Wa Nationality

The Wa People lives primarily in the counties of Ximeng, Cangyuan and Menglian in Yunnan Provinces. Population: 396, 610. They are Hinayana Buddhist, and have really black, shiny long hair, wear silver bands on their heads, big earrings, thick necklaces and colorful strings of beads. They are very dark and the women dance with their hair. They are also exceptionally friendly, welcoming and laugh out loud.

In the past, the Wa people worshipped nature, believing that all mountains, rivers and other natural phenomena had their deities. Now, some Wa people have become followers of Christianity and Buddhism.

The Wa people have two or three meals per day. Their main diet consists of rice, which is complemented with corn, kaoliang, buckwheat, maize and beans. Their vegetables include bamboo shoot, pumpkin, wax gourd, towel gourd, brinjaul, taro, etc. Pork, chicken, cattle and other wild animals provide the Wa people with their meat.

The Wa people also enjoy drinking and they make their own wine. In addition, the Wa people also like drinking bitter tea. Bitter as it is, the tea is remarkably refreshing and quenches one's thirst remarkably well. The Wa people also have the habit of chewing on betel nuts. (Tips: when the host offered you the 1st cup of tea, you need to pour some to the ground before you drink it. Mean you should toast it to the earth (universe) 1st for respect)

Most of the Wa villages were built on hilltops or slopes. The styles of houses vary depending on their location. Most houses are constructed with bamboo and straw and are usually two storied. The upper floor is for family accommodation while the ground floor is reserved for their livestock. It's sort of like having a traditional barn and house all in one.

Every time there is great event or festival, the Wa people will hold the Piaoniu ceremony, In this ceremony, they kill an ox, divide its meat amongst all the families for sacrifice to their ancestors. The ox bone is given to the host of the ceremony and symbolizes wealth. This ceremony is symbolic of their wish for peace and great harvest.


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