People & Culture
Introduction | Tribes |
Art & Craft | Music & Dance | Traditional Weddings | Festivals
The Yi ethnic minority group, with a population of 7,762,286, according to the national census shown in 2000. The Yi ethnic minority is reputed as a nation with a long history and splendid culture within South Western China. Yi people are distributed mainly in the provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou, and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. It ranks sixth largest population among the minority nationalities in china. There are more than one million Yi people in Sichuan Province and more than three million Yi people in Yunnan.
The Yi people have their own language, and have lasted over one thousand years. Their language is a branch of the Zang-Mian Austronesian of Han-Zang Phylum. Yi characters are the earliest syllabic script in China which was formed in the 13th century; their characters are still used today. One font style represents one meaning, their characters amounts to more than 10,000 characters.
The Yi nationality used to believe in many gods and worshiped ancestors. along with the cherishing of Catholicism, Christianity, and Buddhism. More to the point, some heirlooms left to the Yi people by their ancestors are endowed with magic power that can bring good wills and luck to their owners. Therefore, these highly valued possessions are carefully kept and passed down through generations by generations.
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