Program "Ma Hei Ma Niu" (Photo: eastday.com)
Thousands of people from all over the world cerebrated Te Mao Ke Festival, the Jinuo Ethnic Minority's annual pageant on the morning of Feb 8, 2015 at Taiyang Square in Yunnan Province's Jinuo Ethnic Minority County where Youle Mountain, the first of the top 6 ancient tea mountains is located.
"Te Mao Ke" literally means "forging big iron" in Jinuo language. "Te Mao Ke Festival" was once "Big-Iron-Forging Festival" when the Jinuo people celebrated the creation and use of ironware. In 1988, the festival was confirmed as the Jinuo's annual cerebration to be held from Feb 6 through 8. The Jinuo Ethnic Minority is the last one recognized in China's 56 ethnic groups. They mainly live in Jinuo Minority County located in Jinghong City of Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province.
County Chief Bai Lan said in the speech that "the ancient Jinuo Ethnic Minority born out of Jinuo Mountain regards drum as the embodiment of Gods, thus drum worship must be held every Te Mao Ke Festival. Since Jinuo people live in the tea mountain and have a variety of way of drinking tea, such as cooking and roasting, tea is also one of the essential offerings in most sacrificial activities of the Jinuo. Furthermore, Jinuo Mountain now has more than 4200 acres ancient tea trees, with the oldest ones at the ages of 800 to 1200 years, therefore, Jinuo Minority County has confirmed its image name card as 'Mysterious Jinuo with drum rhyme and tea mountain', hoping to be a rich, civilized, beautiful and happy place as soon as possible."
Zhang Peilan, Vice Mayor of Jinghong City said that Jinuo Minority County needs to fit the new normal of economic development and work hard to build a new socialist countryside, and maintain the unity of the nationalities and achieve the wellbeing of the people at the same time.
Afterwards, artistic performances with characteristics of the Jinuo were staged at the square. The show was divided into three parts, namely, "Mysterious Jinuo", "Harmonious Jinuo" and "Happy Jinuo", displaying the history and current situation of the Jinuo Ethnic Minority.
By Trista Cao
Translated by Wang Jiaye