李平凡 Li Pingfan
Historical Changes and Present-Day Heritage of Yi Funeral
Examples from Sichuan and Guizhou
关键词：彝族 丧葬文化 历史变迁 传承
The Yi of China have several thousand years of history and traditional culture. Their funeral culture is particularly rich, and in Yi traditional culture it has deep roots, a long history from a remote origin, and a slow pace of change. Longitudinally, it embodies the vein of historical development of culture, whereas synchronically it comprises the vast and deep foundation of Yi culture. In the records of Bimo scripture, there had been celestial burial, water burial, inhumation, and cremation among ancient Yi tribes, only cremation and inhumation are survived today in present-day Yi societies as a result of historical changes took place in Yi ancestral funeral culture. The continuity and preservation of Yi's funeral culture not only possess a theoretically interdisciplinary significance for studies of ethnology, history, folkloristics, and so forth, but also has applicative values for constructing ecological protection with a harmonious development between human beings and nature. The inheritance and utilization of Yi's funeral culture demand for finding expression in its original ceremonial forms, manifesting its native conceptions of religion, getting into a discourse with modern scientism, and building up a organic union of ethnic modality and the Zeitgeist.
Keywords: Yi People ─ funeral culture ─ historical changes ─ continuity
About the Author
is a Yi from Guizhou , and is Associate Researcher and Director of the Guizhou Provincial Nationalities Research Institute. He holds a B.A. degree, and is a managing director of the Chinese Association for Ethnic Research, Vice Secretary-General of the Southwest China Society for Ethnic Studies, Vice-Chair and Secretary of the Guizhou Society for Ethnic Studies, Vice-Chair of the Guizhou Association for Yi Studies and board member of the Guizhou Alliance for Social Sciences. His main areas of research are Yi and Bai society and history.