk every time they drink. Especially, they sing while drinking every time they drink.
The residential of the Nu nationality 怒族的民居
Nu dwellings are also quite distinctive. The Nu people live on the slopes facing the sun in the middle of the mountain. The houses they build pay attention to the orientation, generally facing the ditch. The dwelling buildings of the Nu people can be roughly divided into five main types: thatched houses, thousand-footed houses, wooden houses, earth-walled houses, and stone-roofed houses.
Building a new house is a major event for the Nu people. When a family builds a new house, the whole village comes to help. The host’s family prepares materials and thatch before building the house. When the house is built, the men and women of the whole village gather to help build the house. After completing the new house, the host family will reward those who help build the house with wine and meat.
In recent years, with the improvement of the people’s economic and living standards, the dwellings of the Nu people have changed a lot. Asbestos tile roofs have appeared in some places, and the habit of living together with animals has gradually changed.
The festival of the Nu nationality 怒族的节日
Every year from March 15th to 17th of the lunar calendar, when the azaleas are in full bloom, the Nu people celebrate the “Fairy” festival. This festival is also known as the “Flower Festival”. Every year on the fifteenth day of the third month of the lunar calendar, the Nu people will choose a limestone cave with one to three stalactites for offering sacrifices.
After returning home, each family held a banquet, drinking, singing and dancing, and the young people dressed in full costumes and competed in archery on the wide field. In the evening, young men and women also sing and dance around the bonfire, all night long.