April 1, 2017

2127, 3007 CHINA (Yunnan) - Jino people

2127 Young Jino woman

Posted on 16.12.2015, 01.04.2017
The Jino people are a Tibeto-Burman ethnic group, which live in an area of about 70x50 km in the Jinoshan Mountain, in the extreme south of Yunnan province, in a series of mild hills with wet climate, crisscrossed by numerous rivers and streams. They are one of the less numerous (about 22,000 people) of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China and the last one included as "national minority", being recognized in 1979.

3007 Jino women beating in a Sun Drum

It is said that they migrated from Pu'er and Mojiang or from places even farther north, and when they settled around the Jinoshan Mountain, still lived in a matriarchal society. This gave way to a patriarchal society some 300 years ago, but they were still in the transitional stage to a class society at the time when the People's Republic was founded in 1949. Zhuoba (the village father) and Zhuose (the village mother) were the leaders in a communal village.

Most Jinos are farmers, and initially the land was communally owned by clans or villages and farmed collectively. The major crops are upland, wet rice and corn, but also is cultivated the famous Pu'er tea. Jinoluoke also has a long history of cotton-growing and is abundant in tropical fruits. Hunting was also a main activity. Elephants and wild oxen roam the dense primeval forests which are also the habitat of monkeys, hornbills and other birds.

Primitive egalitarianism still manifests itself to these days in Jino customs. For example the meat of wild beasts brought back by hunters is divided equally among all adults and children in a village. They stored what little grain they had in unguarded straw sheds outside their bamboo houses built on stilts on flat hilltops, and never worried that it would be stolen. They are animists and ancestor worshipers. They still practice divination before make important decisions or doing some action and frequently carry out sacrifices.

The men usually wear collarless white jackets and white or blue trousers made of flax or cotton. Before the People's Republic, most of them divided their hair into three tufts. Women, as a rule, prefer multi-colored and embroidered collarless short gowns and short black skirts rimmed in red and opened at the front. Many wear long skirts and puttees. Especially, they embroider sun-shaped figures on back, thick linen hats with bending upward and leggings.

Women wear their hair in a coil just above the foreheads, and pinnacle-shaped headdress of flax, sling across their shoulders. Both men and women go barefooted, and have thick bamboo or wooden sticks plugged into the holes in their earlobes. Those with big holes in their earlobes are considered most beautiful. Among their cultural practices was tooth painting, in which soot made from pear trees is used. The most important festival of Jino is the Iron Forging Festival, which is held for three days in the 12th lunar month.

On the first day they dance to the beat of an ox hide drum, called the Sun Drum, the most sacred instrument for them. Generally, every village has two sun drums - the bigger Father Drum and the smaller Mother Drum. The main body of the drum is made from a solid round tree trunk. Both two sides are covered with ox hide, nailed tightly with square wooden nails. In the middle are 20 wooden handles and square holes used for hanging the drum on ropes.

About the stamps
On the postcard 2127
The first stamp, depicting landscape of Zhangjiajie, is part of a series issued in 2013 to mark China Tourism Day, about which I wrote here.The second is one of the four of the series Network Life, designed by Jia Kun, and issued on May 26, 2014. The third stamp is one of the four of the series Literators of Ancient China (3rd series), designed by Gao Yun, issued on September 15, 2013.

On the postcard 3007 
The first stamp is one of the two issued on 2014 under the name Bamboo Special Stamp with Label 竹. The second stamp is one of the two issued in 2014 under the name Honesty And Trust with Attached Label MNH. The last stamp is part of the series The 70th Anniversary of the End of World War II, designed by Li Chen and issued on September 3, 2015. 

References
The Jino ethnic minority - china.org.cn
Jino people - Wikipedia
Jino minority - Facts and details

Sender 2127: Hannah Chen (direct swap)
Sent from Xiamen (Fujian / China), on 29.06.2014
Sender 3007: Zhang Baoxing (direct swap)
Sent from Lianzhou (Guangdomg / China), on 27.02.2017

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