Jinuo Minority, the 56th last nationality of China, with population of 20 thousand, mainly lives in Jinuo Mountain area of Jinghong. They do not have their own language. In early times, Jinuo people wee called Youle. The Jinuo people rely on agriculture as their source of income and used slash and burn techniques. They suffered from floods. During a catastrophic flood, all the Jinuo people were washed away except for a girl and her uncle who hid in a drum. Theses two people are considered to be the ancestors of the present day Jinuo people. They believe in Animism.
The grandest festival for Jinuo people is the Temaoke Festival. Temaoke means New Year in Jinuo language. It falls in the same period of the Chinese New Year. They have the same festivities as other minorities during the New Year. After the village elder announces the arrival of the New Year and gives New Year greetings, well-dressed Jinuo people with traditional costumes dance around the big Sun drum. In the New Year the remarkable characteristic of the traditional costumes is the sun. The sun drum dance is the most representative dance and indispensable for the New Year. The front of the sun drum is just like a sun with 17 wooden pipes around the drum, symbolizing the sun lights. It is said that it will bring you good luck to strike the sun drum on the eve of New Year.
Sun drum the holiest of Jinuo Happy New Year