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Tujia Ethnic Minority Customs: Stealing Marriage


    In the suspended wooden buildings (Diaojiao Lou) of Tujia ethnic group in western Hubei Province, several interesting "stealing customs" have been handed down till now, such as stealing pumpkin or beam.

  Among it, stealing rice bowl is a unique custom of the Tujia ethnic minority group, which is called "stealing marriage". On the day of wedding, the procession on bridegroom's part will go up to the bride's house and go over the amusing conventions of "blocking the door "and "asking for cakes" at the door done by the bride's relatives or friends.

  After that, the procession will enjoy a big dinner prepared by the bride's family, during which they need to stealthily hide the rice bowls at their chests or under their arms and then take the "swag" back to the groom's home to win their rewards. The stolen bowls are called "the bowls of wealth and happiness", and the more are stolen, the wealthier and happier the couple will be.