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Encyclopedia > Shui
Shui
Alternative names:
Sui, Sui po
Total population 430,000 (est.)
Regions with significant populations China: Guizhou, Guangxi; Vietnam
Language Sui
Religion animism, Taoism

The Shui people (Chinese: 水族; pinyin: Shuǐzú) are an ethnic group living in the Guangxi, Guizhou, and Yunnan areas of southwestern China. They are counted as one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China. (Simplified Chinese: 贵州; Traditional Chinese: è²´å·ž; pinyin: Gùizhōu; Wade-Giles: Kuei-chou; also spelled Kweichow) is a province of the Peoples Republic of China located in the southwestern part of the country. ... Guangxi (Zhuang: Gvangjsih; old orthography: ; Simplified Chinese: 广西; Traditional Chinese: 廣西; Pinyin: GuÇŽngxÄ«; Wade-Giles: Kuang-hsi; Postal System Pinyin: Kwangsi), full name Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (Zhuang: Gvangjsih Bouxcuengh Swcigih; old orthography: ; Simplified Chinese: 广西壮族自治区; Traditional Chinese: 廣西壯族自治區; Pinyin: GuÇŽngxÄ« Zhuàngzú ZìzhìqÅ«) is a Zhuang autonomous region of... In religion, the term Animism is used in a number of ways. ... Taoism (sometimes written as and actually pronounced as Daoism (dow-ism)) is the English name for: Dao Jia [philosophical tao] philosophical school based on the texts the Tao Te Ching (ascribed to Laozi [Lao Tzu] and alternately spelled Dào Dé JÄ«ng) and the Zhuangzi; a family of organized... Pinyin is a system of romanization (phonemic notation and transcription to Roman script) for Standard Mandarin, where pin means spell and yin means sound. The most common variant of pinyin in use is called Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: , Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: HànyÇ” PÄ«nyÄ«n), also known as scheme... Guangxi (Zhuang: Gvangjsih; old orthography: ; Simplified Chinese: 广西; Traditional Chinese: 廣西; Pinyin: GuÇŽngxÄ«; Wade-Giles: Kuang-hsi; Postal System Pinyin: Kwangsi), full name Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (Zhuang: Gvangjsih Bouxcuengh Swcigih; old orthography: ; Simplified Chinese: 广西壮族自治区; Traditional Chinese: 廣西壯族自治區; Pinyin: GuÇŽngxÄ« Zhuàngzú ZìzhìqÅ«) is a Zhuang autonomous region of... (Simplified Chinese: 贵州; Traditional Chinese: è²´å·ž; pinyin: Gùizhōu; Wade-Giles: Kuei-chou; also spelled Kweichow) is a province of the Peoples Republic of China located in the southwestern part of the country. ... (Simplified Chinese: 云南; Traditional Chinese: 雲南; pinyin: Yúnnán south of the clouds) is a province of the Peoples Republic of China, located in the far southwestern corner of the country. ...

Contents

History

It is believed that the Shui are descended from the Luo-Yue that inhabited the southeast coast of China before the Han dynasty. Their name of Shui, which means "water", was adopted during the Ming dynasty. Yue (Traditional Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Yüeh4; also seen as Yueh, Yuet, Việt) refers to ancient semi-Sinicized or non-Sinicized Chinese peoples of southern China, originally those along the eastern coastline of present-day Zhejiang province and Shanghai. ... The Han Dynasty (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Han Chau; 206 BC–AD 220) followed the Qin Dynasty and preceded the Three Kingdoms in China. ... For other uses, see Ming. ...


Culture

The Shui are organized around the family clans. The houses are usually one story, although some of their homes are two storied. In these last, the second floor is used for the living quarters whereas the first floor is used primarily as a stable and food storage.If a woman is widowed, she covers her hair with a fabric of white color for three years. The Shui possess a lunar calendar that is initiated in the ninth lunar month. Their funeral services are elaborate and long ceremonies where animal sacrifices are carried out in honor of the dead.


Religion

The Shui are mainly polytheists and they practice ancestor worship as well. In the antiquity was hired to the chamanes so that they carried out prayers and sacrifices in the houses of those that were sick or close to the death.


Language

The Shui speak the Sui language of the Tai-Kadai family. Their language has eight tones, fewer than the Dong language which has 13. However, it does have a large number of consonants with forty-two. Some other features of the language includes palatal stops, postvelar stops, prenasalized stops (mb, nd), "preglottalized" stops and nasals (ie. qb, qm). Ethnologue describes native language use by the Shui as "vigorous" and credits them with a "positive language attitude".[1] The Tai-Kadai languages, also known as Kadai or Kradai, are a language family found in Southeast Asia and southern China. ... The Dong language (own name: leec Gaeml) is a Tai-Kadai (or Zhuang-Dong) language spoken by the Dong people of China. ... Palatal consonants are consonants articulated with the body of the tongue raised against the hard palate (the middle part of the roof of the mouth). ... A stop, plosive, or occlusive is a consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract. ... Uvulars are consonants articulated with the back of the tongue against or near the uvula, that is, further back in the mouth than velar consonants. ... Prenasalized stops are phonetic sequences of nasal plus plosive that behave phonologically like single consonant. ... Ethnologue: Languages of the World is a web and print publication of SIL International (formerly known as the Summer Institute of Linguistics), a Christian linguistic service organization which studies lesser-known languages primarily to provide the speakers with Bibles in their native language. ...


A simple system of writing for this language exists although only their shamans know it and is not utilized for everyday use by the Shui. This system is used for geomancy and divination purposes. A few of these 150 or so graphs are drawings, such as of a bird or a a fish, and a few are schematic representations of a characteristic quality, for example a snail is represented by a drawing of an inward curving spiral. The majority of these characters are borrowings from Chinese characters and are written backwards, apparently for more magical power. The Shui use written Chinese for its daily activities. 漢字 / 汉字 Chinese character in Hànzì, kanji, hanja, Hán Tự. A Chinese character (Traditional Chinese: , Simplified Chinese: , pinyin: Hànzì) is a logogram used in writing Chinese, Japanese, sometimes Korean, and formerly also Vietnamese. ...


References

  • Ramsey, S. Robert. 1987. The Languages of China. Princeton University Press, Princeton New Jersey ISBN 0-691-06694-9
  • Zhang, Junru. 1980. Shuiyu jianzhi [A handbook of the Sui language]. Beijing: Minzu yinsha chang

 
 

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