Problems of Archaeology, Ethnography, Anthropology of
Siberia and Neighboring Territories

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

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2019 Volume XXV

DOI: 10.17746/2658-6193.2019.25.657-662

УДК 392.81

Rice Cultivating Rituals of the Indigenous Ethnic Minorities in the Southwestern China (Yunnan) as a Possible Key to the Meaning of the Petroglyphic Composition from Cangyuan County

Shulga A.A., Shulga D.P., Sidorova M.O.

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Abstract

Neolithic petroglyphic composition “plan of the settlement” (???) (also called “composition No. 2) was discovered in Cangyuan County of Yunnan Province in Southwestern China, where active research has been carried out since the 1960th. In this article, the authors offer an alternative interpretation of this petroglyphic composition based on the knowledge of rituals of the indigenous ethnic minorities living in Yunnan Province, associated with traditional rice cultivation. In authors’ opinion, there may be a link between the composition and ritual activities of the agricultural cycle rather than “military triumph.” Some evidence on rice cultivating rituals of the peoples living in the Far East, not easily available in Russian literature, is presented. Two main agricultural rituals (“rice planting” and “testing new harvest”) among the Achans (???), Bulans (??), Palaungs (or Deans, ???), Duluns (???), Dino (??), Kachin (or Jingpo, Sinpo, Tsaiva, Lechi, Theinbo, Sinfo, Chinpau, ???), Nu (??), and Pumi (???) peoples have been analyzed. The main reason for such wide scope is obviously hypothetical nature of linking the ancient petroglyphic site with a particular present-day ethnic group even in such ethnically stable regions as Southwestern China and with similar features of rice-related rituals among different peoples.

Keywords

Yunnan, petroglyphs, rice cultivation, harvesting, agricultural rituals, Southwestern China

17, Аkademika Lavrentieva prosp., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
E-mail: sbornik.iaet@gmail.com