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民族概况
独龙族人口近0.6万,主要分布在贡山县所属的独龙江乡,属土著民族。
村寨介绍
一栋典型的板屋系木楞房民居坐落在刀杆广场旁。
民居建筑
独龙族村寨依山傍水,一座座木屋大多轻巧地构筑在陡峻的山坡地上。为使山洪从屋下流走,临江一面都是悬空的。勤劳的独龙人民房屋的四壁仅以竹篾巴围起上覆茅草,整个建筑结构简单,也有的在石基上垒垛整段的圆木,盖成结实的小木屋。
宗教信仰
独龙族信奉原始宗教,相信万物有灵,把一切天灾人祸、疾病等都视为有一种超自然的神的力量在起作用,凡山岭、河流、大树、巨石等都成为人们崇拜的对象。
礼仪习俗
独龙族非常好客,如遇猎获野兽或某家杀猪宰牛,便形成一种远亲近邻共聚盛餐的宴会。此外,独龙族有路不拾遗、夜不闭户的良好传统习尚。灵魂观念、鬼的观念、天的观念一直是独龙族原始信仰的核心。灵魂观念的具体表现方式即妇女的纹面。认为人死后其亡魂会变成一种色彩艳丽的蝴蝶,故纹面时把整个脸庞纹成似张开翅膀的蝴蝶。
语言
语言属汉藏语系藏缅语族,无文字。独龙语是本语族中保留早期面貌较多的一支,向有语言“活化石”的美誉。
婚俗
独龙族男女相爱后,便会相互赠定情物。姑娘送给小伙一床自己精心编织的独龙毯,小伙送给姑娘一把锄头或自己编的背篓。提亲时小伙会请一个能说会道的男子去女方说婚。说婚人去时要提上一个茶壶,背囊中带上茶叶、香烟和茶缸。到姑娘家,用火塘烧水泡茶。按顺序先敬姑娘父母、兄弟姐妹、姑娘。接下来说婚事,若茶一饮而尽,这门亲事就算成了。婚礼仪式上,男女双方父母向大家介绍自己儿女的情况,勉励新人要相互关心。然后一对新人喝同心酒,大家跳起独龙舞,便算仪式结束。
服饰
男子一般穿黑白直条相交的麻布或棉布衣,下穿短裤,习惯用麻布一块从左肩腋下斜拉至胸前,袒露左肩右臂,左肩一角用草绳或竹针拴结,腰间佩带弩弓、箭包和砍刀。女子多在腰间系戴染色的油藤圈作装饰,串珠、胸链、耳环,甚至铜钱和银币常挂在颈上和耳下。妇女出门要身背精致的篾箩。男女不戴帽,多披头散发,赤足。
文化
独龙毯以棉麻为原料,用五彩线手工织成,质地柔软、古朴典雅,是独龙人民引以自豪的民族工艺品。有自己独特的历算法,根据自然的变迁,从当年大雪封山至次年大雪封山时称为一年,称为“极友”,又把一年划分为十二个时间多少不等的节月。
饮食
主食玉米、荞麦,喜欢饮水酒、吃烤肉、喝茶、抽旱烟。民间仍保留许多古朴的烹调方法,最常见的是用一种特制石板锅烙熟的石板粑粑。烙制时多选用阿吞或董棕树淀粉,用鸟蛋和成糊状,然后倒在烧热的石板锅上,随烙随食,别具风味。蜂蛹是独龙族民间最讲究的菜肴之一。典型食品有河麻煮芋头、烧酒焖鸡、吉咪等。
歌舞
民间歌曲(“门租”)中每一种曲调都可以演唱较为广泛的题材。常见的有习俗歌、山歌、情歌、劳动歌、祭祀歌等。
节日
一年只有一个节日,独龙语称“卡雀瓦”,意为年节。举行射猎大典,祭山神。“山神”是用熟荞麦面捏成的一个尖顶圆柱体的象征物。太阳出来后将这些祭品抬到干净坡地上,点燃松明、青松毛,由主祭人磕头祈祷唱调子。祭毕,年轻的猎手们就挽弓搭箭,射动物模型。接着群众敲响铓锣、皮鼓,手拉手唱歌跳舞,晚间则挨家挨户喝酒、共庆佳节。年节里最隆重的仪式是“剽牛祭天”活动,即是对天的顶礼膜拜,又是群众辛劳一年后的族聚活动。
Tree-Dwelling Man
          Time: early 1940s.

          A bed supported on two benches, a bundle of straw, a woolen blanket, a black quilt and a pillow made of hard wood… on the pillar of the house are hung a lantern, a cross bow, and an arrow bag… and on the clapboard wall there are swords and knifes and preserved game. A Dulong man’s jacket is spread on a wooden chair. On the wooden table there are helmets and water containers from American Air Force.

          What a strange combination of things! And who was their owner?

          One’s thoughts are led to the warring time of the 1940s…
Dulong Cow (Mithan, Gayal)
          Also known as big-forehead cow, the Dulong cow is a rare species of cattle that is found only along the Dulong River in Yunnan as well as in the Assam State of India and Eastern Bangladesh and in the Kechin State of Myanmar. The favored habitats of this animal are mountainous areas with lush vegetation at an elevation of above 2300 meters. The cow is wild in nature, and loves to run in groups. Thus it is highly muscular and strongly built. Its meat contains little fat is an ideal provider of high quality beef.

          When watching the cattle, visitors must see that they are at a safe distance from the animal.  
Tattooing
          The core of the Dulong’s belief system is animism and the belief in the universal presence of ghosts and spirits. They believe that a person’s soul will turn into a beautiful butterfly when the person dies. So the Dulong women along the Dulong River will have a butterfly tattooed on their faces after they come of age at thirteen. The tattoo is supposed to beautify the woman as well as to shield her against evil spirits. As a saying goes, “with a tattooed woman in the house, all the family are blessed.”

          The tattooing is done by applying ashes to the face of the girl with bamboo picks in the shape of a butterfly, then pricking the face with bamboo needles until the butterfly is tattooed on the face. A mixture of basic violet 3 and ashes is used as disinfectant. A few days after the operation, the tattoo is accomplished. This tattooing tradition, however, died out after the 1950s.
The Dulong’s New Year
           The Dulong’s New Year (listed by the State Council as one of the first announced Non-Material Cultural Heritages)

          The Dulong have only one festival, which is called “kaquewa” in the Dulong language, meaning “New Year”. The festival falls on when a new year begins, but the exact date is fixed by different clans or communities. The most important ceremony for celebrating the New Year is cow-slaughtering and making sacrificial rites to gods. The ceremony is stared by a patriarch of the clan who leads the animal to be slaughtered to a wooden post, where a young woman will tie up a string of beads on the horns of the cow, cover the cow’s back with a blanket made of hemp cloth. Then the patriarch or the presiding priest of the ceremony will stab the animal with a bamboo spear after burning a joss stick and praying to gods above. The crowd watching this will start beating cymbals and drums and dancing and singing. Men with bamboo spears in their hands will strike at the animal repeatedly until it falls dead. Then they will cut off its head, and peel off its hide, and divide the meat into equal parts on the basis of the number of people present, regardless of their age or sex, and then a barbecue around bonfire will start, and the drinking and frolicking will last throughout the night.