Hani Terrace Culture

Among the continuous stretch of Ailao Mountain, the Hanis have created thousands of rice terraces that climb upwards like green staircases or watery pools depending on the season along the slopes of mountains. The Hanis have built dykes and banks according to different kinds of topography and soils, making use of the regional conditions of "however high a mountain is, so is the water," to draw perennially flowing mountain springs into the terraces through irrigation channels and ditches. In early spring, terraces of varying shapes and sizes are filled with spring water, in the bright sunlight, generating shining ripples by mountain breezes.

Yuanyang Hani Terrace (Photo from mafengwo.cn)

The Hanis in the Ailao Mountain have a common saying: “terrace is the face of a young man. Whether a young man is good-looking or not largely depends on how his terraces are made. If he is expert at all jobs, such as building banks, scraping dykes and ploughing fields, he will gain praise by the people and win girls' love. Also, the crucial element of whether a girl is beautiful is how she behaves in terraces."

Yuanyang Hani Terrace (Photo from network)

The terrace is an important source of food for the Hani People. Therefore, they extremely treasure water. In order to conserve and allocate water for farm work in the right season, there has been a folk custom of "carving wood to ration water" since ancient times. According to the acreage a flow of spring can irrigate, people gather together and decide the amount of water every terrace and field needs. Then they put up a piece of crossed wood at the entrance of the field, and carve the amount of water needed on it. As the stream flows by the fields, an irrigation gate is opened and amount of water needed for that field flows in.

Yuanyang Hani Terrace (Photo from sohu.com)

Every Hani household breeds fish in terraces. After transplanting seedlings of rice in March, people put fish fry into the terraces and let them grow themselves. In the late autumn, while harvesting the rice, baskets of fresh fish are collected to make delicious dishes. Water buffalo are capable assistant for cultivating terraces, and, as a result, the Hanis have a long custom of respecting buffalos. When a cow gives birth to a calf, the whole family immediately goes to the mountains and cuts tender grass to feed it, sometimes even adding fatty meat and brown sugar syrup to it.

Yuanyang Hani Terrace (Photo from mafengwo.cn)

On cold days, the Hani do not hesitate to wrap up their beloved buffalo in old clothes and cotton fiber to keep it warm. On the third morning of the calf's birth, the family presents a large bowl of steamed glutinous rice before the cattle pen. In accordance with the size of the family and the number of cows and calves, they knead the rice into bowl-sized balls, one for each cattle and family members. This custom shows the equal position of man and buffalos.

Yuanyang Hani Terrace (Photo from bbs.zol.com.cn)




All the photos are from the web and the copyright retains with the original author. If there is any problem, please contact us.
You Might Also Like
Fashion of Hani PeopleFashion of Hani PeopleThe Hani people prefer clothing made of home-spun dark blue cloth. Children before 7 years old have no sexual divisions in their clothing...
Eating Habits of Hani MinorityEating Habits of Hani MinorityTheir staple foods are rice and corn. Sour and spicy are their favorite tastes. They pick wild vegetables to make soup, and use leaves of fragrance as condiment. Both Hani men and women are generally smokers and...
Traditional Marriage Customs of Hani PeopleTraditional Marriage Customs of Hani PeopleHani people are hospitable and warm-hearted. When visiting an ordinary Hani family, you will be served with the Hani home-made cigarette pipe. If you are not a smoker, you could decline in a courteous manner...
Origins and History  of Hani Ethnic MinorityOrigins and History of Hani Ethnic MinorityHistorical records indicate that a tribal people called the "Heyis" was active south of the Dadu River in the 3rd century B.C. These were possibly the ancestors of the Hanis of today. According to the records, some...

Comments

   
Post
more>>