Mulao nationality, whose national language is Mulao language, belongs to the Dongshui branch of the Zhuang Dong language group of the Sino Tibetan language family. There is no national character, and Chinese characters are commonly used.
Mulao nationality is mainly distributed in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Guizhou Province. In Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, most of them live in Dongmen, Siba, Huangjin, longan, Tianhe, and Xiaochang'an of Luocheng Mulao Autonomous County. A few scattered in Xincheng, Yishan, Liucheng, Duan, Huan Jiang, Hechi, Rongshui, Rogan, and other counties. In Guizhou Province, he mainly lives in Majiang, Kaili, Huangping, Duyun, Fuquan, and other counties.
Historically, in the Mulao area, folk belief played a very important role in people's life. Meanwhile, Taoism and Buddhism also had a deep influence.
In the 1920s, many large-scale Buddhist temples were built in the Mulao area. There are four temples near Luocheng County: Geben temple, Kaiyuan Temple, Shuangfu temple, and language temple. In the east of the city, there are some small temples, such as the Jiong temple and Shoufu temple. These temples are full of cigarettes all year round, and there is an endless stream of people who come to pray for blessings and eliminate disasters. A meeting is held regularly every year, and people from nearby villages come to participate in the sacrifice. Comparatively speaking, Taoism plays a more important role in people's daily life. If a person is ill or in a disaster, he should ask the mage to do something to respect God, exorcise evil spirits and pray for God's peace.
The folk belief of Mulao nationality is in the primitive stage. Sun, moon, stars, wind, rain, thunder, electricity, mountains, water, grass, wood, birds, and animals, as well as sages and martyrs from ancient times to modern times, are the objects of worship. The folk beliefs of Mulao nationality are mixed and disordered. They not only absorb the gods of Taoism and Buddhism but also often crown the clergy, which makes many gods have both good and evil sides. For example, King Lei, the God in charge of rain, can not only bring rain to benefit mankind but also flood the world and destroy mankind. Therefore, people worship and fear him. The old woman king is sometimes a ferocious God in charge of children's books of life and death. Sometimes she is said to be the mother of the brothers and sisters of Fuxi and Nuwa, the forefathers of human relations. Lady Baima is sometimes a goddess of evil and sometimes a god of good. It is said that the Yifan festival commemorates her. The activities of Mulao folk beliefs are frequent and varied. Sacrificial and praying ceremonies should be held for weddings, funerals, weddings, festivals, and new houses.
In the past, production was carried out on a household-by-household basis. The division of labor between men and women is not very strict. Most of the handicraft industries in Mulao nationality areas are not separated from agricultural production. Although iron tools are relatively simple, they can be used to process all kinds of farm tools and daily necessities. The "sand port" made by the tile industry is light and durable, which is a specialty of the Mulam nationality area.
Mulao people have their own characteristics in housing, clothing, diet, and customs. However, due to long-term interaction with Han and Zhuang people, some aspects of the Mulao people are basically the same as those of Han and Zhuang people nearby.
Mulao people live together, and people of the same clan often live in the same village. It is only in some polder towns and large villages that people live together with other nationalities and surnames. Houses are generally mud wall tile top, three parallel bungalows, hut less. Brick buildings belong only to landlords and rich peasants. There are seven doors in a house, including the front door, middle door, back door, and four doors. The middle wall of the main room is decorated with "incense". The floor stove is built by digging the ground beside the door on the left side. The floor stove burns coal. It is unique living equipment for Mulao people to warm and burn. It has a long history. Tian Rucheng, who lived in the Jiajing period of the Ming Dynasty, recorded the underground stove of the Mulao family in his book the chronicle of the burning fire. Livestock pens are generally separated from housing, so the interior is relatively clean.
Most Mulao people are used to eating three meals a day, with porridge for breakfast, porridge for lunch, rice, and rich dishes for dinner. During the busy farming season, porridge is usually eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for dinner. Sweet potato is one of the main supplementary food of Mulao nationality. Soybeans are usually eaten after frying and boiling and are used to make tofu during festivals, weddings, and funerals. Every year, twenty to thirty Catties of bean paste are used to make porridge.
Mulao people like cold food all the time. After the food is cooked, they can only eat it when it is cool. If they can't finish a meal, they don't need to heat it again. Usually drink raw water. Mulao people are used to cooking meat in "Baiji", that is, large pieces of pork or the whole chicken and duck are boiled in water, then cut into small pieces, and then add salt or dip in saltwater when eating. Fish are often fried in oil, while beef is often fried alone.
Mulao people like to eat hot and sour food. Every family has a jar of pickles, including pickled beans and garlic. For folk breakfast and Chinese meals, only spicy and sour dishes are used. It's customary for vegetables to be boiled with water before adding salt. The local specialty coal sand pot is a special drinking utensil for Mulao people to cook rice, vegetables, and tea.
Typical Mulao foods are tofu dishes; white steamed bread, Mulao traditional dim sum, made of cooked glutinous rice.
In the past, except for a few landlords and rich peasants, the majority of Mulao people used to eat rice, corn, and potato every day, even porridge. Like hot and sour, every family has pickled buckwheat head, sour beans, sour taro Peng, sour beans, sour garlic head as supplementary food. Vegetables mainly include cabbage, water spinach, amaranth, beans, pumpkin, mustard, and radish. Meat mainly includes pork, chicken, duck, and fish.
Clothes & Accessories
Mulao people's clothes are usually dark blue. In the past, most of them were self spinning, self weaving, self dyeing, and self sewing. According to records, in the Qing Dynasty, women still had the habit of wearing bucket skirts. Landlords and gentry wear clothes with wind collars, which are not allowed by ordinary peasants.
They have been refitted in modern times, which is not much different from the clothes of the Han and Zhuang people. Men wear a pair of lapels and trousers, and the old wear Pipa lapels. Generally, they wear straw sandals, but few of them are barefoot.
In the past, girls wore braids and married in a bun, but now most of them have had their hair cut. Accessories are silver earrings, bracelets, rings, etc.