Was are found living in China, Burma and Thailand. Was in China have a population of 383,000, most of whom live in Cangyuan County and Ximeng County in South Yunnan. Was did not stop the slashing-and-burning cultivation until the 1950s. Among others, Was worship buffalos, tigers, leopards and swallows.
Wa Wood-drum from the Sacrificial Altar to the Stage
In the Wa religious ceremony, the wood-drum is regarded as the most sacred because of its magic connection with Wa God. Nowadays, the wood-drum is regarded as their auspiciousness and is the symbol of their spirit, that is, a brave, diligent and united nationality with an enterprising spirit. During a festival or celebration, Was will perform the wood-drum dance to express their happiness.
"Combing": Wa Youth’s Marriage Custom
Wa youth in Cangyuan County have their unique way of expressing their love. Usually a Wa lad will invite the girl he loves to comb for him while sitting on their own bamboo tools and whispering to each other. While being “combed”, the lad will give the girl some love tokens like a comb, a towel, a silver bracelet or silver ear-rings. Was usually get married at about 20.
"The Large House”: The “Palace” of the Chieftain
Wa Large House is unique in style which is built for a Wa chieftain, who also acts as Wa priest. This house has three traits: 1. On both ends of the ridge there are carved wood-swallows; 2. The door-frame is made of one large plank and there are naked men carved in relief on the door. 3. The building of this house will last at least eleven days.
Hair-swaying Dance: A Revelation of Wa Female Beauty
The Hair-swaying Dance reveals Wa female beauty and symbolizes their maturity. Wa women appreciate wearing long hair. The Hair-swaying Dance is performed either in pairs or in groups. They are singing while dancing hand in hand without musical instrument.
Wa Nationality worship buffaloes. During an important ceremony, Was will hold a buffalo-killing ceremony. So will the Wa chieftain and rich families on important occasions. Then they will hang the head-bones on their walls. The more head-bones they have, the richer and more powerful they are.