Folk-Custom of Yi Nationality
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Folk-Custom of Yi Nationality
Folk-Custom of Yi Nationality

Yi nationality in Liang Mountain call themselves “Nuosu”. The legend, which is popular among people of Yi, believes that the ancestor of Yi nationality was Guhou and Qunie, two primitive tribes, which date back to more than 2000 years ago and settled in Zizi Puwu (today’s Zhaotong area in Yunnan).
Before the reformation of nationalities, the region of Liang mountain had poor productivity. Most of the Yi people led their life in slash-and-burn cultivation while the strict hierarchy system was highly developed. According to the hierarchical social structure of the Yi, all the social members are divided into five grades, Zimo, Nuohe, Qunuo, Ajia and Jiaxi. The Zimo and Nuohe belong to the class who reigns. Ajia and Jiaxi are the lowest social status among the five grades.
Yi nationality chose a black tiger as their totem, which they believe can transfer and spread their unique charms. They created antiquated syllable character, in which one character represents one meaning, and the total number of the characters was more than 10,000. And, they created their own culture by their characters, and left a lot of abundant literature heritages. In Sichuan, the widespread masterpieces are epic poetry, such as Eleteyi, Amonire and etc, and some of them describe the ancient legends about the origin and developing process of humans, while others show the young man’s determination to fight for love and freedom.  
People of Yi can both sing and dance. Yu-kin, Sanxian, Kouxian and Mabu are musical instruments with Yi characteristics. The dances of Yi nationality are wonderful, and multifarious, such as Jiuli Dance, which expresses girl’s desire for marriage; Small- Bell Dance, which shows farewell to the dead; Jinfei Fengwu Dance, exhibiting laboring; and Flower-Drum Dance, manifesting the happiness in festivals, etc.   
In festivals, people of Yi are always full-dressed and perform festive singing and dancing, which obviously exhibits the unique custom and endless energy of the Yi nationality, such as the New Year’s Day (according to solar calendar of Yi nationality), the Firebrand Festival ( June, 24th in Jia calendar), etc.   
When visiting a Yi family, people will not only eat delicious food prepared by the host but also enjoy the delicate and beautiful colored furnitures.
The clothing of Yi nationality in Lang Mountain is famous for its various sorts, such as the fancy and pretty lines decoration in Yinuo area, which mainly takes vortex lines, geometric pictures and coiled flowers, and adds appliqués and embroideries; in Suodi area, clothes are simple and flamboyant, with excellence on appliqués; and in Shizha area, clothes carry a lot of lined pictures and some handworks, such as bordering, rolling, coiling, sticking and sewing. The traditional clothing material is fur and flax, and three colors: black, red, yellow are more preferable. The clothing of Yi nationality is decent, delicate and colorful. It not only enriches people’s life, embodying traditional culture of Yi nationality, but also enlightens the visitors who like beautiful wears on designing and selecting clothes.
Men of Yi nationality always wear “Chaerwa”, like a mantle, which is sewed with twirled coarse woolen cloth and mostly dyed into deep blue. Young women always wear folded skirt in red, white, blue, green, black and so on. Women use syringe, kouxian and roe tooth, musk which are used for avoiding bad luck as the decoration on chest. And they wear triangular pouch, which has many kinds of lines on the surface and different package cloth as a foil. The pouch is open at the top, and hangs ribbons in five different colors. Wrist decorations are bracelets of different material, such as gold, silver, copper, jade, and stone.

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