The Yi ethnic minority in Funing County can be divided into such branches as the Baiyi (White Yi), Heiyi (Black Yi), Huayi (Flowery Yi), Baihua Yi and Gakujiao Yi etc. During each lunar April to June, they spend a traditional festival locally called "Tiaogong Festival".
[Lusheng (reed-pipe instrument) and bronze drums are
indispensably played for the festival.]
The festival is mainly dedicated to the ancestor-worship of the Yi people, who are said to migrate from the north due to the persecution of government in the ancient times. It's said that the Yi ancestors won after years of struggle against the government, and commemorations have been set to honour the triumph-which has become the nowadays "Tiaogong Festival". On those days of the festival, all the Yi ethnic members from nearby villages will get attired to join the three-day (annually) or nine-day (decadally) event.
(Headmen are discussing about preparation for the ancestor-worship ceremony)
Venue: Longman Village, Banlun Township of Funing County, Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture.
Titles during the festival
(1)-"Pah Bi" or "Gong Tou", namely the headmen or village chiefs, they are responsible of presiding over the festival;
(2)-"Gong Mu", or "Gong Zhu", is the wife of a headman. In a village, there are utmost four couples who can be titled "Gong Tou" and "Gong Mu". The role a "Gong Mu" plays is to lead, if any, the dance or performance.
(On the festival, headmen can be identified because
they wear "armours" and high "service caps".)
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