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Oroqen people celebrate shamanic ritual gala in Hulunbuir

2017-01-26 By Zhao Xiao (chinadaily.com.cn)

A group performs at the opening ceremony of the 3rd Oroqen Ice and Snow Yisaren Ritual held at Gaxian Lake in Oroqen Autonomous Banner, Inner Mongolia autonomous region. [Photo/Xinhua]

The 3rd Oroqen Ice and Snow Yisaren Ritual recently commenced at Gaxian Lake in Oroqen Autonomous Banner of Hulunbuir city, Inner Mongolia autonomous region. Featuring a series of shamanic customs and scarce nomadic rituals on the verge of vanishing with the passing of time, the primitive and distinctive gala will last until March 2017.

Oroqen Autonomous Banner is located in the northeast of Hulunbuir on the west bank of the Nen River. With a total area covering 59,800 square kilometers, it is the largest county in Hulunbuir, and was also the first ethnic autonomous banner recognized in China.

It’s adjacent to Nenjiang county, Heilongjiang province to the north across the river, Daur Autonomous Banner of Morin Dawa, and Arun Banner in the south.

There are 87.3 million mu (58,200 square kilometers) of forests in the banner, accounting for 97.2 percent of the total area. It's covered with an assortment of forest categories including larches, white birches, oaks, willows, bushes and hazels. For generations, the nature environment has imbued the Oroqen people with a rich and unique society and culture.

The forests have been breeding the Oroqen people, whose style of production and life and society are like live fossils. As China’s last hunting society, the Oroqen people have earned reputations as the “Hunting Gods in Khingan”, the “People on the Horseback in the Forest”, and “Live Fossils of Fishing and Hunting Groups in the Northern Hemisphere”.

Due to unique geographical environment and natural conditions, the Oroqen people have formed their unique skills and mode of production during the long-term hunting life. The forest hunting culture of the Oroqen people is heavily reflected in their economic production, entertainment, folk music, unique customs and religion.

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