||The Yi Tribe |
The Yi Tribe has the largest population among the minority groups in the Suchan Province. The existing tribes live in such areas as the Yunnan Province and the Guizhou Province. In 1990, the number of Yi Tribes ranged in the area of six million five hundred thousand. The tribes are so large in a sense that each region has their own set of customs and traditions. Although various religions have penetrating their lives, the Yi's have remained faithful to "Shamanism". Their Shamans are believed to have special talents to locate and remove evil spirits that bring on suffering and disease.
The most featured event in the Yi culture is the "Torch Festival". It is named after its effect for chasing away insects. In this festival, the lighting begins with individuals inside the home, and those who hold the torches in their hand flood into the center of the city. They parade the street and throw their torches into one big pile with everyone else's torches. In addition to fireworks, the people sing, dance, and gather around a big bon fire made up of all the torches.
Slavery in the Yi Tribe is a highly obvious form. Nuo, the slaveholders, occupied seven percent of total population in the area. Those who were in a higher class ruled those who were in the lower classes. The Chuna people occupied about half of the total population. They had few means to live, but where higher in rank than many other slaves. The Ajia people were the smallest number, occupying about one third of the total population. They were often forced to marry in order to increase the amount of slaves. The lowest in terms of respect were the Xiaxi, which were considered "livestock that is able to speak".
It was not until1956 after four years that the Yi Tribe's Autonomous State was established, and their liberation as slavery realized. It was against the official CCP policy to have slaves, although the CCP often forced others into labor camps for no reason.