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The Va ethnic minority (3)

(People's Daily)

09:53, August 11, 2011

Social Economy

In 109 B.C., Emperor Wu Di of the Han Dynasty set up Yizhou Prefecture which covered an area extending to the east of Gaoligong Mountain. As a result, the forbears of today's Vas, Blangs and De'angs came under the rule of the Han Dynasty. Thereafter, through the Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, the Va people had had inseparable ties with other peoples in the hinterland.

Between the Tang and Ming dynasties, the Vas mainly engaged in hunting, fruit collecting and livestock breeding -- the preliminary stage of agricultural economy. After the Ming Dynasty, agriculture became their main occupation, and they had passed out of the primitive clan communes into village communes. However, development in various areas was not balanced. Over a long time in the past, the Vas living with the Hans, Dais and Lahus had had their culture and economy develop faster through interchanges.

As a whole, however, development of the Va society was rather slow before liberation. This was due mainly to long-term oppression by reactionary ruling classes and imperialist aggression. There were three areas in terms of social development: The Ava mountainous area with Ximeng as the center and including part of Lancang and Menglian counties, inhabited by one-third of the total Va population. There, private ownership had been established, but with the remnant of a primitive communal system still existing.

The area on the edges of Ava Moutnain, covering Cangyuan, Gengma and Shuangjiang counties and part of Lancang and Menglian counties, and the Va area in the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, where two-thirds of the Va people live. There, the economy already bore feudal manorial characteristics.

In some areas in Yongde, Zhenkang and Fengqing, where a few Vas live with other ethnic peoples, the Va economy had developed into the stage of feudal landlord economy.

【1】 【2】 【3】 【4】

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