Dissertation > Social Sciences > Ethnology

The Rite of Harmony between Gods and Human

Author LvRuiRong
Tutor YuanDingSheng
School Yunnan University
Course Chinese Ethnic Art
Keywords Feitao of Maonan nationality form develop and inherit harmonybetween gods and human eco-aesthetic
Type PhD thesis
Year 2013
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Feitao of Maonan nationality, popular among the south-west hilly villages of Huanjiang Maonan autonomous county in Guangxi Region, is a comprehensive religious ceremony, containing abundant artistic elements. It combines various traditional art forms of Maonan nationality, conveys the expectation of Maonan people of harmony between gods and human, and tries in various ways to achieve that. It is a grand ceremony in the traditional social life of Guangxi Maonan people, and is regarded by them as the most significant rite of their life. In the hilly villages of Maonan nationality in Guangxi, before the50s of20th century, almost every generation in every Maonan family holds it once in their lives, and most of them are till attached to it nowadays. To a certain extent, it has been the concern of a lifetime of Maonan people. It is related to but different from the Nuo plea of Guangxi Baiyue nationalities. With a unique formation and development course, it reveals various scenes of traditional life of Maonan people. It is an important key to unlock the traditional cultural psychology of Maonan people, and a valuable perspective to study traditional Maonan art.The religious rite of Feitao of Maonan nationality objectively embodies the simple folk artistic technique of the perfect unity of gather and separation, presents the expectation of and seeks in various ways the harmony of gods and human, and further purchases the harmony among their ethnic group, society and nature. It gradually obtains the form of art, involving and presenting various artistic elements, seemed like the rudiments of Maonan dramas. However, it is not drama.Maonan Feitao includes verse recitation, story telling combined with singing, singing and dancing performances, and worship of gods. The performers of Feitao-Maonan wizards are a special group of people who are both wizards and farmers, and claim to be able to link up the divinity world and the human world and realize people’s prayers under certain conditions. They present information of history, geography, astronomy, human relations, myth etc as well as criteria of public order and good customs that people know about traditional Maonan social life through religious ceremonies of worshiping gods, praying to gods and thanking gods on the special site of family hall, and thus enrich the particular encyclopedia of Maonan hilly villages.The thesis, applying the theory and method of eco-criticism, presents an overall, deep and systematic research on the comprehensive rite of Maonan Feitao from the aspects of its main elements as well as its formation and development environment(natural environment and humanistic environment); probes, under the background of the overall eco-system of Maonan hilly villages, into its formation and development schema, that is the dramatic changes of the cultural genes of the ancient Baiyue people in the south of the Five Ridges→the nurture of unique natural environment→integration with the art forms of other nationalities→accumulation of Maonan cultural characteristics→mutual promotion of the art forms of various ethnic groups; reveals the development characteristics of Feitao, that is it develops with the gradual highlight of aesthetic functions, the more and more opening up of notions of development, the gradual stabilization of relevant texts, the normalization of presentation, the better-and-better-developed images of gods, the little by little blurred boundary between human and gods, the greatly expanded pattern of the rite and its overall form being more entertaining; probes into the mutual influence and assimilation of Maonan Feitao, other art forms of Maonan nationality, and the art forms of nearby nationalities, and into the spirit, ideal and laws of Maonan art that Feitao reflects; reveals the value and constructional characteristics of Maonan Feitao, and puts forward the concept and means of its protection.

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