A book about the Red Yao
A book about the Red Yao
Maybe the first comprehensive study completely dedicated to the Red Yao, the book is published with the clear purpose of cover all the aspects of The Red Yao life and culture. In the classical descriptive style common to most of the Chinese books about the nationalities and ethnic groups, this book follows a narrative that leads the reader from the simplest facts, as are their names, population, and distribution to the complex structures of their religious thought and from the history in remote times of the ancestors of the Red Yao to some characteristics of their contemporary society.
In the middle lies the whole culture and life of the Red Yao, arranged in chapters dealing with their geographical environment and natural resources (chapter 1), their origin and migrations (chapter 2), their historical development (chapter 3), their society in the socialist period (chapter 4), their cultural life (chapter 5), their marriage and family life (chapter 6), their art and literature (chapter 7), their religion (chapter 8), their festival culture (chapter 9) and their education and technology (chapter 10).
The chapter about their religion is divided into some sections describing their original religion, including nature cults (earth, thunder, water, stone, trees, rat, cow, tiger, and dog cults), ancestor cults; their Taoist shamans, their cult to King Pan, their divination and shamanist practices and their taboos.
The short paragraph about the tiger, ten lines of text, informs us that the cult of the tiger among the Red Yao was born from the fear and veneration they feel for the king of the beasts. In the back of the Red Yao women’s traditional dress, there are two marks representing the paws of the tiger. These marks must be present in all the traditional clothes of the Red Yao women. They symbolize the valor of people that can defeat the tiger, and as such receive a courteous treatment.
Su Weihong. Hong Yao lishi yu wenhua (Red Yao history and culture). Nationalities Press. Beijing, 2008
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