Daoism among the Yao Ethnic Group
|Daoism in Minority Regions|
|Tujia Ethnic Group Maonan minority |
In the Yao nationality, Daoism gradually integrates with its traditional primitive religions and permeates different phases of its social and cultural life. The Daoist belief of the Yao of N¨¹koushanzhi is classified into Daogong (Dao Duke) sect and Shigong (Master Duke) sect. The former sect regards the Jade Emperor ( 玉皇 Yuhuan ) as the most venerable, believing that he is the supreme god who governs the entire world and thus uses his seal. The latter sect regards the Spirits of the Three Origins ( 三元神 Sanyuan Shen ), believing that they govern the three realms and thus uses the seal of the highest origin. The differences in doctrines above all lie in the differences in the governing of spirits. In the Yao's concept, the role of Daogong is to coordinate the relation between the living and the souls of the dead ancestors. It is mainly connected with Yao ancestral worship. The role of Shigong is to coordinate the relation between the living and the wild spirits and ghosts. It is mainly connected with Yao nature worship. Scriptures of Daodong are basically translated from Daoist scriptures in Chinese, while those of Shigong are mostly scripts for singing in praise of spirits compiled according to Daoist scriptures in Chinese. Each book is composed of a few chapters, and each chapter sings and narrates the origin and life of one spirit, the process of his cultivating Dao and attaining immortality, and his high divine rank and his super magic skills.
According to the traditional customs of the Yao people, Yao transmission of precepts bears the characteristics of "rites of passage". It is the only way for a Yao male to obtain all the rights and duties an adult male enjoys in the Yao society.