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Published: January 1st 2012
In order to be accepted into the Yao community, especially to be able join the ancestor after dead. Every Yao man should go through Dujie ceremony, if not, one wasn't a complete Yao. And every year in Yao village there should be young boy participated in the event, kind of like a bar mitzvah as some said after the ceremony the boy will be treat as adult. Dujie symbolic a new born. 10 years ago I attend a Landian Yao Dujie which last for 7 days, once it start mean the participant was no longer human, he live in between the universe, that was why the family had to hired many priests to help and teach the participant, to guide him through the trail out from the under-world, the first 6 days the participant live in a secluded room, not allow to speak to anyone, need to fasting and eat light, drink only water. Everyday the priest would teach the boy everything about the Yao history, and many thing from Taoism. and each night there would be different ceremony, like choosing a guiding deity then an assigned paper mask would tied on his forhead during all the ceremony. Or picking a
new name and written into a certificate with all the history of his family and detail of ancestors, it had to be kept safety and bury together with body after he died. There were many meals and chanting in between every night. There also amusing event that they made fun to each other between priests as the whole Dujie seem like 24hrs everyday non-stop! they really need emtertainment to kept them awake! And on the last day the boy would performed a free fall from a 10 feet high stage into a spider-net style rattan mesh, mean he was being born. Then the Dujie completed and he was accepted to be a Yao man.
I came across a Dujie yesterday in Maandi, and this Red Yao ceremony is totally different from the Lantian Yao, a straight through one and a half days event, they dressed in women costume for the ceremony, even married man can participate Dujie and it wasn't with the concept of a spirit new born by free fall from a stage, instead they performed a ritual call "Guadeng" something mean to setting up light. here they setting up 3 lights, and said some Yao subgroup use 7
lights. Dujie for them is to connected with their ancestors, to inherit the wealth and blessing that was handing down, and most important to be protected and could find the way back to their origin after death. And they believed through Dujie they could recieved 36 heavenly soldiers to guard and protect them in their lifetime. The act of "Guadeng" is rather simple, everything happened inside a room, before the first cock-crow on daybreak, a cross like pole made with bamboo and 3 candles on top brought into the shrine, after the "light" were being offered on the made-shift altar, the participants need to performed a dance to cross the "qixingqiao" bridge to invited the heavenly soldiers. There were so many dance and chanting all through the ceremony by the priests, often the buffalo horn waas being blow, a very important instrument for the Yao, as they believe only the sound of this could strong enough to reach heaven. Dujie is a costly event, so every families help by brought in food for the ceremony, some gave money, some gave chicken and many gave rice to the host, and the banquet was setting up on the only lane in the
village under the moonless night. The whole ceremony went with mostly laughter, you wouldn't feel any serious matter excepted the sacred paintings of the Taoism deities(they claimed it was the oldest set of painting in the region, indeed they are very beautiful art-works), and the straight face of the pasrticipants as they are not allowed to speak and show feeling. perhaps also because all the priest were not very old and experience, so everyone around the the will gave advices according to their Dujie's experiences. "turn this way" some shouted within the crowd, or some suggest 3 rounds left and 2 rounds right, some said it wasn't the correct verses for this act and pointed out the script they thought that should be from the Yao Bible! and everyone just laugh no matter it was right or not, perhaps in this way they would learn, fix up and could keep this Dujie alive for a longer time in the future.
Dujie of the Yao normally happen between October to December each year.
bus Yuanyang to Mengzi 42 yuan(THIEF!!!!! that what Yuanyang is! you only pay 35 yuan from Mengzi back to Yuanyang)
bus Mengzi to Maandi 50
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