No easy for Gelao parents to marry off their daughter
Gelao, one of the ethnic minority groups in China, has a population of 437,000. Most of them live in Wuchuan Gelao and Miao Autonomous County and Daozhen Gelao and Miao Autonomous County, Guizhou Province, and the others live in the city of Guizhou, Liupanshui and Zunyi, and district of Tongren, Bijie, Anshun and Southeast Qian. Very few are scattered in Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Ninety seven percent of the whole population is in Guizhou Province.
According to the tradition, a bride of the Gelao minority group should knock out one or two front teeth herself, in fear that the bride who is a virgin would hurt the family of the future groom.
"Holding the Door"
When the girl leaves her home for her husband's, she should hold the door tightly to show her unwillingness to leave. At this time, the matchmaker pulls the fiance away.
"Hunting for the Girl"
When the girl gets married, she should cry when leaving and try to run away when are asked to leave. The girl's relatives should seek her back. The fiance also needs to say goodbye to the ancestors of her family. Her father unties her top button to show that she is not a member of the family any longer but a member of her husband's.
"Splashing the Water"
When the girl arrives at her husband's family, she should splash water on the relatives there. It means that the water could get rid of evil and bring luck.
There are other marital customs different from those of other minority groups. They don't have a ceremony when they get married such as performing formal bows by groom and bride in old custom. The bride is led to the bridal chamber directly. The dowry would not be sent to the bridegroom's home until the first baby is one month old.
In the past, the parents made decision for their children's marriage and paid much attention to the betrothal gifts. But now the marital customs of the Gelao minority group has changed a lot. Young people can make their own decision and with an umbrella as prop the bride accompanied by her relatives and people from the groom's side arrive at her husband's house. She is led to the bridal chamber directly without a formal bowing ceremony.