Hani Daily Life


The Hani are one of the peoples of southwest China with a more developed agriculture. In some areas, their fields of rice, cared during hundreds of years, expand following the contour of the mountains until their summit, forming one of the most impressive landscapes created by the human action. The creation of these terrace fields has supposed many years of intense work and a careful use of the earth. In some places the terraced fields have hundreds of levels.

Their villages are the political and social center of the Hani life. They are usually built in the slopes of the mountains. They are also the ritual and religious unit of the Hani, where the most important festivals take place.

Their houses usually have two floors, one below for the animals and another up for the people; although in some regions they have three floors.

Their clothes are very colorful. And as some other peoples of the area, in the women it indicates the age group to which they belongs and their marital state. A great difference exists among the clothes of the women of different branches of the Hani. The headdresses are usually very sophisticated.

They have fame of being good host to the traveler. They usually offer wine and tea to the people who arrive to their home.

Formerly they incinerated to the dead. But now they bury them. When an old man dies, is carried out the Dance of the Old men. During this dance, oxen and goats are sacrificed in his memory, some scholars think that it reflects their primitive nomadic life, and they sing crying until the ceremony ends.

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