Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mien or Yao

The Mien are believed to have originated in southern China and linguistically related to the Hmong and Chinese. We find the Mien in South China, Vietnam, Laos, Burma and northern Thailand. Mien villages are located at the altitude of around 1,000 meters above sea level. The Mien make their living out of shifting cultivation. Rice, vegetables, maize and, for some, opium poppy are their staple, feed and cash crops, respectively.
The Mien practice polygamy and their family structure is extended. Like Chinese, they worship ancestors and kinship ties are much important to them. Due to mode of their production, which requires a great demand of human labor, adoption of children from other or outside tribal groups is widely practiced. The Mien have also adopted Chinese cultures to their own, including Chinese characters (for written language), literature, beliefs and other practices. The Mien New Year is celebrated at the same time as Chinese New Year.

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