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Face-tattooed Dulong Women

Discover Face-tattooed Women in Dulong Ethnic Minority Along Dulong River

Located in the northwestern part of the Gongshan Dulong-Nu Ethnic Autonomous County, Nujiang Lisu Ethnic Autonomous prefecture, Yunnan province, the Dulongjiang Town is with Bingzhongluo Town and Cikai Town, bordered by the Gaoligong Mountain in the east. It borders on Chawalong Town of Chayu County, the Tibet Autonomous Region in the north and is adjacent to the Dandanglika Mountain and Burma. With a total area of 1994 square kilometers, this town covers 34 kilometers from the east to the west, 91.7 kilometers from the south to the north. The town has six Village Committees under its jurisdiction: Maku, Bapo, Kongdang, Xianjiudang, Longyuan and Dizhengdang, composed of 41 groups of Villager, 838 households. The population of Dulong nationality is 4111, meaning 2.04 people/square kilometer. The Dulong River runs through the Gaoligong Mountain and the Dandanglika Mountain, tesulting in the Dulong Canyon. The Dulong ethnic group living along the side are  blocked by mountains, by inconvenient traffic from December to May each year, and heavy snow capping the mountains, lose contact with the outside. Generations after generations, the Dulong ethnic people has its own unique culture.

Rising from the eastern foot of the Shula Hill, Chayu County, the Tibet Autonomous Region   upstream is called the Lelaoluo River, and is named the Dulong River after confluence with the Mabiluo River in Siren. As one of the main tributaries of the upstream of the Irrawady River¡ªthe Enmeikai River, the Dulong River, extending 178.6 kilometers within the nation, flows out of China in the Makuyinlangdang Village and finally flows into the Indian Ocean. The river is connected with the Gaoligong Mountain on the east, and magnificent Dandanglika Mountain on the west. From the foot to the peak is 3804 meters. The region boasts a diversified climate, changing with the altitude, ranging from the southern subtropical climate to the mountain frigid climate. It is endowed with the corresponding landscape, and with 96% covered by forest. It is one of the kingdoms for precious flora and fauna, reputed as ¡°the Gene Base of the wild life and wild plants¡±. It is also the center of both the Gaoligong Mountain state-level nature reserve and the three-river parallel flow world natural heritage region. The river is blue-green, very clean, with beautiful scenery alongside it.

The people dwelling along the Dulong River¡ªthe Dulong ethnic group, is an extremely mysterious group. With the total population of 5600 and 80% in this gorge, they build their houses on a higher land because of precipitate landform and heavy rain. They stay by themselves. There is usually one household on one hill. In the northern part, their houses are made of wood 2,3 feet away from the land, with only one door towards the south. In the southern part, the houses are made of bamboo, with two doors, one on each point. The Dulong ethnic group still likes its ancestors. It does not take any articles left by the wayside and doors are not bolted at night Their doors are never locked but only have a pole traversed in front of the door, telling others the host is out. In harvest time, they set up a small building for storage. It is also never locked. It is called the Corn Tower. Before they go to a place far away, they will put a bag of rice on the roadside for the return journey. If they find a rock bee comb or a bird's nest, they will cut a pole into an arrow, pointing to the nest, telling others they belong to a host. Others will not bother them.

Dulong ethnic group still retains customs such as facial tattoos, bull sacrifices, pray for not raining when they see a fire like sky, and worship the god of hunting. Dulong people go to church on Wednesdays and Sundays in churches in Maku, Bapo, Kongdang and Xianjiudang Village. The most important festival is the Kaichangwa Festival on the first of January of the lunar calendar.

Dulong ethnic people were called facial tattoo tribe. There are still 60 face tattooed women living in Dulongjiang Canyon. Dulong long people call the facial tattoo ¡°Degalandun¡±.

There are many explanations for facial tattoo of Dulong ethic group. One of them is that Dulong people believe that their spirit will go to a place called ¡°Aximoli¡± after they pass away. Without the facial tattoo, they will get lost. (It's like the plot of Prison Break). Some other people believe that Dulong women tattooed themselves as decoration to make them as beautiful as insects or flowers in nature. Some claim that facial tattoo is to distinguish them from other ethnic groups. Others still, believe they facial tattoos to make them look unattractive to prevent them being taking from their tribes.

They get facial tattoos between the age of 12 to 13. Bulk is burned under an iron pot. The soot is scrapped from the iron pot and mixed with water to make paste. The girl's face then tattooed with home made needle and without any anaesthetic. The paste is then rubbed into the wound. After two weeks, the skin clearly show the permanent tattoo.

In 1966, the custom of facial tattooing was abandoned. Up to Aug. 2003, there are still 60 women averaging 71.9 in age still have facial tattoos. The oldest one is 108 years old. They are the last facial tattoo women of the Dulong people.


Face-tattooed Women

Face-tattooed Women

Face-tattooed Women

 time£º2014-12-09 20:57:18

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