The Jingpo Nationality
The Jingpo nationality, with a population of about 121,900, live in compact communities mainly in Dehong Prefecture and Lushi County of Nujiang Prefecture. A few of them are distributed in Tengchong County of Baoshan Simao Prefecture.
Their ancestors were a branch of the Diqing tribe. The “Luoxing” and the “Xunchun” tribes in the Tang Dynasty were their ancestors. they call themselves “Jingpo”, “Zaiwa “, “E-lang” and “Laqi”. Since they live in mountain areas, they are often called “Shantou” which means “the top of a Mountain”, and the names given by Hans are also related to their distributions. After Liberation, they were named the Jingpo the Jingpo nationality.
They use two languages, namely the Jinpo and the Zaiwa languages, which belong to the Tibeto-Burman Branch of the Sino-Tibetan Language Family (Jingpo Branch). The primitive means of communication were popular among the Jingpo people, of which the typical ones included making marks on wooden boards as records and expressing feelings by giving different plants . In 1957, the new Jingpo characters were created.
The Jinpo people engage mainly in farming, and sometimes in gathering and hunting as well. They are fond of drinking wine, chewing tobacco, Luzi and betel nuts. They believe in a primitive multi-god religion, and a few of them are Christians.
The Jingpo women usually wear short black coats, and purplish red tight woolen shirts. On grand occasions, they dress themselves up with numerous colorful beads, silver bulbs and silver pieces. Some women have bamboo rattan hoops painted black or red on their waists.
The men usually wear black round-collared coats with buttons down the front, short and loose trousers, and black or white turbans. The two ends of the turbans with embroidery or small floss balls. They bring their ling knives and haversacks wherever they go.
The most important festival of the Jingpo people is the MunaoZongge festival. “Munao” is a Jingpo and “Zongge” is a Zaiwa word. Both of them mean singing and dancing together. It falls on the 15th of January on the lunar calendar and lasts three days.