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Traditional Common Laws of Dong Ethnic

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Traditional Common Laws of Dong Ethnic

In the eyes of the ancient Dong, all people were born free and share equal rights in society. No one should build his gain on someone else's sacrifice. In order to maintain a harmonious society with freedom to choose, yet with no conflict, rules and regulations were created. All persons were expected to stay within a certain boundary. Thus, early on, the Dong had set up common laws called 'Kuan Laws', for all residents. At the same time, they also established a 'Kuan Team', which is not unilike the present day local governing body. From this team, a chief was elected for the sole purpose of overseeing that all common laws were followed.

In order to solidify the authorization of these laws, the Dong people erected a stone tablet by the side of an open field. This stone tablet was called a 'Kuan Tablet' meaning their commitment was as solid and strong as the stone, never to be forsaken or changed. The early tablets were only pieces of plain stones, without inscriptions or markings. Eventually, with the coming of the Han people and the Chinese written language, words were engraved on the tablets, making the laws more noticeable for people to follow.

A meeting place was chosen to be located in Jitang Village about 2 km from Zhaoxing, at the back of the village and on a piece of flat open field. There you can still find two of the Kuan Tablets today. One tablet was erected in the 8 year of the reign of Emperor Guangxu in the Qung Dynasty (1892).

On that tablet, the following was engraved: 'A fair law leaves a fair name to posterity.' This specific tablet was placed there by the villages of Jitang and Dengjiang of Liping County and Longbang and Caoding of Congjiang County. The listing on the stone tablet included laws concerning public security, moral standards, marriage and family conduct. In recent years, another tablet was added and called 'Village Laws and Citizen Agreements.'

Dong Villages
Zhaoxing      Tang'An      Chengyang     

Culture of Dongs
Sanyuejie Festival      Marriage Customs      Music      New Year      Traditional costumes      Drum Towers      Flower Bridges      Lusheng Festival     
Dong Houses
     Carrying the Governors Parade      Drama     Rice Planting     Traditional Common Law     Worship the Goddess Sa Sui



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