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民族概况
瑶族人口有213万人。主要分布于富宁、金平、广南、勐腊、元阳等县。云南瑶族有四个支系,即蓝靛瑶、过山瑶、山瑶和红头瑶。
村寨介绍
瑶族寨子由民居吊角楼、平房民居及乡村道观、粮仓、寨门等建筑构成,错落有致;一些道教文化元素的渗入,颇具典型性。
民居建筑
瑶族的房舍都建成吊角楼的形式,即美观又舒适。另一特点是用木板代替瓦盖房顶,瑶族人称之为“木瓦房”。瑶族房舍一般是一栋三间,中为厅堂,两侧房前部为炉灶或火塘,后部为卧室,屋前屋后,分设洗澡棚或猪牛栏,没有正门和后门,但有精制美观的楼梯供上下。瑶家的侧门前有一个四方形的,用竹条拼搭成的晒台,可以晒制各种物品。
宗教信仰
瑶族的宗教信仰比较复杂,有些地区原始的自然崇拜、祖先崇拜或图腾崇拜占有一定地位;有些地区则主要信奉巫教和道教。
礼仪习俗
瑶族的成人礼----度介,是瑶族男人成长程中不可少的神圣一课,比娶新嫁女还要隆重。
语言
瑶族有自己的语言,瑶族语言属汉藏语系苗瑶语族瑶语支,但支系比较复杂,各地差别很大,有的甚至互相不能通话。通用汉语或壮语。没有本民族文字,一般通用汉文。
婚俗
抛花包活动,是青年男女的一种交际活动,许多青年男女都是通过抛包活动结为终身伴侣 。婚俗有“咬手定情”、“埋蛋择婿”等。通过对情歌的方式开始恋爱,到一定的时候就要互赠礼品并山盟海誓。方法是“咬手”,姑娘在自己恋人的手臂上咬上一口,咬出齿痕来,让他受点小伤,伤痕是相爱至深,始终不渝的见证。咬后小伙在姑娘的手上拴上蓝色或黑色丝线,姑娘则在小伙的手上拴上红丝线,这对恋人就只等良辰吉日成亲了。
服饰
瑶族男女服装主要用青、蓝土布制作。男子喜着对襟无领的短衫,下着长裤或过膝短裤。妇女喜着无领大襟上衣,下着长裤、短裙或百褶裙,在服装的领口、袖口、胸襟、腰带、裙边饰以色彩斑斓的挑花、刺绣,鲜艳夺目。头饰式样繁多,喜爱以银簪、银花、银串珠、弧形银板等配以彩色丝带做头饰,风格别致。
文化
瑶族的工艺美术有印染、挑花、刺绣、织锦、竹编、雕刻、绘画、打造等,形式多样,内涵丰富,其中尤以蜡染、挑花出名。瑶医药治疗癌症、红斑狼疮、妇科病、跌打骨折、风湿病及毒蛇咬伤等病的效果,有着悠久的历史、丰富的治疗经验,历来得到广大患者的公认。
饮食
瑶族居民的主食以玉米、大米、红薯等为主。日常菜肴有黄豆、饭豆、南瓜、辣椒和家禽家畜等。瑶族饮食盛行一种“打油茶”的小吃,做法是以油炒泡开山茶叶,煎成浓汤,再加食盐调味,然后用以冲泡炒米花,具有特殊的风味。
歌舞
瑶族音乐、舞蹈与其民间歌谣一样,起源于劳动与宗教。其舞蹈著名者如长鼓舞、铜鼓舞,系祭祀盘王、密洛陀的大型舞蹈。民间盛行的舞蹈还有狮舞、草龙舞、花棍舞、上香舞、求师舞等数十种。
节日
大节日有盘王节、春节、达努节、中元节、社王节、清明节等,小节日几乎每月都有。盘王节,俗称“跳盘王”、“还盘王愿”。每隔三五年举行一次,时为农历十月十六日,一般由一户、数户或一村进行。主要仪式由师公跳神祈祷,唱盘王歌,跳长鼓舞,祷告盘王(盘瓠)保佑赐福。盘王节,一般是自称“勉支”的瑶族的节日,十分隆重。
Ordination
          Ordination is an important inaugural ceremony for the Yao. It marks both maturity of the person involved and his conversion to the religion. Those converted to Daoism are called Daoists, and those to Shiism are called Shiists. The inauguration usually takes place when the person involved reaches his teens. For parents who place great expectations on their sons, the inauguration may be even earlier. The Guoshan group of the Yao also has a tradition for newly-wed couples to be inaugurated. Under canons of the Yao religion, the secular converts can learn the doctrines and observe the precepts at their will, thus conversion means to them a way to happiness. With inauguration age becoming younger, more people tend to believe that boys will “become suddenly illuminated and intelligent when they get inaugurated”.
Festivals of the Yao
          The official festival of the Yao as a whole is the Panwang Festival that falls on the 16th day of the 10th month in lunar calendar. It was originally a festival for commemorating Panwang, the legendary ancestor of the group, but since 1984 when a national celebration of the festival was held in Nanning, capital of Guangxi province, the festival has become a major festival of all the Yao people in the world.

          The Yao of Yunnan also have some unique festivals, including the “Danu Festival”, which falls on the 29th day of the 3rd month and is meant to commemorate Miluotuo, the goddess who created the world and who was worshipped by the Bunu-speaking Yao. Among the Yao of Yunnan, the festival is celebrated with no less grandeur that the Pangwa Festival. Other major festivals observed by the Yao of Yunnan include the Spring Festival, the Sanyuesan(3rd day of 3rd month) Festival, the Duanwu (5th of 5th month)Festival and the 14th Day of 7th Month.
The Daoism of the Yao
          The Landian and Guoshan branches of the Yao are all Daoists, though their Daoist belief is a mixture of their indigenous religion with doctrines of Daoism, Buddhism and Confucianism of the Han Chinese. The Yao Daoism is divided into the Landian and Guoshan denominations. The former is further divided into the Dao sect and the Shi sect. The Dao sect holds “Sanqing”to be their supreme gods, while the Shi sect takes “Sanyuan”to be their highest deities. The Guoshan denomination does not sectarian divisions, and its doctrines are similar to those of the Shi sect of the Landian denomination. Any person who has been “converted” becomes a stay-at-home Daoist. Of the Daoist priests, those with the greatest skills or capabilities are called “dashigong” (great master), second to them are “shigong”(master). Daoist beliefs penetrate all aspects of the Yao society, characterizing the Yao culture with a unity of religion, economy and social life. On account of this, the Yao’s Daoist scriptures and song books are called jointly “Yao literature”, and are regarded by the academic circle as an important component of the Yao culture.