The Dai Nationality
The population of Dai is over about 1 million. They have been living in the beautiful and richly endowed tropical and sub-tropical flatlands for a long time.
Xishuangbanna, Dehong Prefecture, Menglian and Jinggu counties in Simao, Gengma and Shuangjiang counties in Lincang Prefecture, Xinping and Yuanjiang counties of Yuxi Prefecture, and Jinping county in Honghe Prefecture are the regions where the Dais live in compact communities.
The Dai is an ethnic group with a long history.Their ancestors were one tribe of the Baiyue people. The Dai people were addressed differently in different periods of time such as “Shan”, “Jinchi”, and “Baiyi”. They call themselves “Dai “, “Daile”, or “Daiya”. “Dai” means “people who ardently love freedom and peace “. The Dai nationality is divided into three branches, the Han Dai, the Shui Dai and the Huayao Dai.
The first scene is buildings by buildings of bamboo cottage hidden by green trees when you come to Daizu village.
Daizu people have a long bamboo construction history of thousand years, this construction style is very suitable for southern subtropical climate. Their bamboo cottage consists of two floors which is same as that of Achang people, the cool and dry above floor is living room and bed room, which for people and the nether for livestock, with a balcony, where people can air clothes and enjoy fresh air and breeze.
Building cottage is the most important thing in Daizu people’ daily life. They must select a good ground, prepare eight pillars. During the building period, Daizu people are very hospitable and warm hearted. The visitors pass by their village should share a big bowl of alcohol with the host, and the host will let the visitors drink as much as they can to present his respecting.
Villagers come to entrance of their hamlet to invite stranger to their home because they regard the inviting stranger as a very happy thing. If host can’t get a visitor, he must invite a respecter, if he can’t get a respecter, at least, he should invite a stone in mountain to his home. Building new house is the greatest thing in their daily life, Daizu people dance and sing when new bamboo house is finished, they come together spontaneously for singing and dancing for three days.
At night, they usually fire gun salute and blow horn, and then they have their reunion dinner. All people come from their village to help.
You will see couples by couples boys and girls susurrate and whisper each other in bamboo jungle or beside a brook when evening is coming, with a charming breeze. Daizu young people love freely, but they can not be in love from Opening door festival in July to Closing door festival in Sept. because this period is farming season.
Tattooing and dying teeth are ancient custom of Daizu people, which is prevailing. Boy must tattoo when they are seven years old, and girl must dye teeth in teen years old, they think the blacker their teeth are, the prettier they are.
Daizu Nationality believe in Buddhism, there are buildings and buildings of choiceness and unconventional and exoticism Buddhism temple and pagoda everywhere, what a mystery and godlike scene.
In wedding, the parents tie a silk thread in hands of bride and bridegroom to pray for a good future and bless that they can love each other all their life.