Name linked between father & son and clan system
The name linked between father and son system is a method of naming by linking father’s and son’s names, which appeared at the transition period from matri-clan system to patri-clan system. It used to be popular or is still popular among Yis, Hanis, Drungs, Was, Jingpos, Nus, Miaos, Uygurs and Kazaks.
The name system of Yis derivate from father to son, which means father’s name is ahead of son’s name. The last one or two syllables of the father’s name are added before the son’s name, and the last one or two syllables are added before the grandson’s name. Thus their names are all linked with one another generation after generation. People can recite ancestors and pedigrees to tens of or even one hundred of generations, such as Apu Juma-Juma Denglun-Denglun Wuwu-Wuwu Gengzi-Gengzi Gengyan-Gengyan Ayi-Ayi Aqu-Aqu Libu¡
The name system of Yis is not only a kind of naming method. It also connects with clan system closely. It is oral family tree which forms and remembers clan and pedigree, and is an important way to make clear blood tie of clan and to guarantee the patrilineal descending principle to property. In the past, every Yi family paid much attention to its family tree, and men must remember and recite it clearly.
Clan system is a traditional social political and economic system of Yis. Before the foundation of new China, it was popular in the Liangshan Yi region. The clan is a patrilineal blood group, and is composed of clan, branch and single family. Every clan has its family tree passed on for generations, the names in which are linked between father and son, and the family tree is named with a common male ancestors or a place name. Every clan has its common and fixed gathering scope, and common forest, pasture, barren hills and marshland. All members of the clan have the obligation to assist one another and to revenge for one another. Every clan has varied number of headmen, and inside and outside affairs are discussed and dealt with by headmen and affair discussing meeting of the clan. Intermarry is prohibited. Because united and stable political power organization didn’t come into being in Liangshan Yi society, the clan becomes the basic social organization of the Yi society, and it functions as a local political power organization to some extent. What’s more, the clan system and slavery hierarchy system are connected with each other closely. The Black Yi clans occupy a dominant position, and the White Yi clans are subordinated to the Black Yi clans.
Before the establishing of the new China, clan played a very important role in Yi society. Liangshan Yi saying goes like this: “Fish relies on water; Bee relies on mountain rock; Monkey relies on forest; People rely on clan.” “Cattle and sheep are indispensable; Grain is indispensable; Clan is indispensable.” From 1956 to 1958, the democratic reform movement was carried out in Liangshan region, slave-owning system was eliminated thoroughly, and clan system was abolished along with it. But until now, people’s awareness of clan hasn’t disappeared completely.