The Deng people
The Deng people, also known as the Dengba, lived in Tibet's Zayu county and the virgin forest areas between the Himalayas and the Hengduan Mountains at an elevation of 1000 meters. Deng people believe in ghosts. They build two-story structures, themselves living above and housing cattle and poultry below.
Deng women commonly wear long, drum-like silver earrings, a headdress covering the forehead, and around the neck a string of beads or silver jewelry. They wear silk skirts and go barefooted. Men wear a black cloth wound about their heads and silver earrings.
More recently they have moved into terraced river valleys with the assistance of the government. Before the 1950's, the Dengs led a primitive life in which they cut rope into different lengths to record events and they cultivated farmland by reaphook while controlling weeds by spreading fire. Although they have no written language, the Deng people have their own spoken language, which derives from the Tibetan-Myanmese branch of the Chinese-Tibetan language family. The Dengs live on agriculture. After the Tibetans carried out the democratic reform in 1959, with the help of the government, most of them have moved out of forests and settled on the river valley. Now, they have started their modern life with modern household appliances such as telephones and TV sets.
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