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Miao People

Miao People

Brief Introduction of Miao People

The Miao ethnic group has a population of 8,940,116, mainly scattered in Guizhou, Hunan, Yunnan, Sichuan, Guangxi, Hubei and Hainan provinces, and also in Chongqing Municipality. The Miao can be divided into sub-groups that can be distinguished by their different traditions. These are the 'Long Skirt Miao', 'Short Skirt Miao', 'Red Miao', 'Black Miao', 'Highland Miao' and 'Eight Villages Miao'. Their homeland has abundant supply of wood, so the houses of Miao People are mainly built with wood.

Origin of Miao People

The Miao People's ancestors can be traced back to the "Chiyou" tribe, a tribe in the primitive society in the Central Plains. During the Shang and Zhou dynasties, the Miao People's ancestors began to construct their kingdom in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. Later, they gradually migrated to the southern part of China.

Language of Miao People

The Miao ethnic group has its own language which belongs to the Miao-Yao Austronesian of Chinese-Tibetan Phylum. The Miao people used to have their own character, but now it is lost. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Miao people invented a kind of phonetics character named "Old Miao Character". Now Chinese is widely used by the Miao people.

Clothing of Miao People

The clothing of the Miao ethnic group is various and colorful. In northwest Guizhou and northeast Yunnan, men of Miao People usually wear linen jackets with colorful designs, and drape woolen blankets with geometric patterns over their shoulders. In other areas, men wear short jackets buttoned down the front or to the left, long trousers with wide belts and long black scarves. In winter, men usually wear extra cloth leggings known as puttees. Women's clothing varies even from village to village. In west Hunan and northeast Guizhou, women wear jackets buttoned on the right and trousers, with decorations embroidered on collars, sleeves and trouser legs. In other areas, women wear high-collared short jackets and full or half-length pleated skirts. They also wear various kinds of silver jewelry on festive occasions.

Festivals of Miao People

Reed-pipe Wind Instrument Festival is traditional. It is not only for trading, but also for youth to find lovers. During the festival, competing horse skill, ball sports and other events will be held.

Festival in different area is different greatly. Dragon Boat Festival, Mountain Festival, Eating New Rice Festival, Tomb-sweeping Day, and other festivals are going after one another. Tramping Mountain event is important. A couple who can have bear a baby plant a tree near the village and hang a bottle of wine on for praying a child. Young man and woman will dance and sing under the tree, and many of them fall in love.

Entertainment of Miao People

Miao people all love singing songs. There are eighteen rules in singing in anti-phonal style. These are Miaos' rules for singing in anti-phonal style. If someone breaks the rules, he or she will be driven out of the singing spot. In the wedding, praising songs will be sung and so will historical stories, legends, astronemy and geotogy. After the older people go away, the young may sing love songs which have to be implicit. At parting, parting songs will be sung. When lads and lasses sing in artiphonal style, though falling in love, lads are not allowed to give keepsakes to lasses in public. At wedding feast, no riddle song is sung because a riddle song will cause quanels, and damage the happy atmosphere. Singing in antiphonal style, young men are forbidden to invite marred women or engaged girls. If they make a wrong choice, the females will refuse the invitation and return the keepsakes sent by the men. On the way meeting with this singing, you should take past in it. If you are in a hurry, you should sing to show apotogy.