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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2004 7:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
I would like to draw your attention to an article which I loaded up today - the Miao shaman's ceremony by Tony Chen Hualong which you can find at
http://www.tribaltextiles.info/articles/Miao_shaman.htm

Tony contacted me in November 2003 asking to exchange links. I was very interested to discover that he was a Miao from Langde village in Guizhou. He writes excellent English and it seemed to me a wonderful opportunity to be able to understand more about the Miao culture. Tony is an educated young man who spent the first 18 years of his life in his Miao village before leaving to go to university. He both believes in science and technology and yet is imbuded with the spriritual traditions of the background in which he grew up. Tony now runs the tour operator, China Youth Travel Service (CYTS) Guizhou, in Guiyang and created their website www.gzcyts.com/en/ .

Tony offered back in November to write some articles for the www.tribaltextiles.info website. The Miao shaman's ceremony is his first contribution. I find his comments at the end of the article very telling:
Quote:
" I studied at university for several years and am now working in Guiyang. I would say that I believe in science and technology. Some city friends question me sometimes. Do I think it is a superstitious activity? Do I believe it or not? It is hard for me to give a definitive answer because sometimes it makes sense and it is still popular in the (Miao) community. I like to regard it as a religious belief or a spiritual pursuit. It is something that my people have been following for generations. Without it, they would lose their sense of identity as a real nation."


I am encouraging Tony to register as a member of the forum as I am sure that he would be a welcome addition to our community.

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 8:24 am
Posts: 7
Location: New York
Hello everyone,
I find that there is such great similarities between the shamans of the Miao in that region to the Hmong of Southeast Asia, despite the few hundred years of migration.
Tony's description of the spirit world parallels to the spirit world told by Hmong shamans else where.

I find that these cultural beliefs add to the beauty and creativity of the Miao people. As one sees the whimsical embroideries of "happy" dragons and characters of the Miao it really tells of a certain time when the Miao didn't have to migrate or fight imperial armies.

Interestingly at the burials of the Hmongs when there is a deceased person on his/her way to the spirit world the person who is guiding the deceased tells them to be careful of the Chinese if the Chinese take your garments from you tell them it is ripped so all garments worn are usually cut or slit when given to the deceased.


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