Nanhua County History

Nanhua County is a district of hills in the northwest and mountains in the southeast,with some embankment and canyons. The highest peak is Incense temple mountain, rising to 2861.1 meters in the Longtan Mountain of Red Soil Town, and the lowest point is 963 meters in Majie county. It has an area of 2343 square kilometers, population of 239.9 thousand.

By the end of 2012, Nanhua county has an ethnic minority population of 102912 , which accounts for 42.9% of the total population, including 90721 yi, 37.8% of the population; Bai 9215 people, accounting for 3.8% of the population; Hui 2093, accounting for 0.9% of the total population. Multiple minorities promote the colorful and long-standing history of Nanhua county.

The History of Yi Ethnic Group

The Yi or Lolo people[3] are an ethnic group in China, Vietnam, and Thailand. Numbering 8 million, they are the seventh largest of the 55 ethnic minority groups officially recognized by the People’s Republic of China. They live primarily in rural areas ofSichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, and Guangxi, usually in mountainous regions. As of 1999, there were 3,300 “Lô Lô” people living in Hà Giang, Cao Bằng, and Lào Cai provinces in northeastern Vietnam.

The Yi speak various Loloish languages, Sino-Tibetan languages closely related to Burmese. The prestige variety is Nuosu, which is written in the Yi script.

Some scholars believe that the Yi are descended from the ancientQiang people of today’s western China, who are also said to be the ancestors of the Tibetan, Naxi and Qiang peoples. They migrated from southeastern Tibet through Sichuan and into the YunnanProvince, where their largest populations can be found today.

They 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 and northwestern Yunnan 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. Other ethnic groups were held as slaves.