In Kachin (Jinghpaw, Jingpo) areas of northern Burma and southwestern China there are many grand Manau grounds, replete with their distinctive poles. As I continue my series of posts on the Yunnan Fringe I will be providing information and analysis on the Manau culture of a border county in western Yunnan.

The path to Manau

The pictured Manau posts are part of what is called the “Yunnan Jingpo Garden”. The garden, and associated Manau grounds, have been recently built outside the county capital. Covering a huge piece of prime real estate, it includes an “exhibition area for ethnic culture”, an “ecological area” and a “Jingpo ecological village”. The garden is designed to “show the rich ethnic cultures [in] all aspects”.

In this example, the path leading to the Manau ground has been layed with stones to mimic a pattern that is commonly painted or etched on Manau poles. This pattern is also integral to the shape and direction of Manau dances where inter-locking waves of dancers move in long lines to create a swirling effect.

More on the Manau festivals of this area will be posted soon as I continue to take New Mandala readers on a journey to the Yunnan Fringe.