The Daur people 达斡尔族


Chinese Name: 达斡尔族

English Name: The Daur people

Languages: Daur language 达斡尔语, Chinese 汉语

Total population: 1.32*105 (China mainland 2022)

Distribution: mainly distributed in Morin Dawa Daur Autonomous Banner, Ewenki Autonomous Banner

The Daur people  达斡尔族
The Daur people 达斡尔族

Brief introduction

The Daur people 达斡尔族 is one of the 56 ethnic groups in China. People of the Daur are mainly distributed in the Morin Dawa Daur Autonomous Banner 莫力达瓦达斡尔族自治旗 of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region 内蒙古自治区, and the Ewenki Autonomous Banner 鄂温克族自治旗. The Daur people have their own language. The original characters have been lost. Now the Daur people are basically proficient in Chinese and can write Chinese. The Daur is a nation that can sing and dance well. Folk music has various forms such as folk songs, paired singing and dance lyrics.

The Daur people  达斡尔族

The history of the Daur people

The Daur people rely on oral narration to pass on history because the Khitan script used was lost before the Qing Dynasty 清朝. According to Daur legends and comparative studies between Daur and Khitan people 契丹族 in terms of production, life, customs, religion, language, etc., most historians believe that the Daur people belong to the descendants of the Khitans in the Liao Dynasty 辽朝.

The religion of the Daur people

Like other ethnic groups in the Altaic language family 阿尔泰语系, the Daur people mainly believe in Shamanism 萨满教. Although the Daur people have been influenced by foreign religions, these foreign religions have not destroyed the integrity and independence of shamanism, nor have they shaken the original position of traditional shamanism in the spiritual culture of the Daur people. Until now, Shamanism was still a common religion of Daur people living in different regions.

The Cultures of the Daur people

Daur clothing 达斡尔族服饰

Before the Qing Dynasty, the Daur nationality maintained a traditional clothing culture dominated by leather clothing. Men’s clothing has a strong seasonality, and people change different kinds of clothing according to the changes in seasons and climates. For example, in winter, the leather robes worn by men are mostly made of animal skins, which are impermeable and have an excellent thermal effect.

The Daur people  达斡尔族
Daur clothing 达斡尔族服饰

Women wear long robes, no belts, no shorts, and the colour is mainly blue. Wear embroidered silk and satin clothes on New Year’s Day or festive occasions. After the end of the Qing Dynasty, the traditional hunting economy of the Daur nationality has been shrinking, the local land transportation and commodity economy have become increasingly developed, and cloth and satin have been imported in large quantities.

Cloth, satin, cotton and wool products gradually replaced leather clothing. At the same time, the style of clothing has also changed with the development of the times. After the founding of New China, the daily clothes, shoes and hats of the Daur people were roughly the same as those of other local ethnic groups.

Daur architecture 达斡尔族建筑

The traditional houses of the Daur people are mostly framed by pine or birch beams. The houses are generally facing south, focusing on lighting, and most of the windows are a major feature of Daur houses. There are connected kangs on the south, north and west sides of the room. These kangs have good thermal insulation performance and are indispensable heating facilities for Daur people in winter.

Nowadays, with the development of the economy and the improvement of living conditions, brick houses are increasing daily. However, the use of kang 炕 and other living customs are still very popular among the Daur nationality.

The Daur people  达斡尔族
Kang 炕

Daur diets 达斡尔族饮食

The staple food of Daur is mainly rice and noodles. They usually choose millet rice as the main rice food. After millet rice is steamed, the rice grains are large and not sticky, and it has a paste fragrance. Noodles made with buckwheat served with fresh broth, a favourite of Daur people.

The Daur people  达斡尔族
Noodles made with buckwheat 荞麦制成的面条

The characteristic diets of the Daur nationality are mainly ‘Baicai mou’and ‘Liugaoya’. ‘Baicai mou’ is made from fresh cabbage leaves with salt, pepper, garlic, coriander, etc. This food is slightly spicy and can be eaten as a pickle or as a stew. Artemisia sprouts are one of the traditional foods that the people of the Daur like to eat. Although this dish tastes slightly bitter, it is good for the human body and has the functions of improving eyesight and purging anger.

Daur Sports Activities 达斡尔族体育活动

The long fishing and hunting life has created the unique folk sports of the Daur nationality. The formation of the unique folk sports activities of the Daur is deeply influenced by hunting production. For example, falconry is a very effective way of hunting and in the meantime is also a fun sporting and recreational activity. This activity is mostly carried out in the early morning after the snow. Whenever the hunter finds small birds and animals, the falcons will be quick to attack, which is accurate and effective.

The Daur people  达斡尔族
falconry 猎鹰

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