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论文翻译---英文译文---云南佤族剽牛考

发布时间:2011-05-29 23:39:38
 

论文翻译

Ox-slaughtering of Wa Nationality in Yunnan Province

Feng Qiang

(Qujing Normal University   Qujing, Yunnan   655011)

Abstract: This paper adopts the methods of documentation and field investigation to make a research on the origin, process and supporting activities of Wa ox-slaughtering in Yunnan Province, and draws a conclusion that ox-slaughtering has social debugging function, educational function, economic function, fitness and entertainment function and identification function; it also analyzes the changes of its social functions, concluding that its changes are made by the changes of people’s life requirements and the social development.

Key words: Wa nationality, ox-slaughering, ceremony, transition

Wa nationality of Yunnan Province is regarded as a living fossil in anthropology and according to Wa epic “Sigangli”, there is the rock art in Cangyuanof over 3500 years ago describing primitive religious sacrifice ceremonies, primitive dance, life, labor, hunting and war, all of which improve that Wa folk activities are closely related to its primitive religion. With unique cultural charm, the primitive religious ceremonies play an important role in forming the ethnic identity, national identity and cultural identity. In many folk activities, ox-slaughtering is a representative one and this paper makes a research on its origin, ceremony process and social functions, aiming to provide the basis of protecting and inheriting this national cultural activity.

I. The Origin of Ox-slaughtering

Ox-slaughtering is a kind of special religious ceremonies owned by Wa nationality, which is also a activity by killing cattle to get sacrificial offerings. The ancestors of Wa nationality has had a custom offering a cattle head as a sacrifice for god of grain, while the ox-head is another most important sacrificial offering inferior to a human head. If there is any holiday, wedding, funeral, house building and ceremony every year, ox-slaughtering is used to express the wish yearning for harvest and praying for safety.

The rock art in Cangyuan records the first ox-slaughtering sacrifice and it is scattered in the cliffs of Menshen, Manpa and Mankan inhabited by Wa nationality. Proved by the experts, it has had a history of more than 3500 years. These rock paintings are drawn in red color dyed by red mineral powder in the local area or cow blood. The rock paintings describe the primitive religious sacrifice ceremonies: there are the images of ox, monkey and bird, with many dancing and hunting scenes and with vivid postures. For thousands of years, in every drought or Spring Festival, Wa nationality living in the local area have had to hold a solemn sacrifice activities to the rock paintings, praying for a good year with good weather for the crops.

In 1943, Fang Guoyu wrote “The Inspection Records of West Yunnan” in which there was “The Record of Kawa Mountain” specially recording the oldest and most primitive sacrifice of headhunting for the god of grain. It said, “The human head is sacrificed for the god of grain in every February and August… It is sacrificed regularly when the witch dances with gong and drum. Most of people say to the head: you are a child and we regard you as a god. When you come to the heaven, you will bless us and give us a harvest year; but the women cry around and say: are you human beings? … Their crying shakes the valley and with cattle killed, the sacrifice is over. Dining together, holding hands and dancing with sheng music, the people begin to leave in the evening.” [1] About the cause of headhunting sacrifice, there are tow kinds of versions: the one is that in Dasaima Times of over 200 years ago, some Han people used boiled grain to give Wa nationality as seeds and told them that if there was no sprout from the seed, they would be beheaded to sacrifice gods. As a result, there was no sprout, a people was beheaded to sacrifice as Han people said. Later, Han people gave the real grain seeds, from which there were sprouts with good growth and full grains. As the old people say, the headman of the village will organize people to count the number of rice making divinatory symbols after every autumn harvest, so that they can recall the lucky and bad fortune they have experienced in the year to decide whether there will be a headhunting sacrifice to the god of grain and whether brave young men are organized to behead a people in ambush. The headhunting custom has made a lot of people killed by “divine knife”, which also brings great disasters to Wa people, making Wa people kill each other, causing hate and fight between villages, seriously influencing the relationship between villages, areas and minorities, and blocking the social development. With Buddhism and Christianity being introduced, in Wa nationality there was Dasaima who called himself as a god making people believe in Christianity and gradually sacrifice to the god of grain by a cow head instead of a human head. After this measure has been accepted by Wa nationality around and other nationalities, the headhunting sacrifice custom decreased gradually.

Another version is: ox-slaughtering sacrifice is an ox worship made by Wa nationality, so when there is any important activity, there must be ox-slaughtering, using an ox as a sacrificial offering to pray for bless and remove ill fortune. They think that an ox can be sacrificed to gods, solving all the problems of the tribes. After a buffalo is killed by Wa people in the sacrifice, its skull will be hung on the house wallboard, but the number of buffalo heads hung will symbolize the wealth and power. Therefore, Wa people are proud of slaughtering the number of buffalos to show their wealth by the accumulated buffalo skulls and improve their social status.  By this, some of them may become the royal and headman of the tribe.

In Wa areas, the ox-slaughtering custom continues to the founding of the People’s Republic of China, because ox-slaughtering activity wastes a lot in labor power, material and economy, especially when a buffalo is raised for cultivating in fields, but just for ox-slaughtering sacrifice by Wa nationality. Therefore, since 1952, Yunnan Provincial Party Committee has formed an ethnic work team mainly composed of Han officials who settled in Cangyuan, starting from “rousing the masses”, “mediating ethnic relations” and “reconciling ethnic disputes” and gradually helping the national cadres in education. Under the governmental education, since the early 1950s, except for Masan, Yuesong, Nanma and Yangxiao, most areas inhabited by Wa people have abandoned the ox-slaughtering custom. In 1966, Cangyuan County abolished the ox-slaughtering activity which has been non existent for 14 years. Until 1980, the custom became popular again in Wa areas. But it has changed because the ox-slaughtering activity was organized by town and village. It was after 2000 that the ox-slaughtering activity was sponsored by county, town, village, society and enterprise when there were some important festivals and ceremonies of Wa nationality. Besides, the rich of the village would hold the ox-slaughtering activity for holidays and weddings.

II. The Process of Ox-slaughtering Ceremony

Before the ceremony begins, the religious official leads an ox around the room three times clockwise, and then ties the ox to a pole. All the villagers will sing and dance around the ox. When the ox-slaughtering ceremony begins, the people will stay back. The headman waves his hands to Moba to begin the ceremony and at that moment, the whole village is quiet and solemn. Moba walks out solemnly with his right hand holding a knife up to the right side of his head and his left hand holding a bamboo tube full of water wine and rice flowers, walking and dancing, and praying for safety with some words. In the ox-slaughtering sacrifice activity, being accompanied with the beat of a wooden drum, Moba and the ox slaughterer perform the ox-slaughtering dance with a strong rhythmic drumbeat, while Moba dances and sings, “The entrance of Sigang Cave is covered with a huge gong, which is pecked by a small sparrow. So we can walk out of Sigangli. In order to thank the small sparrow, we slaughter an ox to sacrifice, praying for safe villages and harvested crops.” At the same time, five slaughterers hold dart guns with red scarves around their heads and bared arm, and they dance around the ox with serious, modest and dignified actions. Holding the wine, Moba scatters the rice flowers to the ox, blessing the dying cattle. After saying that, the five young men rush to the ox and one of them quickly lunges at the part between front shoulder and rib of the ox with the dart gun. As the dart gun go deeper, the ox falls down within a minute. At this time, the men around take out their knives to cut down the oxtail and then the head. Cutting down the oxtail as a signal, all the men in the village will rush forward with short knives in hands, competing for beef. The people with the most beef will be honored and regarded as “a hero” or “a brave man”, while the people without beef is shameful. The other four slaughterers hang the bleeding knives at their waists, holding the ox-head and acclaiming to the crowd. When the ox-head is hung over the pole, the people surround it, singing and dancing around the dead ox. After the ox is killed at the sacrifice (or the house of the religious official), according to the custom the beef is divided and eaten by people of all ages and both sexes. Then they will dance and sing counterclockwise around the campfire, holding in hands and two or more men will lead the public to chorus, which sometimes lasts all night long with roaring adding to the fun at the climax. 

Besides performance, the current process basically keeps the original ox-slaughtering of Wa nationality, but there are lots of changes in other processes, such as the oxtail is not cut down in the ox-slaughtering, only the presbyter is invited to common family ox-slaughtering activities, ox slaughterers are young men or religious officials in the village and beef is given as a share to one family while the host just keeps a small part.

III. The Supporting Activities

其中民俗体育活动主要有打鸡枞陀螺、射努、穿针游戏;妇女一般是烤牛肉,小孩子玩躲猫猫、打磨秋、打陀螺等游戏。…次日还有一些民俗体育项目的表演和比赛活动。次日还有一些民俗体育项目的表演和比赛活动。在旅游节活动期间,一些商家还在村寨的四周进行商业宣传活到。

In every important Wa festival, there are generally all kinds of activities lasting for three days, where the villagers will invite friends from other villages to join the activities. After the ox-slaughtering ceremony is over, there will be some folk cultural activities: folk sports, group feast, group dance, sing, “girl series”, “it is wicked to touch you” and needle games. The main folk sports include spinning tops, shooting crossbows and playing needle games; the women generally roast beef and the children play hide-and-seek, swing and spin tops. After having dinner in the afternoon, all the villagers assemble together around the big trees in the central village, circling around the camp fire, dancing and singing with drumbeat, and echoing to the clouds. Some unmarried men and women of Wa nationality use the chance to play “girl series”, which means collectivity fall in love. If there is any important festival, the town and county will hold some activities, where a lot of guests will be invited. After the ox-slaughtering is over, some special performance of Wa nationality will be added, such as wood drums dance, ox-slaughtering dance, jilt hair dance and the song, “Wa People Sing a New Song”. The performance being over, the group dance of Wa nationality will be done with a strong beat of wooden drum and Wa people will invite the guests to sing and dance together, all of whom are indulged in happiness. On the second day, there are also some performances of folk sports and games. During the course of tourism seasons, some companies will hold some commercial advertisement activities around the village.

IV. The Social and Cultural Function Analysis of Ox-slaughtering

4.1 The Social Integration Function

The ox-slaughtering is not only a simple sacrifice, but also an important social activity. “The ceremony belongs to ‘a reservoir’ of traditional culture, in which there are all kinds of knowledge, including religion, art, festival, agriculture, clan, politics, organization and entertainment.”[2] The ox-slaughtering ceremony plays a promotional role in the social development of Wa villages, and especially it bears a lot of functions: the interest coordination among villagers, divination, villages being held together, education, military, ethnic morals, advertisement, laws and social rules and even civil mediation and legal decision.  Before the liberation, the headman, Zhumi and clan leader were the core of right in Wa villages. For the purpose of protecting the benefit of the headman, the ox-slaughtering sacrifice was a compulsory social activity for them to strengthen and solidify their political positions and power.

In the activity, the headman protects his position and power in Wa nationality by the sacred sacrifice and for the sake of the god. From the moment when the headman announces that the ceremony begins, the ox-slaughterers are given dart guns. They take the ox-head offered by Moba and then pass it to the religious official who will hang the ox-head to the pole. In fact, the course of the whole ox-slaughtering ceremony fully shows his status and authority in Wa people. To the rising rich Zhumi, it is also a way for them to come into the power center of the village through this kind of ceremony, getting a social identity of status and position. To the villagers, they can get free sacrificial offerings in the course of the ceremony, but meanwhile their class positions are enhanced, forming a difference in class and status and obeying the control by the headman. The poor people of Wa nationality only can get their position from slaughtering the ox and getting the title of “heroes” to change their fate, which is theoretically the same as “the Golden Bough” written by Fraser about the method for slaves to change their fate.   

4.2 The Economic Function

The largest cost is an ox in the ox-slaughtering. Superficially, the ox-slaughtering wastes a lot of money to the headman and Zhumi, but the real winners are the headman and rising Zhumi. Before the liberation, the headman’s status and right were endowed by the local Tusi and the right included dividing regions and fields, collecting taxes and planting opium. At that time, the headman got the most money from planting opium, while some rising Zhumi also employed serfs to make money by planting or transporting opium. Therefore, they donated an ox to finish the sacrifice, anticipating more and more wealth. According to “A Gift” written by Moss, the theory of giving gifts can explain that donating an ox is for something in return. After giving the ox as a gift to the god, Zhumi hoped to make big fortunes blessed by the god; the beef was sent to the villagers, so the more Zhumi gave, the more Zhumi would get. Furthermore, Wa people display their wealth by hanging the ox-head and ox bones in their homes.

4.3 The Educational Function

佤族是没有文字的民族,因此解放前佤族的历史、生产技术、祖先的狩猎、劳动的经验、舞蹈,以及佤族的伦宗教观、世界观、人生观的形成主要以仪式方式进行传播的。…魔巴在佤族的历史发展过程中起到了重要的作用,“从某种意义上来看,巫师甚至可以约束部落领袖的权力。[3]…. 魔巴是佤族社会中从事原始宗教祭祀的巫师,是人神的中介,历史上魔巴的存在增强了佤族先民与自然杭争和战胜困难的信心,对佤族民族认同感和内聚力的形成做出了贡献,对佤族伦理道规范起了重要作用。”[4].. “佤族对剽牛手的选择是非常严格的,是要经过严格考验的。如要成为剽牛手,就要到仇家山寨设伏、挖陷阱偷猎对方的男人头颅敬献神灵;或是上山狩猎以打到老虎;或是摔跤、能顿比赛的获胜者,才有机会成为佤族的剽牛手。因此,在佤族剽牛仪式的要求塑造了佤族人的勇猛、智慧和坚强的性格。除此之外,仪式中分发牛肉的顺序是先发给老人、妇女儿童,这培养了人们尊老爱幼的美德。

The educational function can be shown in two sides: one is that Moba plays an educational role in social production and life; the other is the choice of ox-slaughtering participants. Wa nationality is one without its written words. Therefore, before the liberation, the history, technology, hunting, labor experience, dance, religion, world view and philosophical view of Wa nationality were formed and spread in a way of ceremony. Moba plays a vital role in the historical development of Wa nationality, “in a sense, the witch can even limit the power of the clan leader.” [3] It is Moba who records and witnesses the past of Wa nationality. In every traditional festival and religious activity, he must perform “ox-slaughtering dance”, read sacrifice scriptures, tell stories and legends about ancestors and teach the hunting technique and production experience of ancestors. “Moba is the witch working for the primitive religious sacrifice in Wa society, who is also a connector of people and gods. In history, the existence of Moba enhances the confidence of Wa ancestors fighting with the nature and hardship, contributing a lot of ethnic identity and cohesion to Wa nationality and playing an important role in ethnic morals of Wa nationality.” [4] There is a severe selection of ox-slaughterers who must be tested strictly. If one man wants to be an ox-slaughterer, he must come to an enemy village to ambush and set traps, and then behead a man there to sacrifice to the gods; or he must hunt a tiger in mountains; or he can win wrestling and Nengdun Games, and he has chances to be an ox-slaughterer of Wa nationality. Therefore, in the ox-slaughtering ceremony of Wa nationality, Wa nationality is characterized with bravery, wisdom and strong-minded. Besides, the order of dividing the beef in the ceremony is from the old, women to children, which cultivates a virtue of respecting the old and cherishing the young.

4.4 The Fitness and Entertainment Function

The ox-slaughtering activity of Wa nationality is a folk sport and cultural activity integrated with religious sacrifice, dance, folk music of drumbeats and villager meeting. “All the tribes have their own formal festivals and certain worship forms, which are dance and martial arts. Especially, the dance is the main part of all religious sacrifice ceremonies.” [5] To the villagers, the ox-slaughtering cannot be replaced in fitness and entertainment. In the course of the ceremony, all the dance actions are combined with drumbeats and with the changeable drumbeats, all the villagers mix their strength, speed and patience into the ceremony, dancing exaggeratedly and forcefully, to show their extreme devout heart. “It is obvious that the primitive human beings objectively practice their sports by regular, intensive and passionate activities and dances, and at the same time they realize the primitive sports function.” [6] Before the liberation, there were such games featured by military sports as hunting, Nengdun and shooting crossbows when the sacrifice was over. These competitive games are based on a good physical quality, which objectively improves the physical quality of Wa nationality. Due to the fact that different kinds of activities are of entertainment, people can be amused in spirit, which really does good to a harmonious development of body and mind.

4.5 The Identity Function

The word “identity” first put forward by Freud, refers to “a course of the similar trend for a people with others and a people with groups to imitate emotion and psychology. That is an assimilation process of recognition and emotion among social members.” [7] This identity process is also a process of mutual communication, acceptance and recognition. “To the ethnic identity, it must be based on a stable community of psychological quality with the same language, same region, same economic life and same culture.” [8] The ox-slaughtering is very important for Wa people to form the ethnic identity. In 1934, Hong Ban united with an ally against Britain to hold an ox-slaughtering activity, in which Wa nationality was identified by all the nationalities.

In real life, there must be ox-slaughtering activities in weddings, funerals and building houses of Wa nationality, and this long-term habit is the result of cultural identity from inside and outside. “To its functions, the tribe tries to use these ceremonies to ritualize the body activity, communicating and permeating with some kind of mysterious power, getting some power or result and realizing some kind of identity.” [9] With the local forces led by the headmen of Wa nationality being abolished, the state judicial system is becoming perfect and sound, while Wa people depend less on the clan group with blood relationship. Therefore, the function of ethnic identity, inter-ethnic identity and national identity is enhanced

4.6 The Psychological Comfort

       剽牛祭祀活动可以说是为整个村寨、每个家庭、每个人体灾难解除的保护性举措。

To Wa people, the ceremony aims to sacrifice for gods, and during the course, it is an important form to get happiness by penetrating with soul of gods and releasing supernatural psychological energy. “The ritual performers do use actions, postures, dances, sings and musical instruments as their objects and scenes to reconstruct a meaningful ritual context, and from the context, they can review and experience these meanings that bring them the psychological comfort and spiritual needs.” [10] From Ming and Qing dynasties to the liberation, Wa peasants were the lowest class governed and oppressed and the ox-slaughtering sacrifice was said to be a protective measure for the whole village, every family and each people to relieve disasters. “Combining spirit with world view, the religion supplies a set of social value, which is also forced to be endowed with: the objective appearance.” [11] By the ceremony, the anguish and oppression of headmen, Zhumi and poor people of Wa nationality can be remitted and vented.

V. Conclusion

The ox-slaughtering ceremony is derived for the life practice of Wa people, which has been closely related with the life of Wa nationality for thousands of years. Although there are some changes in the form, content and function, they are closely relevant and restricted mutually to protect this kind of culture, continuing and developing. From changes in the ox-slaughtering functions, the changes are to satisfy their life requirements and they are also inevitable results of social development and an important symbol of human civilization development. However, the ox-slaughtering ceremony is “gradually broken by mysterious intuitive thought and the folk sports develop in a direction from amusing people and gods to entertaining themselves and others, which is not a simple process to return to innocence, but a superior reversion. There are still some activities continuing to develop to be competitive sports and become the essence and treasure of human culture.” [12]

 

 

References

[1] Li Jie. The Social Changes of Wa Nationality in Lincang [J]. Collected Doctoral Works of Chinese Ethnic History of Yunnan University, 2001: 184.

[2] Peng Zhaorong. The Theory and Practice of Anthropological Ceremonies[M]. National Publishing House, 2007: 6.

[3] Yuan E. The Research on Social Function Changes of Moba in Wa Nationality — Dama Village Mengka Town Ximeng County Puer City of Yunnan Province Being an Example [J]. Social Sciences in Yunnan, 2009(1): 29.

[4] Zhou Jiayu. The Discussion on Social Functions of Moba in Wa Nationality [J]. Journal of Simao Teacher’s College, 2007(4): 5.

[5] Lu Yuanzhen. Sports Sociology [M]. Higher Education Press, 2007: 218.

[6] Hu Xiaoming, Chen Hua, etc. Sports Sociology [M]. Beijing: Higher Education Press, 2005: 184.

[7] Huang Guangjian. The Identity Analysis to Recent Wa Nationality [J]. Harbin University Journal, 2009(3): 97-98.

[8] Lu Yuanzhen. Sports Sociology [M]. Higher Education Press, 2007: 218.

[9] Hu Xiaoming, Chen Hua, etc. Sports Sociology [M]. Beijing: Higher Education Press, 2005: 111.

[10] Luo Huixuan. The Social Functions of Religious Ceremonies in a View of Anthropology [J]. Journal of Xinjiang Normal University, 2009(3): 40.

[11] Clifford. Geertz. Culture and Explanation [M]. Nanjing: Yilin Press, 1999(1): 158.

[12] Ke Ling, Shao Rong. The Research on Chinese Folk Sports [J]. Journal of Beijing Sport University, 2008(6): 761.

 

About the author: 

Feng Qiang (1971- ) male, Han, born in Qujing of Yunnan Province, is an associate professor with Master’s Degree. 

The research direction: Sports History and Culture.

The telephone number: 15924890777  Physical Education School of Qujing Normal University, Yunnan Province

The postal code:655011

Email:qjfengqiang71@126.com

 

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