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湘西行(八): 土司(樓)
2018/06/17 12:13:24瀏覽714|回應0|推薦10

For the sake of building up a easier and more expedient self-rule to govern minor races in China, since Yuan Dynasty a highly autonomous unit of Tusi had existed, and all the way throughout Ming and Qing, until it was proscribed in early 20th century(so-called 改土歸流).  But not until the New Republic was founded after 1949, then the hereditary Tusi systems were virtually eradicated in the soil of China.  So, a Tusi was actually the local "king" of a specific area within China in the past, then no question about it, his residence, 土司樓 or 土司城,  was his "palace".  Those "kings" would have been compatible with central governments as long as they paid homage to the sole emperor in China, and no tumult took place within his "domain".

A lady interpreter of Tu origin led us to tour a "palace" in Shangsha, now a preserved national place of historic interest.  (Please see the photo I found online.)  She gave us vivid and interesting accounts of the customs and traditions pertaining to the building itself, as well as the lives of the "kings" and Tu people.  She also talked about the mysterious folklore of "湘西趕屍", though I still left the question open.  At last, she led us to a small show of "哭嫁", a tradition for brides of Tu girls when they are getting married.  Interestingly, the custom now has become a trick for a bride to collect dowry  from her relatives and friends.  The more tears a bride shed before wedding, the more dowry or money would she receive.  FYI, "哭嫁" has become a human non-material heritage verified by UN.   

 

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