Kachin Manaw Festival - Myanmar Explorers

Kachin Manaw Festival

Kachin Manaw Festival

Kachin people’s Festivals are called Manaw Ceremonies. There are several types of Manaw ceremony, and Manaw dance is celebrated only in five most important occasions.

Myitkyina is a quiet provincial capital of Kachin State. Manaw festival is celebrated for the Kachin Tribes’ New Year and to show the unity of their different tribes and clans. Thousands of Kachin tribes from nearby villages will be present the festival by wearing their best traditional costume and dance with their music in communal procession.

Kachin is one of the states which has a delightful festival known as Manaw. Kachin, the hill people or the Scots of Myanmar, celebrate Manaw festival. It is one of the most popular festivals in Myanmar. The festival is usually held in January. This festival has been held for more than three decades.

The traditional Manaw poles are decorated in colorful Kachin motifs and are centered in the middle of the festival ground. All who came to the festival wear their best traditional costume and the main feature of the festival is dancing around the erected Manaw poles, quite similar to the totem poles of North American Indians. Manaw festival is held in Myitkyina and Putao in Kachine State. Although most Kachin are now Christians, they are still proud of their ancestral traditions.
Manaw ceremonies are very expensive as everyone is invited. The feasts need months of preparation to ensure enough food for the guests. The dishes will include buffalo meat, pork or wild boar, beef, chicken, rice and pots and pots of rice wine. Nowadays Manaw festival is celebrated for the New Year or a good harvest or the unity of the different tribes and clans who will gather to feast and dance together.

Myanmar Kachin Manaw Festival

Myanmar Kachin Manaw Festival

In one festival, thousands of people from all villages in the region will be present in their tribal finery. In the manaw grounds, high totems painted in traditional patterns in red, black and white tower over the dancers. In front of them are hung the two instruments essential for the dance: a huge, long drum and a brass gong. The young people meet and fell in love at the dance, but it is not at all like what would spring to mind on hearing the word. It is a gentle and slow group dance without touching even of the fingertips. The girls wave handkerchiefs and the boys may be allowed to hold the other corner: he cannot get closer than that. The Jingpaw women wear red skirts and black velvet jackets hung with bosses of silver. Their silver wears are intricately made, and handed down from one generation to another.

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