Yao


Yao
/yow/, n.
Wade-Giles, Pinyin. a legendary emperor of China who, with his successor (Shun), was a paragon of good government.
/yow/, n., pl. Yaos, (esp. collectively) Yao for 1.
1. a member of an indigenous people of Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania.
2. the Bantu language spoken by the Yao.

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I
In Chinese mythology, one of three legendary emperors, along with Shun and Dayu, of the golden age of antiquity (с 24th century BC).

All three were exalted by Confucius as models of virtue, righteousness, and unselfish devotion.
II
Various Bantu-speaking peoples inhabiting southern Tanzania, northern Mozambique, and southern Malawi.

In the colonial era the Yao were prominent as slave traders. They were never completely united but lived as small groups ruled by chiefs. By 1900 they had come under German, Portuguese, or British rule. Today numbering 2.2 million, the Yao practice shifting (slash-and-burn) horticulture. Most are Muslims.

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▪ African people
      various Bantu-speaking peoples inhabiting southernmost Tanzania, the region between the Rovuma and Lugenda rivers in Mozambique, and the southern part of Malaŵi.

      By 1800 the Yao had become known as traders plying between the inland tribes and the Arabs on the east coast. Much of this trade was in slaves, which led eventually to clashes with European powers who were establishing control over former Yao territory in the 19th century. The Yao were never united but lived as small groups ruled by chiefs who were predominantly military and commercial leaders; by 1900 all Yao chiefdoms had come under German, Portuguese, or British rule.

      The Yao are an agricultural people using slash-and-burn techniques to cultivate their staples, corn (maize) and sorghum. Fish provide protein in areas near lakes or larger rivers. In Malaŵi they cultivate tobacco as an important cash crop.

      The Yao live in compact villages of 75 to 100 persons under traditional headmen. These headmen, like the chiefs, succeed matrilineally, the office usually going to the eldest sister's firstborn son. On marriage the man leaves his village to live in that of his wife, so that villages are composed basically of groups of women related through the female line, together with their spouses. Yao social life features annual initiation ceremonies involving circumcision for boys. Originally, these ceremonies were closely connected with the worship of ancestor spirits, but through Arab contact most Yao are Muslims, and the rites incorporate Islamic elements.

▪ Chinese mythological emperor

      in Chinese mythology, a legendary emperor (c. 24th century BC) of the golden age of antiquity, exalted by Confucius as an inspiration and perennial model of virtue, righteousness, and unselfish devotion. His name is inseparable from that of Shun, his successor, to whom Yao gave his two daughters in marriage.

      Legends recount that after 70 years of Yao's rule, the sun and moon were as resplendent as jewels, the five planets shone like strung pearls, phoenixes nested in the palace courtyards, crystal springs flowed from the hills, pearl grass covered the countryside, rice crops were plentiful, two unicorns (omens of prosperity) appeared in the capital at P'ing-yang, and the wondrous calendar bean made its appearance, producing one pod each day for half a month before the 15 pods withered one by one on successive days.

      Two remarkable events marked Yao's reign: a rampaging flood was controlled by Ta Yü; (Ta Yü) and Hou I, the Lord Archer, saved the world from destruction by shooting down 9 of the 10 suns burning up the Earth.

      Like Fu Hsi, Shen Nung, and Huang Ti before him, Yao had special temples dedicated in his honour. He is said to have offered sacrifices and to have practiced divination. In choosing a successor, Yao bypassed his own less worthy son in favour of Shun and served as counselor to the new emperor.

Japan
      city, Ōsaka fu (urban prefecture), Honshu, Japan, on the Nagase River. The city is situated on mountain slopes and a plain in Kongō-Ikoma Quasi-national Park. The central part of the city was a commercial centre during the Tokugawa period (1603–1867). Yao is now an industrial and residential suburb of the Ōsaka–Kōbe Metropolitan Area, with large-scale machinery, chemical, and textile plants along the river. The railway to Ōsaka was opened in 1925. Pop. (2005) 273,487.

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Universalium. 2010.