Chinese Nation – Hmong

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The Hmong is an ancient ethnic group scattered all over the world, mainly in the provinces of Guizhou, Hunan, Hubei, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guangxi, and Qiong in China, as well as Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and other countries and regions in Southeast Asia.

 

According to historical records and Miao people’s word-of-mouth information, the ancestors of the Miao nationality first lived in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River. Their ancestors were Chi You. They moved to the Jianghan Plain during the “Three Miao” era, and then gradually moved south and west due to wars and other reasons. The great migration, into the southwest mountainous area and the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. Since the Ming and Qing dynasties, a part of the Miao people have emigrated to Southeast Asian countries, and in modern times they have migrated to Europe and the United States from these places.

 

The Miao nationality has its own language. The Miao language belongs to the Miao language branch of the Miao-Yao language family of the Sino-Tibetan language family. It is divided into three dialects: Xiangxi, Qiandong, and Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan. Due to the long-term contracts between the Miao and Han, some of the Miao speak both Chinese and use Chinese[1]. The religious beliefs of the Miao people are mainly nature worship and ancestor worship.

 

In the 2010 China Census, the total population of China’s Miao nationality was 9,426,007, and the population ranked fourth among ethnic minorities.

 

Hmong-1

 

Population Distribution

Provinces and cities
 Population
Rank
Guizhou
3968400
1
Hunan
2060426
2
Yunnan
1202705
3
Chongqing
482714
4
Guangxi
475492
5
Zhejiang
309064
6
Guangdong
251970
7
Hubei
177490
8
Sichuan
164642
9
Fujian
88017
10
Hainan
74482
11
Jiangsu
49535
12
Shanghai
31351
13
Anhui
13856
14
Beijing
12957
15
Hebei
9703
16
Jiangxi
9125
17
Shandong
8414
18
Xinjiang
7626
19
Henan
4321
20
Liaoning
3952
21
Tianjin
3751
22
Inner Mongolia
3349
23
Shaanxi
2787
24
Heilongjiang
2575
25
Shanxi
2205
26
Jilin
1446
27
Gansu
1212
28
Ningxia
1113
29
Qinghai
911
30
Tibet
416
31
total
9426007
——
Note: The data is from the 2010 China Census.
Hmong girl

culture

Language

The Hmong language belongs to the Miao branch of the Miao-Yao language family of the Sino-Tibetan language family. In the early 1950s, the second task force of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Minority Language Survey conducted field investigations and conducted scientific research on the word-formation of Miao languages in different regions, but with different phonetic features. After conducting scientific research, they divided the Miao language into three major dialects, namely: Xiangxi Dialects, Qiandongfang dialect, Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan dialects (also known as eastern dialects, central dialects, and western dialects), and seven sub-dialects, eighteen native languages.

 

Western Hunan dialect (Eastern dialect) is mainly prevalent in the Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in western Hunan, Songtao Miao Autonomous County in northeastern Guizhou, Enshi, Xuan’en, Laifeng, Hefeng in Hubei and Xiushan, Youyang, Pengshui and other counties in Chongqing, divided into 5 Kind of native language

 

Qiandongfang dialect (central dialect) is mainly used in Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, Guangxi Rongshui Miao Autonomous County, Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County, Jingzhou and Huiping counties in Hunan, Guizhou Anshun area and parts of Southwestern Guizhou and Qiannan Buyi and Miao Autonomous Prefecture Among the Miao nationality, there are 5 kinds of native languages;

 

Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan dialects (western dialects) are mainly spoken in the central, western, southern, northern and southern parts of Guizhou, as well as the whole province of Yunnan, and are divided into 8 dialects;

 

In addition, some Miao people speak Chinese, Dong, Yao, Buyi, Zhuang and other ethnic languages. Although there are some differences in the dialects, sub-dialects and native languages of the Miao language, the similarities still account for more than 60%.

 

Hmong-2

 

Character

Legend has it that the Miao people once had character in ancient times, which may have the same origin with Chinese characters, but was later lost. These legends are now difficult to verify. At the beginning of the 20th century, some Miao intellectuals created some dialect Text for the development of Miao culture education, such as the square Miao script created by Shibantang in western Hunan, the shorthand Miao script created by Shi Qigui, and the Miao script compiled by Guizhou Songtaolong Shaohua using the international phonetic alphabet Textbooks, etc. Some foreign missionaries also created some Miao scripts for missionary needs. However, these Hmong scripts could not be promoted among the Miao people due to various conditions.

 

“Ancient Songs of the Miao Nationality” records that the ancestors of the Miao nationality were easily exposed to the enemy because they escaped the war and the secrets of ethnic culture migration. They had to burn and erase the Text. When the few intellectuals died, the Text also followed. It was lost, leaving only the Text written on the clothes. In the late 1950s, the Miao people began to create Latinized Pinyin Text. Most people nowadays use Chinese. The music and dance of the Miao nationality has a long history, and the Lusheng dance, which is loved by the masses, is highly skilled.

 

Pollard, an Englishman who preached in the Shimenkan area of Weining, northwestern Guizhou, worked with the Miao, Han intellectuals Yang Yage, Zhang Wu, Listiwen and others to use some Latin text mothers and some note symbols, based on the Shimenkan Miao nationality. The phonetic is the standard sound, and a Pinyin Text is created, called “Pladin Text Mother Miao Wen” (commonly known as “Old Miao Wen”), which is used to translate Christian Bibles, compile textbooks, and record Miao folk stories, poems, and memorabilia. In the 1940s, some of the Miao people in the northeastern sub-dialect of the Sichuan, Guizhou and Dian dialects migrated and settled in Xinchi Village, Xiyahe Township. Text and Chinese Text are bilingual teachings. In the 1950s, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the People’s Government, a large number of Language scholars including Miao scholars were trained, conducted a census and research on the Miao Language across the country, reformed the “Old Miao Language”, and created the three eastern, western and central regions. The Latin Pinyin Miao script of this dialect. However, due to the complex internal branches of the Miao nationality, the Languages vary greatly and it is extremely difficult to unify.

 

In addition, the Miao people in Southeast Asia used a Latin phonetic alphabet invented by French missionaries, which gradually developed into “international Miao”.

 

Hmong-3

 

Religious belief

The Miao people have their own Religious beliefs for a long time. After a long period of historical development, the religious beliefs of the Miao people in different regions are different. In some Miao ethnic areas due to traffic congestion, the Miao believe in primitive religions; there are also a few Miao ethnic areas, such as Weining, Shimenkan, and Yuanling in Xiangxi. In modern times, due to the influence of foreign missionaries, some people converted to Catholicism and Christianity. But in general, most of the Miao people still believe in primitive religions that have been formed for a long time by their own people, which include Nature worship, Totem worship, ghost worship, and Ancestor worship.

 

Nature worship

The main nature worship objects of the Miao nationality include the sky, the earth, the sun, the moon, huge rocks, big trees, bamboo, rocks, and bridges. In some Miao people in Malipo, Jinping, Yunnan and other places, every time the crops are heading, they must sacrifice the “Mother of Heaven and Earth” to pray for the heaven and the earth to make the crops harvest. This is the relic of the Miao people worshiping heaven and earth.

 

Totem worship

The ancestors of the Miao nationality have their own totems that they worship. As the Miao people have many branches and distributions, there are many totems they worship. Such as phoenix, maple, butterfly, dog (panhu), dragon, bird, eagle, bamboo, etc. The ancestors of the Miao nationality in southeastern Guizhou worshipped maple as a totem, and believed that their ancestors originated from maple; in addition, they also regarded butterflies as a totem, and believed that their ancestor Jiang Yang was born by “butterfly mother”. The ancestors of the Miao nationality at the junction of Hunan, Hubei, Sichuan, and Guizhou still used Panhu as a totem, and many Panhu temples and Xinnv palaces have been preserved in this area. The Miao people in western Guizhou use birds as their totems.

 

Ancestor worship

Ancestor worship is still very popular among the Miao people today. The Miao people in Southeastern Guizhou changed their respect for maple trees and butterflies to Jiang Yang, the ancestor of mankind. They believed that he was the ancestor of the Miao people. Each drum club set up a “drum grotto” to worship “yanggong” and “yangpo”; The ancestors worshiped by the Miao people in western Hunan are “Nuo Gong” and “Nuo Mother”. In order to pray for the blessings of ancestor gods, there are large-scale activities of killing cattle and offering sacrifices to ancestors in various places, such as the Gushe Festival in the southeast of Guizhou, where Tongren and Songtao are called “eat cattle” or “steel cattle”, and the southwest of Guizhou and Anshun, Zhenning, etc. It is called “cutting the cow”. In Xiangxi, there is “Returning the wish of Nuo”, offering sacrifices to the “Duke Nuo” and “Mother Nuo”. On festivals, the Miao people also hold ancestor worship ceremonies. In many Miao areas, there are ancestor tablets in the middle of the houses of every family, and they are worshipped every day.

 

Witch culture

The Miao people have a long history of believing in ghosts and witches, and it is still common after the founding of New China. There are dozens of ghosts and gods believed in. They divide ghosts into two types: good and evil: they believe that good gods can bless people and should be sacrificed frequently for this purpose, while evil ghosts are in trouble with people, causing disasters and disasters, and they should pray for relief and expulsion. It is believed that to achieve this goal, it is necessary to practice witchcraft through wizards. Shamans are intermediaries between people and ghosts. They have high cultural qualities and are respected by the Miao people. The witchcraft practiced by sorcerers mainly include divination, interpretation, and evocation.

 

Hmong apparel

 

Apparel

The Miao nationality apparel has many styles and colorful colors. There is Wuxi in the Book of the Later Han Dynasty. Wuxi: Today’s Xiangxi and the junction of Guizhou, Sichuan and Hubei, the place is named after five streams. The Miao nationality’s “good five-color clothes” record; Du Fu, a great poet in the Tang Dynasty, also has a famous poem that “five rivers clothes share the sky”. There are more than one hundred styles of clothing for Miao women, which can be called the most national costume in China. There are dozens of types of headdresses that are more representative of traditional “dresses” only on the bun.

 

Miao women generally wear narrow-sleeved, large-collared, short-breasted shorts on the upper body, and pleated skirts on the lower body. The dress may be long enough to fit your feet, elegant and colorful, or short than knee-length, graceful and moving. For casual wear, a headkerchief, a short coat with a large breasted upper body, trousers on the lower body, embroidered lace, an embroidered waistband, and a little delicate silver ornament are added. The attire of the Miao men is relatively simple. The tops are mostly short coats or gowns with right gussets. The shoulders are woven with geometric patterns of wool felt, the head is wrapped in a blue toe cap, and the legs are wrapped with leggings.

 

Art

The Miao people can sing and dance. The “Feige” of the Miao nationality is high-pitched, loud and contagious. The dances include the Lusheng dance, the bench dance, and the bronze drum dance, among which the Lusheng dance is the most common. Lusheng dance dances on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month, the third day of March, the Double Ninth Festival and other festivals and days such as house building, harvest, and welcoming relatives, with multiple changes in the lower limbs of the dance. The folk mass Lusheng dance is generally led by two to five men playing the Lusheng, and the others dance in a circle with joy. The scene is spectacular and the atmosphere is lively. Competitive Lusheng dances are usually performed by a small number of men and women with higher skills at festivals or gatherings, usually two to four people, with difficult movements such as squatting, bending, lying on their backs, and upside down, which are very popular with the masses.

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