New Years Killing
The Luna new year is an auspicious time for many Chinese, for centuries it has marked the time of the year to honour past deities, this is what takes us to central Yunnan, China. In this south western province there is a tiny village called Wa Nu Bo – a Yi minority hill tribe village, situated about 2,000 metres above sea level in the Nanjian mountain range.
As part of a longstanding Yi tradition, one family in the village will sacrifice one adult pig and goat in the courtyard to honour their gods and to mark the end of the Chinese lunar year.
These sacrifices have been a yearly occurrence for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. The Yi people believe by sacrificing four legged animals they will rid themselves of sin by offering the animals to their gods. Pigs and goats are chosen as they apparently have more sins than humans – the story goes that because these animals cannot raise their heads to the sky to face their gods, it’s due to the shame of their sins.
This brings us back to Wa Nu Bo, where we witnessed the bloody sacrifice of a local sinner/pig. It’s an occasion for the whole village to get involved, to collectively rid themselves of past sins and enter the new year pure.
Lillian Suwanrumpha is a Thai freelance photographer based in Bangkok, Thailand.