The Deang nationality has a population
of 16,400, most of whom live in the Santaishan Mountain
area of Luxi Municipality, Dehong Prefecture, and
Zhenkang County of Lincang Prefecture. A few live
in Ruili City, Lianghe, Yingjiang, Lingchuan counties
of Dehong Prefecture, and gengma County of Lincang
Prefecture. The Deang people share the same ancestors
with the Wa and the Bulang who were called "Pu"
in the Han and Jin Dynasties. They were called "Benglong"
in the Qing Dynasty. But they addressed themselves
"de -ang" or "Da-ang". In 1985,
they were collectively named the Deang nationality.
The Deang people have their own language,
which belongs to the Mon-Khmer Branch of the South
Asian Langrage family (Deang Branch). Since they get
along well with the Dai, the Han and the Jingpo nationalities,
the majority of them can speak the Dai, the Han and
the Jingpo languages. Having no writing system, they
use the characters of the Han and the Dai. Most Deang
people believe in Hinayana Buddhism, and therefore
Buddhist temples are found in most Deang villages.
They have a long history of tea planting, and are
quite experienced growers. Therefore they are called
"the Ancient Tea Growers".
The Dean men usually wear black or white
turbans with the two ends decorated with colorful
floss balls. They wear big earrings, thick silver
necklaces, blue or black coats and loose trousers.
The women like to have their hair
shaved, and then wrap the heads with black cloth.
They wear big earrings, thick silver necklaces, blue
or black overcoats, and rattan waistbands. They wear
tight skirts with colorful strips. And the colors
of their skirts vary from branch to branch. The Deang
people have the custom of tattooimg their bodies,
usually on legs, arms and chests with patterns of
flowers, grass, tigers, deer, birds and scriptures
or incantations in the Dai language. They are fond
of chewing tobacco and Luxi for the sake of protecting
the teeth. They major festivals are the water Splashing
festival, the Opening-door Festival and the Closing-door