Brave as the lion - The Jingpo people
Jingpo is one of the ethnic minority groups in China. The 119, 209 The Jingpo people live in Yunnan Province: mainly in Luxi, Longchuan, Yingjiang, Ruili, Lianghe Counties in Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture, while a few are scattered in other prefectures and counties.
The Jingpo people are known for their hard working character, hospitality and bravery. They have a widely known proverb: "Be as brave as the lion." They explore nature with their diligence and fight against enemies with their broad swords. In history, they have fought against invaders several times, and made considerable contributions to protection of the Motherland.
The Jingpo people mostly live in 1, 500 to 2, 000 meters high mountain areas. It is of a warm and wet climate. The fertile land produces a lot of things. Apart from dry rice, water rice and corn, there are rare rosewood, nanmu and a variety of bamboos. Economic plants are rubber, tung tree, coffee, tea, citronella, etc. Tropical and subtropical fruits are pineapple, jackfruit, mango, banana, etc. Various kinds of rare fowls and beasts live in the deep forest, and plentiful mines are buried in the ground.
The ancestors of The Jingpo people are related to the ancient Di and Qiang on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. In Tang Dynasty, their records could be seen in Chinese chronicles as "Xunchuan" and "Gaoligong". Since the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties until the founding of the PRC, they were called as "Echang, Zhexie, Yeren", etc. After the founding of the PRC, they are identified as Jingpo group.
The Jingpo people is divided into 5 subgroups: Jingpo, Zaiwa, Leqi, Lang'e (Langsu) and Bola. In most areas, people form different subgroups live together. The language of Jingpo subgroup belongs to the Jingpo language subgroup, Tibet-Burmese branch, Sino-Tibetan family. The other four are closer to each other, belonging to Burmese subgroup, Tibetan-Burmese branch. There are two kinds of writing systems: Jingpo and Zaiwa, both pinyin languages based on Latin letters. The former is created at the end of 19th century, and the later 1957.
They used to believe in ghosts and consider that there are good and bad ghosts, some doing good to the people while the others causing disasters. Therefore it is popular to offer sacrifice to the ghosts in ceremonies.
The oral literature of The Jingpo people is quite developed. Especially, the world-creating epic Lebaozhaiwa, which is a congregation of poetry, singing and dancing, contains knowledge in nature and the various aspects of society. It is deeply loved by the Jingpo people and is also a significant work in folk literature of China.
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