Basics of the Orogen's way of life


In the past most of the Oroqen live of hunting, gathering and fishing. They inhabited in a kind of conical tents in which center there were a pole: the immortals pillar. Around it there were frames of branches, which supported a wall made of bark or animal pelts.

In every immortal pillar usually lived a family. Some families with blood relations living together constituted a wulileng. The basic unit of Oroqen society is the wulileng. These wulileng, were the units of production and consumption. All the people who belonged to a wulileng worked together and shared in equalitarian way the products of their work. The men usually were hunters, as every wulileng has its own hunting fields, usually with a river flowing through.

"But horses, guns and hunting dogs were their personal possessions."

Their horses, short and strong, were very suitable to hunt in the forests. For hunting they used guns, and whistles to entice the game. The hunt was later smoked to be preserved. They also fished, from boats made with bark of birch. Women and children gathered wild herbs and vegetables.

They moved their tents, without floor, in small carts pulled by their horses, carrying with them also the fire. They carried their babies inside a cradle that when moving was on the horse back, and at home, hanging up inside the tent. It was decorated with some cloth figurines hanging, images of the gods that were supposed to protect the children scaring the ghosts.

The have an interesting wind funeral. When somebody died, they hanged his corpse from the branches of a tree until it rotted, and then it was covered by stones.

In the past, they used the skins of roe to make their clothes, from the top of their body, covered by hats, to the trousers and boots, usually all their clothes were made of the same material, roe skin; some times with some simple patterns embroidered in them.

They made quilts with the skin of roe and other animals.

On festive days, Orqen women usually wear a decorated headwear.

Most of their daily used utensils were made also of pelt or from the bark of birch.

- Oroqen. Nationalities Press. Beijing. 2001
- Du Ruofu and Vincent F. Yip.- Ethnic Groups of China. Science Press.1993

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