Dark Blue Yao in Laos I (KG 2010)

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Recorded by Laurent Jeanneau (Kink Gong) in Soumpxai village, Ou Tai, Phongsaly, Laos, in June 2010. Photo by David Harris.

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The Yao who call themselves Mien number more than 2.6 million people and are spread over the southern Chinese province of Guangxi and Yunnan. They also migrated to Vietnam, Laos and Thailand in the 19th century.
Many subgroups belong to the Miao-Yao (i.e. Hmong-Mien) group. They are generally named after the colour of their traditional clothes.
The Dark Blue Yao (Lan Tien in Chinese) are part of this North Laotian ethnic mosaïc and also call themselves Moon (like the subgroup Lantene do).
On this cd you can listen to an animist ceremony gathering men only for someone requiring the services of a shaman for healing or bringing good luck. The shaman is engaged in the casting of spells and telling of fortunes. A superstitious process is going on, enriched by long recitations, drumming and ritual dance. It also involves young men who are learning the ritual: more experienced men are showing them how to dance, using bells, gongs, cymbals and a knife.


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