A great part of the history and traditions of Achang minority has been transmitted from generation to generation through music and songs. Music is one of the mainstays of their culture, and they usually finish all celebrations with songs and dances. The unmarried young people usually comb their hair with two braids that gather on their head. The typical clothes of Achang minority vary according to village. The married women dress in long skirts whereas the unmarried ones wear trousers. Men usually use the colors blue, or black to make their shirts, buttoned to a side while unmarried men surround their head with a fabric of white color whereas the married ones use a blue color.
Bao'an is an ethnic group mainly living in Gansu and Qinghai provinces of northwestern China. They are one of the "titular nationalities" of Gansu's Jishishan Bonan, Dongxiang and Salar Autonomous County, which is located south of the Yellow River, near Gansu's border with Qinghai. Numbering approximately 17,000, Bao'an is the 7th smallest of the 56 ethnic groups.
It is known that around 1585 Bao'an people has lived in Tongren County (in Amdo Tibetan Region that is presently in Qinghai Province), north of the Tibetan Rebgong Monastery. Bao'an people’s traditional dress includes elements of Tibetan, Hui and Dongxiang clothing. Married Bao'an women wear black veils, while unmarried women wear green veils. Bao'an men typically wear black or white head coverings and white jackets. Bao'an people are agriculturalists and also knife makers. Bao'an knives are renowned for their beauty and hardness. Their manufacture and sale form an important part of the local economy, along with farming and ranching.
Blang, also spelled Bulong, is a Chinese ethnic group which lived in the Lancang river valley during ancient times. It is believed that these people were one branch of a number of peoples that were collectively known to the ancient Chinese as the “Baipu”, literally the "Hundred Pu".
Traditionally, Blang people considered teeth blackened by chewing betel nuts a beauty characteristic. The people of this minority are mostly animists, in addition to ancestor worship. They also combine their native beliefs with Theravada Buddhism.
The houses of Blang people are made out of bamboo and usually consist of two floors. The first floor is designed as a warehouse for food and a stable for livestock animals, such as chickens, whereas the second is designed to house the family. The chimney is located in the center of the house.
Buyi People mostly live in the many Buyi-Miao autonomous counties of Xingyi and Anshun as well as Qiannan Buyi-Miao Autonomous Prefecture in Guizhou Province.
This ethnic group possesses a rich variety of folk literature, which includes fairy tales, fables, folk songs, proverbs and poems. Buyi’s Bayin, the eight-sound style of singing is a form of folk art which has been passed down from generation to generation. Eight performers hold gourds such as Yueqin (a four-stringed plucked instrument with a full-moon-shaped sound box) or other instruments and sing in turns. It is said that Bayin was very popular during the Ming and Qing Dynasties to a degree that there were more than three hundred bands performing the eight-sound style music. Eight-sound songs were gradually formed over the long-term production and practice of the Buyi people. It's at the root of the regional flavor, the best of the Buyi collective wisdom and a national folk art treasure. However, the existence and development of the art form is facing huge challenge with the development of modern science.
Daur minority, a Mongolian sub-ethnic group, numbered about 132,000 and most of them live in the Morin Dawa Daur Autonomous Banner in Hulun Buir, Inner Mongolia autonomous region of China. There are also some near Tacheng in Xinjiang, where their ancestors were moved there during the Qing Dynasty.
During the winter, Daur women wear long dresses, generally blue in color and boots of skin which they change for long trousers in summer. The men dress in oreganos caps in fox or red deer skin made for winter. In the summer, they cover the animal's head with white colored fabrics or straw hats. A customary sport of Daur people is Beikou, a game similar to field hockey or street hockey, which has been played by this ethnic group for about 1,000 years.
De'ang minority is grouped together by the Chinese government from the Pale, Riang, Rumai and Shwe peoples as the De'ang ethnic nationality. Most De'ang people are adherents of Theravada Buddhism and Buddhist temples can be found in most of their towns. Buddhism is present in all of the daily activities of this ethnic group. At the age of 10, many children are sent to the monasteries, primarily for education. Most of them return to lay life in later years. The Riang are the only one of the four groups who has never converted to Buddhism. The majority of the Riang are animists.
Derung, also spelt as Drung or Dulong, is an ethnic group of China. Their population of 6,000 is found in the Nujiang Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan province, in the Dulong valley. Another 600 can be found east of the Dulong valley, living in the mountains above the Nu Jiang (Salween River) near the village of Bingzhongluo in northern Gongshan County.
The typical dress of Derung women consists of a dress made in fabric lined on colors black and white. Formerly, the women used to tattoo their faces when they reached the age of twelve or thirteen. The tattoos of some women resembled masculine mustaches. Houses are usually constructed out of wood.
Although some Derung people have converted to Christianity, the vast majority continue to believe in their animist native religion. There is a belief that all the creatures have their own souls. Usually diverse sacrifices are made in order to calm down the malignant spirits. The role of the shaman is of great importance since they are the ones in charge of the rituals. During the celebrations of the Derung New Year, which is celebrated in the month of December of the lunar calendar, diverse animal sacrifices are celebrated to make an offering to the sky.
Dongxiang people mostly live in the Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture and surrounding areas of Gansu Province in northwestern China. Other Dongxiang groupings can also be found in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province, and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
Dongxiang speak Dongxiang language which is a member of the Mongolic family. They also have a rich tradition of oral literature, and use the Arabic alphabet. As a result of the language shift, some 20,000 people in several villages in the northeastern Dongxiang County now speak the "Tangwang language": a creolized version of Mandarin with a strong Dongxiang influence, in particular in its grammar.
Ewenki minority, also spelled as Evenki, is an ethnic group of China with a population of about 30,000.
Evenki people wear a characteristic costume adapted to the cold but rather dry climate of Central Siberia and to a life of mobility. They usually wear a deerskin coat that did not close in front but was instead covered with an apron-like cloth. Some Evenki people also decorate their clothing with fringes or embroidery. The traditional Evenki economy was a mix of pastoralism (of horses or reindeer), fishing, and hunting. Along with their main hunting implements, hunters always carried a “pike”—“which was a large knife on a long handle used instead of an axe when passing through the thick taiga or as a spear when hunting bear”. Evenki people have deep respects for animals and all elements of nature: "It is forbidden to torment an animal, bird, or insect, and a wounded animal must be finished off immediately. It is forbidden to spill the blood of a killed animal or defile it. It is forbidden to kill animals or birds that were saved from pursuit by predators or came to a person for help in a natural disaster".
Gaoshan Nationality, literally "original inhabitants", is the term commonly applied in reference to the indigenous peoples of Taiwan. Although Taiwanese indigenous groups hold a variety of creation myths, recent research suggests their ancestors may have been living on the islands for approximately 8,000 years before major Han Chinese immigration began in the 17th century. Taiwanese aborigines are Austronesian peoples, with linguistic and genetic ties to other Austronesia ethnic groups, such as peoples of the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Madagascar, Polynesia, and Oceania.
Gelao, also spelled as Gelo and Klau, with an approximate population of 438,200, are mainly located in the western part of the Guizhou Province, including such places as Liupanshui, Anshun, Dafang and Bijie. Some other Gelao people live in western Guangxi, southeastern Yunnan, and southern Sichuan. The main religion practiced is Taoism with a small but significant Buddhists.
The traditional suits of Gelao men consist of jacket done up to a side and long pants. Gelao women utilize short jackets and narrow skirts divided into three parts: the head office is elaborate in red wool while the other two are of fabric bordered in black and white colors. Both men and women utilize long scarves. In their traditional music, Gelao people use a two-stringed fiddle with a body made from a cow horn, called the Jiaohu.
Hezhe, or Nani, formerly also known as Golds and Samagir, is an ethnic group who have traditionally lived along Heilongjiang, Songhuajiang and Ussuri rivers on the Middle Amur Basin. Hezhe means “people of the Orient”, their ancestors were the Jurchens of northernmost Manchuria.
The Nanai or Hezhe language belongs to the Manchu-Tungusic branch of the Altai languages. Some of the earliest first-hand accounts of the Nanai people in the European languages belong to the French Jesuit geographers traveling on the Ussury and the Amur in 1709. According to them, the native people living on the Ussury and on the Amur above the mouth of the Dondon River (which falls into the Amur between today's Khabarovsk and Komsomolsk-on-Amur) were known as Yupi Tartars (fish-skin tartars), while the name of the people living on the Dondon and on the Amur below.
Jing minority, inhabited in some areas of the southwestern China, were an ethnic group emigrated from Vietnam hundreds of years ago. Actually the transcription Gin people is the standard Romanization of ethnic name in China. They speak Vietnamese, mixed with Cantonese dialect, and some Mandarin. Jing people mainly live on 3 islands off the coast of Dongxing city, Fangchenggang, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
The ancestors of Jing minority emigrated from Viet Nam to China in the early 16th century and firstly settled on the three uninhabited lands. Shoulder to shoulder with the Han and Zhuang people there, they developed the border areas together and sealed close relations in their joint endeavors over the centuries.
Jing people like antiphonal songs which are melodious and lyrical. Their traditional instruments include the two-stringed fiddle, flute, drum, gong and the single-stringed fiddle, a unique musical instrument of the ethnic group. Folk stories and legends abound. Their favorite dances feature lanterns, fancy colored sticks, embroidery and dragons. Jing costume is simple and practical. Traditionally, Jing women wear tight-fitting, collarless short blouses buttoned in front plus a diamond-shaped top apron and broad black or brown trousers. When going out, they would put on a light colored gown with narrow sleeves. Men wear long jackets reaching down to the knees and girdles.
Jingpo minority, with a population of about 132,000, is an ethnic group affinity of several tribal groups, known for their fierce independence, disciplined fighting skills, complex clan inter-relations, embrace of Christianity, craftsmanship, herbal healing and jungle survival skills.
Jingpo dwellings are usually two stories and built out of wood and bamboo. The houses are of oval form; the first floor serves as a storage and stable while the second is utilized for living quarters. Jingpo women often dress in black jackets with silver decorations. They also wear wool skirts made in bright colors. While Jingpo men usually wear black and wide pants, covering their heads with turbans: the youths with white turbans and the adults with black turbans.
Jino ethnic group, with a total population of around 21,000, resides primarily in Jinghong County of Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province. Named after the Jino Mountain in Xishuangbanna, their name means “Descendants of uncle” or “ethnic group which respects the uncle”. There are several versions of the origin of the Jino ethnic group. Some people think that Jino people are the native dwellers of Jino Mountain while some claim that they are descendants of the Qiang people who migrated into the Jinsha River area.
Jino people are animists, believing that all things on earth have souls. They worship their ancestors, who they believe can bring good future and prosperity to their offspring. To Jino people, the sun-drum is not only a musical instrument, but also a most divine object to worship. Usually, each village has two sun drums, the Father Drum and the Mother Drum. Both of them are regarded as the embodiment of the divine spirits and the symbol of the village. Jino people worship the two sun drums in hopes of good harvests and prosperity. People are forbidden to touch or strike them except during the Spring Festivals.
Jino villages are usually built on the mountain slopes that face the sun. Made by bamboo or wood, Jino houses are usually oblong in shapes which normally have two stories. A central fireplace is set in the meeting room for cooking as well as a source of both heat and light.
Jino people are all good at singing and dancing. Their dance “Echeguo”, which means Big Drum Dance, is also famous. The dance is often performed at religious rituals such as celebrating ceremonies of building a new house and on certain festival occasions. Besides drums, Jino people are proficient on a number of other unique instruments such as bamboo cylinders, bamboo flutes, mouth strings, three-stringed guitars, etc. Jino ethnic group also has a rich oral folk literature, which includes fairy tales, legends, stories, riddles, etc.
Kazakhs, also spelled as Kazaks or Qazaqs, are descendants of the Turkic tribes. Kazakhs is called "Kazakh people" or "Kazakh tribe" among the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by Chinese government. In China there is one Kazakh autonomous prefecture, the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, three Kazakh autonomous counties, Aksai Kazakh Autonomous County in Gansu, Barkol Kazakh Autonomous County and Mori Kazakh Autonomous County in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Many Kazakhs in China are not fluent in Standard Chinese, instead speaking the Kazakh language. Since the early 21st century, Mamuer Rayeskan, a young Kazakh musician from Qitai, Xinjiang Province, now living in Beijing, has achieved some renown for his reworking of Kazakh folk songs with his group, with which he sings and plays acoustic guitar, dombra, and jaw harp.
Korean, Chinese people call them Chaoxianzu or Joseonjok, is an ethnic group of a estimated population at 2 million. [update]Most of Chaoxianzu people live in Northeast China, especially in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture.
Throughout the history, due to the close interactions between China and Korea, some degree of population movements has always occurred between the two neighboring countries. There were written records of Korean migrations in the early Qing Dynasty, Ming Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty, Tang dynasty and further earlier. The majority of early Korean populations in China had assimilated with Chinese society. The current Korean population in China is mainly descended from migrants who came between 1860 and 1945. Most ethnic Koreans in China speak Mandarin Chinese and many also speak fluent Korean as their mother tongue.
Korean minority like to use sing and dance to express their feelings. With a long and exquisite national culture and art tradition, Korean people are especially good at singing and dancing. In a family blessing, family members shall sing and dance, forming the interesting "family dance party". Gayageum playing, fan dance, long-drum dance are all popular traditional programs among Korean people.
Kyrgyz, with a population of more than 145,000, is known in China as Ke’erkezi minority. In the 19th century, Russian settlers on traditional Kirghiz land drove a lot of the Kirghiz over the border to China, causing their population to increase here.
Kirghiz people in Xinjiang revolted in the 1932 Kirghiz rebellion, and also participated in the Battle of Kashgar (1933), and the Battle of Kashgar (1934). They are found mainly in the Kizilsu Kirghiz Autonomous Prefecture in the southwestern part of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, with a smaller remainder found in the neighboring Wushi (Uqturpan), Aksu, Shache (Yarkand), Yingisar, Taxkorgan and Pishan (Guma), and in Tekes, Zhaosu (Monggolkure), Emin (Dorbiljin), Bole (Bortala), Jinghev (Jing) and Gonliu in northern Xinjiang. Several hundred Kyrgyz whose forefathers immigrated to Northeast China more than 200 years ago now live in Wujiazi Village in Fuyu County, Heilongjiang Province.
Lahu people divide themselves into a number of subgroups, such as the Lahu Na (Black Lahu), Lahu Nyi (Red Lahu), Lahu Hpu (White Lahu), Lahu Shi (Yellow Lahu) and the Lahu Shehleh. Where a subgroup name refers to a color, it refers to the traditional color of their dress. These groups do not function as tribes or clans. There are no kin groups above that of the family. Lahu trace descent bilaterally, and typically practice matrilocal residence. About 450,000 Lahu people live in Yunnan province.
Lhoba is a term of obscure (though probably Tibetan) origin which has come to apply to a diverse amalgamation of Tibeto-Burman tribes people living in and around "Pemako" (a region in Southeastern Tibet), including Mainling, Medog, Zayu counties of Nyingchi Prefecture and Lhunze County of Shannan Prefecture.
Lhoba cuisine varies across regions. Staple foods are dumplings made of maize or millet flour, rice or buckwheat. In places near Tibetan communities people have tsampa, potatoes, buttered tea and spicy food. Being heavy drinkers and smokers, at celebration Lhoba people enjoy wine and singing to observe good harvests and good luck. The buttered tea is their favorite drink. However, due to the lack of salt, they had suffered endemic goiter, caused by poor living conditions.
Young Lhoba boys are trained to hunt at an early age. However, women had low status in society and had no inheritance rights from their husbands or fathers. Lhoba minority also enjoys a subtropical temperate climate. Many customs, habits and dress of different clan members may vary.
Li, or Hlai, is a minority ethnic group whose vast majority live off the southern coast of mainland China on Hainan Island, where they are the largest minority ethnic group. Believed to be descendants of the ancient Yue tribes of China who settled on the island thousands of years ago, Li minority is divided into the five branches of the Qi, Ha, Run, Sai and Meifu. Li people have their own distinctive culture and customs. They refer to themselves as the Hlai people, but they are sometimes colloquially known as "Sai" or "Say", and during the Sui Dynasty they were known by the name Liliao. Li people play traditional wind instrument called kouxiao and Lilaluo.
Lisu people inhabit in the mountainous regions of Southwest China. With a population of around 730,000, Lisu people live in Lijiang, Baoshan, Nujiang, Diqing and Dehong prefectures in Yunnan Province. Lisu nationality is believed to originate from eastern Tibet. Research done by Lisu scholars indicates that they moved to northwestern Yunnan. They inhabited a region across Baoshan and the Tengchong plain for thousands of years. Lisu tribe consists of more than 58 different clans. Each family clan has its own name or surname. The biggest family clans well known among the tribe clans are Laemae pha (Shue or The Grass), Bya pha (The Bee), Thorne pha, Ngwa Pha (Fish), Naw pha (Thou or Bean), Seu pha (the Woods) and Khaw pha. Most of the family names came from their own work as hunters in the primitive time. Later till today, they adopted many Chinese family names.
Man or Manchu is an ethnic minority of China who originated in Manchuria located in northeastern China. During their rise in the 17th century, with the help of the Ming Dynasty rebels, they came to power in China and founded the Qing Dynasty, which ruled China until the Xinhai Revolution in 1911. Today Manchu is the 3rd largest ethnic group in China after the Han and the Zhuang.
Aspects of Manchu customs and traditions can be seen in local cuisines, language and customs in northeastern China. Man people traditionally coiled their hair in high tufts on top of their heads and wore earrings, long gowns and embroidered shoes. Women with higher social standing wore silk and satin clothing while cotton clothing was worn by women of lower social standing. Variants of such costumes (including Qi Pao and Ma Gua, Mandarin dress) are still popular all over China. Particularly, Qi Pao has been more and more attractive for females around the world.
The traditional Man dwellings were made up of three quarters that are called pocket rooms. In the center of the house was the kitchen while the wings contained the dormitory and the living room. The unique Manchu tradition did not allow people to die to the direction of west or north. Believing that doors were made for living souls, Man people allowed dead bodies to be taken out only through windows and ground burial was the general practice.
Maonan people, with a population of around 107,000, mostly live in northern Guangxi of China. Interestingly, more than one 80% of Maonan share the same surname: Tan.
Maonan towns are organized by clan, which are very similar to those of the Zhuang. Maonan houses are usually made up of two floors and constructed out of clay. The upper floor is used as the living quarters while the lower one serves as a granary and stable. Maonan cuisine includes many pickled dishes, of which the most famous ones are known as "the Three Maonan Sour Dishes". These three dishes include picked meat, fermented soup and dish preserved with pork pieces. Rice wine is also popular among Maonan people. Traditionally, the marriages were arranged by the parents when the future newlyweds are still children.
Mongol minority has a population of approximately 5.8 million. Mongols are also called Mongolian, they are is distributed primarily in the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region along with others in provinces like Qinghai, Gansu, Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang. Mongolian people called themselves “Mongol” which means everlasting fire, just as this ethnic minority is brave and unconstrained with a profound history.
Mongols were originated from a tribe in Northern China in the seventh century of the Tang Dynasty. In the 12th century, a legendary leader, Temujin, unified the Mongolian tribes. Afterwards, Emperor Shizu Kublai established the Yuan Dynasty when the Chinese territory reached its summit and the cultural communication had improved a great deal. The Mongolian language belongs to the Mongolian group of the Altaic phylum and has three main dialects. The written form is derived from that of the 13th century and experienced many changes. Mongolians have made brilliant achievements in their literature. The “Mongolian Secret History” has been listed among the world's famous works by UNESCO.
Mongolians are living on vast grasslands. Therefore, stockbreeding played a major role in their development, together with agriculture, handicrafts, and other processing industries. Mongolian people take milk and meat as their daily staple food and drink. They enjoy drinking the milk of sheep, horses, deer and camels. Koumiss, fermented out of horse milk, is a kind of distinctive wine with the function of driving out coldness and as well as strengthening the stomach. Tender and boiled mutton is also representative as their traditional food. The grandest festival is the Nadam Fair for Mongolian people. Many will participate in the exciting competitions of shooting, wrestling, and horse-riding.
Monpa minority is known for wood carving, Thangka painting, carpet making and weaving. Due to the cold climate of the Himalayas, Monpa minority constructs houses of stone and wood with plank floors, often accompanied with beautifully carved doors and window frames. The roof is made with bamboo matting, keeping their house warm during the winter season. In every household, small Buddhist altars placed with statues of Buddha are given water offerings in little cups and burning butter lamps. The traditional dress of Monpa people is based on the Tibetan Chugba, although woolen coats and trousers may be worn as well. Monpa men wear a skull cap of felt with fringes or tassels while Monpa women tend to wear a warm jacket and a sleeveless chemise that reaches down to the calves, tying the chemise round the waist with a long and narrow piece of cloth. Ornaments include silver rings, earrings made of flat pieces of bamboo with red beads or turquoises are worn as well. One can see a person wearing a cap with a single peacock feather round their felt hats. Principal Monpa festivals include Choskar harvest, Losar, Ajilamu and Torgya.
Mulao, or Mulam, is one of the 56 ethnic groups of China. In its name Mulam, Mu is a classifier for human beings and lam (in some dialects it is kyam) is another form of the name used by the Dong (Kam), to whom the Mulam people are ethnically related. A large portion of the Mulam in Guangxi lives in Luocheng Mulao Autonomous County of Hechi, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Prefecture.
Traditionally, the marriages among the Mulao were arranged by the parents and new wives did not live together with their husbands until the birth of their first son. Mulao houses are made out of clay with brick roofs and are composed of three rooms. The animals are maintained far away of the family dwellings.
The traditional clothing of for Mulao men consists of a jacket of large buttons, wide pants and sandal. The single women arranged their hair into two tresses that becomes a tuft when they are married.
Nu minority, with a population of 27,000, is divided into the Northern, Central and Southern groups. Their homeland is in high mountains and deep ravines crossed by the Lancang, Dulong and Nujiang rivers. The name "Nu" comes from the fact that they were living near the Nujiang River. 90% of Nu people are found in Gongshan, Fugong and Lanping counties in Yunnan Province, along with Lisu, Tibetan, Nakhi, Bai and Han ethnic groups. There is also a sparse distribution of Nu in Weixi County in the Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and Zayu County in Tibet.
Nu people build their houses made out of either bamboo-slips or wooden planks near the mountains, though houses made out of the latter type are more prevalent due to its better strength. Agriculture is Nu minority’s main occupation. Bamboo and wooden farm tools were the tools for planting, and major crops include maize, buckwheat, barley, potatoes, yams and beans.
Nu people celebrate the tribal flower-fairy festival, which is mainly celebrated by the Nu in the Gongshan area of Yunnan province. According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the festival comes on the 15th of March annually and lasts for three days. Upon the arrival of the festival, Nu people will pick bunches of azaleas and sacrifices the fairy maiden at a cave, literally known as Fairy People Cave. After the ceremony, people drink together at home, and dress up in their traditional costumes, holding fresh flowers. Ball matches akin to football matches, bow and arrow competitions are held as well. Another festival is the Jijilamu Festival. It is mainly celebrated by Nu people living in Bijiang, Fugong, Gongshan, Lanping and Weixi counties of Yunnan Province, although Losar is also celebrated by the Tibetan Buddhist Nu.
Oroqen ethnic group is one of the oldest ethnic groups in northeast China. Their name Oroqen, means "people using reindeer". Since having been leaving in the mountainous areas, Oroqen people are mainly hunters and it is customary of them to use animal fur and skins for clothing. Many of them have given up hunting and adhered to laws that aimed to protect wildlife in China. The government is said to have provided modern dwellings for those who have left behind the traditional way of life. The traditional dwelling, called Sierranju is covered in the summer with birch bark and in the winter with deer furs. These dwellings have conical forms and are made out of 20 to 30 pine sticks.
Pumi, or Primi, is ethnically related to the Tibetans in the Muli Tibetan Autonomous County and Yanyuan County in Sichuan Province. Pumi people are recognized as an official minority nationality unique to Yunnan, with a population of 30,000. Communities are found notably in Pumi and Bai Autonomous County of Lanping, Yi Autonomous County of Ninglang, Lijiang Old Town, Naxi Autonomous County of Yulong, Lisu Autonomous County of Weixi and Yongsheng County, typically at elevations above 4,000 meters.
Pumi people are culturally influenced by the Tibetans. Owing to its cold weather and its close proximity to Tibet, the lifestyle of Prinmi-speaking Tibetans closely resembles to that of the Tibetans. On the other hand, Pumi people who live in Yunnan have adopted a lifestyle similar to that of the Chinese. For instance, rice has become the staple food for most Pumi.
The traditional way of Pumi people to preserve pork is to remove all the inner organs and the feet of a large pig. Lean meat is made into sausages while the entire slaughtered pig is sewed up after salt is added inside the body. The sewed-up salty body wrapped in pork skin, large in the bottom and small in the head, resembles the shape of a pipa after it is dried up. A traditional beer-like drink called Pri is brewed by every Pumi family in villages.
Generally, Pumi live in a patrilineal and monogamous society, although polygamy is accepted in places like Yongning in northern Ninglang. Alongside the Mosuo people, Pumi people here adopt a matriarchal system linked to the Azhu system, which literally means friendship, and families are formed by virtue of consanguinity instead of marriage.
Russians form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by Chinese government. They are the descendants of Russians who settled in China since the 17th century, and hold PRC nationality rather than Russian citizenship.
There are currently over 15,000 ethnic Russians in China. However, at least 70,000 Russians are residing in China while keeping their Russian or other nationality.
Salar people live mostly in the Qinghai-Gansu border region, on both sides of the Yellow River, namely in Xunhua Salar Autonomous County and Hualong Hui Autonomous Countyof Qinghai and the adjacent Jishishan Bao’an, Dongxiang and Salar Autonomous County of Gansu. There are also Salar people living in Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture of Xinjiang.
Salar people had their own unique kinship clanships. They are patriarchal and exogamous. The typical clothing of the Salar is very similar to other Muslims in the region. Men are commonly bearded and dress in white shirts and white or black skullcaps while young single women are accustomed to dressing in Chinese dress of bright colors. The married women utilize the traditional veil in white or black colors. Salar people have a musical instrument called the Kouxuan. It is a string instrument manufactured in silver or in copper and only played by Salar women.
She is the largest minority in Fujian province. They are also present in the provinces of Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi and Guangdong. Some descendants of She people also exist among the Hakka minority in Taiwan.
Language used by She people is a Hmong–Mien language. Most of She people today speak Chinese dialects, like Hakka. Those who retain their own language, approximately 1,200 individuals in Guangdong province, call themselves Ho Ne, namely the “mountain people". Some said they were descendants of Dongyi, Nanman or Yue peoples. During the Ming- Qing dynasties they moved into and settled Zhejiang's southern region and mountain districts in the Lower Yangtze region, after they left their homeland in Northern Fujian. It is theorized that She people were pushed out of their land by the Hakka, which caused them to move into Zhejiang Province.
Sui Minority, or Shuizu, is an ethnic group living mostly in Guizhou Province. Sui people are descended from the ancient Baiyue peoples, who had inhabited southern China before the Han dynasty. The name "Shui," which means "water" in Chinese, was adopted in the Ming Dynasty.
The staple food of the Sui people is glutinous rice. Supplementary grains and tubers include corn, wheat, barley, millet, and sweet potatoes. Rice is either steamed in a bamboo steamer or cooked in a covered pot over a low fire. Sui women give glutinous rice to relatives when visiting them. Fish is one of the most important sources of food. Sui minority is also famed for their Jiuqian wine. Horsetail embroidery is the existing oldest primitive art of Sui minority in Sandu Sui Autonomous County of Guizhou Province. The material to be used should be selected strictly while the craftsmanship is relatively complex that skills are needed. Generally, there are more than ten procedures to make out a horsetail embroidery product, consuming as many as one month to complete. Known as the "living fossil", horsetail embroidery is the valuable art material to research Sui ethnic group’s folklore, worship and national culture.
Tatar ethnic group in China has a population of about 10,000, most of who live in the towns of Yining, Tacheng, and Urumqi in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Prefecture. Tatar minority is historically named the "Dadan", who was descended from a branch of the Mongolian tribe.
Tatar cuisine includes scones, pastries, beef and mutton dishes as well as various vegetables. Tatar drinks include the beer-like "keerxima", which is made from fermented honey, and “Kesaile", a wine brewed from wild grapes. Tatar men usually wear embroidered white shirts,. Young people like to wear peaked caps, and long leather shoes. Tatar women usually wear white, yellow, or amaranth pleated one-piece skirts as well as small hats, with a short “veil” covering the back of their heads and necks. Tatar people have strong sense of musical rhythm. Their music is full of grassland sentiment, and is accompanied by accordion, mandolin, violin, etc. Tatar people celebrate their "Saban Festival" (plowshare festival) each year after they finished their spring plowing. This ethnic group also celebrates Corban Festival and Almsgiving Festival in line with other Islamic believers. Their favorite sports include wrestling, horse racing, and tug of war.
Tajik is an ethnic group that lives in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The population of Tajiks in China numbers at about 41,000. They are located in China's western Xinjiang region with 60% living in Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County. Despite the name "Tajik" that is used to refer to them, Tajiks of China do not speak the Tajik language. In China, the languages of the Tajik people have no official written form.
Tajik people in China are adherents of the Nizari Ismaili sect of Shia Islam. Restrictions by the Chinese government bars foreign Ismailia preachers from openly working among the Tajik people in China and the religious leader of the of Nizari sect, the Aga Khan, is barred from offering aid to Tajiks.
Tu, or Monguor, White Mongol, Chagan Mongol, with a total population of around 241,000, live mostly in Qinghai and Gansu provinces. Most Tu people are farmers while some of them have a few livestock. The name "Tu" was most likely associated with a derogatory meaning and "indigenous people". Its derogatory undertone came from the concurrent meaning of the Chinese character "Tu" for "soil." The ethnic history of the Monguor is contested. It has been suggested that their origins are related to the Xianbei.
Tu minority culture and social organizations have been influenced by Confucianism. The religions of the Monguor reflect elements of Tibetan) Buddhism, Taoism, Shamanism, and local beliefs not easily categorized. A few Tu in Huzhu and Minhe are Christian.
Tujia, with a total population of over 8 million, is the 6th largest ethnic minority in China. They live in Wuling Mountains, straddling the common borders of Hunan, Hubei and Guizhou Provinces as well as Chongqing Municipality. The endonym Bizika means "native dwellers". In Chinese, Tujia means also "local household".
Today, traditional Tujia customs can only be found in the most remote areas. Tujia people are renowned for their singing and song composing abilities. Their tradition of the Baishou Dance (hands waving dance), a 500 year old collective dance which uses 70 ritual gestures to represent war, farming, hunting, courtship and other aspects of traditional life, is regarded as the essence of Tujia art. Tujia minority is also famous for its richly-patterned brocade, known as Xilankapu, a product that in earlier days regularly figured in their tribute payments to the Chinese court. As to religion, most of the Tujia worship a white tiger totem, although some Tujia in western Hunan worship a turtle totem.
Uzbek ethnic group, with a population of 14,800, mainly live in compact communities in Yining, Tacheng, Kashgar, Urumqi, Shache, and Yecheng in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
In the 15th century, with the breakup of the Mongolia Empire, a number of Uzbek merchants traveled along "the Silk Road" through Xinjiang to do business in inland areas. Some of them settled in certain cities in Xinjiang and were later named Uzbek. Most Uzbek people are city dwellers. They mainly engage in trade, education, science, and handcraft industries. A small part of the population, living in southern Xinjiang, is engaged in agriculture.
Va nationality, live in compact communities of Ximeng, Cangyuan, Menglian, Gengma, Lincang, Shuangjiang, Zhenkang and Yongde counties in southwestern Yunnan Province. Their population is estimated at around 400,000. Va people live in bamboo houses that are similar in shape to those of the Dai people. Va ethnic group is hospital and warm to the guests. When guests enter Va houses, they will be entertained with wine in bamboo cups as a token of welcome and respect. Most of Va people are nature worshippers, but some are Theravada Buddhists or Christians.
Xibe, or Sibo, is a Tungusic ethnic group living mostly in northeast China and Xinjiang. Xibe people originally lived on the Nonni and Songhua river valleys in central Manchuria. In 1692, the Khorchin dedicated Xibe, Gūwalca and Daur ethnic groups to Emperor Kangxi in exchange for silver. Xibe group was incorporated into the Eight Banners and were stationed in Qiqihar and other cities in Manchuria. After conquering eastern Turkestan, Emperor Qianlong garrisoned part of the Xibe there in 1764 to defend the new frontier.
The traditional dress of Xibe people was similar to the traditional dress of the Man people. Nowadays almost all Xibe people wear Western clothing and the traditional clothing is worn by elders during festivals. Traditionally, Xibe minority was divided into Hala, clans consisting of people who shared the same surname. Until modern times, the dwellings of Xibe people housed up to three different generations from a same family, since it was believed that while the father was alive no son could break the family clan and to the house.
Yi minority, or called the Lolo, is an ethnic group numbering 8 million in China. They live primarily in rural areas, usually in mountainous regions. Most Yi people are farmers, herders of cattle, sheep and goats as well as nomadic hunters.
Yi people practice a form of animism, led by a shaman priest known as the Bimaw. They still retain a few ancient religious texts written in their unique pictographic script. Their religion also contains many elements of Daoism and Buddhism.
Many of the Yi in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province and northwestern Yunnan Province practiced a complicated form of slavery. People were split into the Nuohuo or Black Yi (nobles), Qunuo or White Yi (commoners), and slaves. White Yi were free and could own property and slaves but were in a way tied to a lord.
Yugur, or Yellow Uyghur as they are traditionally known, consisting of about 14,000 persons, live primarily in Sunan Yugur Autonomous County in Gansu Province. They are Buddhists, unlike the Xinjiang Uyghur people who had converted to Islam. Scholors like Pal Nyiri and Joana Breidenbach say that Yugur's culture, language, and religion, are closer to the original culture of the original Uyghur Confederation at Karakorum, than the culture of the modern Uyghur people of Xinjiang. Yugur people are predominantly employed in animal husbandry.