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Ethnic Groups Of China
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The government of the People's Republic of China recognizes 56 ethnic groups within the country. The largest ethnic group is the Han Chinese, which make up more than 91% of the population. These people are native to China, and are the largest single ethnic group in the world. Their name comes from the Han Dynasty, which succeeded the Qin Dynasty, the dynasty that was responsible for uniting China. The culture of these people has been influenced by Confucianism. They speak Hanyu and write Hanzi. The Han Chinese traditionally lived in a large rectangular house that had room for the entire extended family, including an elderly wing for the older family members. Buddhism is the religion of the Han group, and is widely influenced by Confucianism and Taoism. Their traditional diet consists mainly of rice, but varies between regions.
The following is a list of each minority ethnic group, including all 55 minorities in alphabetical order:
- Achang - Known for rice growing and iron-weaponry, this is one of the earliest groups in Yunnan.
- Bai - Masters of creativity. These people favor white clothes and decoration.
- Blang - Agricultural practitioners in the Yunnan province, the Blang also enjoy art and literature.
- Bonan - From the Southwest Gansu province, handicraftsmen who study Islam and play instruments.
- Bouyei - This Stone Age culture inhabits the Guizhou province, and are strong in agriculture and embroidery.
- Chaoxian - These people dwell in Northeast China and their ancestors immigrated from Korean peninsula. Their culture and festivals are similar to Han.
- Dai - Southern part of Yunnan province inhabited, known for musical achievements and believe in Southern Buddhism.
- Daur - Small group that is said to be the descendants of the Khitan tribe from the Liao Dynasty, known for rules of etiquette and taboos.
- Deang - These people reside in the Yunnan province and are skilled craftsmen.
- Dong - Found along the border between Hunan, Hubei, and Guizhou, these people are also known as handicraftsmen.
- Dongxiang - This is another Islamic group residing in the Gansu province with a strong focus on farming and stocking.
- Dulong - Known for making carpet, the Dulong believe in two spirits that control everything and only eat two meals per day.
- Ewenki - Living in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, this ethnic group has a belief in varied Gods and are known for singing, dancing, wrestling, and horse racing.
- Gaoshan - Most Gaoshan live on Taiwan and are known for farming and ritual daily activity; they also enjoy folklore.
- Gelao - This is one of the older groups who believe in blessings from Gods and ancestors and excel at blacksmithing and stonecutting.
- Gin - Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region inhabitants that subsist from farming and fishing and believe in Taoism.
- Hani - This group resides close to the Yuan and Lantsang Rivers with spiritual beliefs surrounding Gods and ancestors.
- Hezhen - The smallest minority in China, these people practice Shamanism.
- Hui - Islamic believers, the Hui place spiritual beliefs at the very center of daily life.
- Jingpo - Skilled carvers, painters, and weavers, the Jingpo inhabit the Yunnan province.
- Jinuo - The Jinuo practice a unique form of Animism and are an old minority well known for the Iron Forging Festival.
- Kazakh - Found in Xinjiang, Gansu, and Qinghai, this musical group also practices Islam.
- Kirgiz - The Kirgiz are known for literature, sports, handiwork, animal husbandry, and split beliefs between Tibetan Buddhism and Islam.
- Lahu - The Lahu culture believes in Mahayana and regards black as the most beautiful color.
- Li - Hainan province inhabitants, the Li depend on agriculture, breeding, and handicrafts.
- Lisu - From the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, the Lisu have their own 10-month calendar based on nature.
- Luoba - The Luoba live through agriculture and hunting and reside at the foot of the Himalayas.
- Man - Originating from the Jurchen tribes, the Man founded the Jin and Qing Dynasty and have had a tremendous impact on Chinese history.
- Maonan - The Maonan are well known for agriculture and handicraft; they inhabit the Guangxi province.
- Miao - A larger minority group, the Miao is skilled in handicrafts.
- Monba - Residing in Tibet and known for weaving bamboo, the Monba practice a unique wedding ritual.
- Mongol - Inner Mongolia residents, the Mongols are known for riding horses and their traditional Nadam Fair.
- Mulam - The Mulam is a smaller minority group that believes in natural spirits and is skilled at pottery and iron forging.
- Naxi - The Naxi are known for handicrafts, stock breeding, and farming; they practice the Dongba religion.
- Nu - Southwest Yunnan province inhabitants, the Nu believe everything has a spirit - somewhat similar to fundamental Christian beliefs.
- Oroqen - The Oroqen are inner Mongolia residents who are skilled at hunting and handicrafts.
- Primi - The Primi believe in Gods and ancestors and live on agriculture and livestock.
- Qiang - Found in Aba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, the Qiang are a small minority in China.
- Russ - The Russ peoples are Russian immigrants from 18th century; they also celebrate Christmas and Easter.
- Salar - Handicrafts and agriculture are central to daily life for the Salar; they live in various regions throughout the country.
- She - The She believe in ancestors and totems and reside in Fujian and Zhejiang.
- Shui - With their own unique language, the Shui are known for handicrafts like stone-carving.
- Tagik - The Tagik have a long history in China and believe in Islam and stress etiquette.
- Tatar - Another small group, the Tatar have their own language and follow Islam. Agriculture and handicrafts are also very central to daily life.
- Tu - The Tu practice Animism and Taoism and live on agriculture and breeding.
- Tujia - The Tujia make their living from agriculture and fishing and believe in God and ancestors spirits.
- Uygur - Islamic believers, the Uygur live in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regions.
- Uzbek - The Uzbek depend on stock breeding and handicrafts and live near the Uygur minority.
- Wa - With strong Buddhist and Christian beliefs, the Wa reside in Yunnan province and live primarily from agriculture.
- Xibe - Agricultural and stock husbandry practices are great traditions for the Xibe who live in various areas throughout China.
- Yao - South China mountainous areas are home to this group well known for handcrafted wines.
- Yi - The Yi have a long history in China and various beliefs that are treasured by their population.
- Yugur - The Yugur are Ginsu province nomads who live on stock breeding and believe in Lamaism.
- Zang - Tibetan Autonomous Region inhabitants, the Zang practice Buddhist teachings.
- Zhuang - China's largest minority, the Zhuang have a long history and rich culture and reside in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
See the Ethnic Group Distribution Map