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  •     Li Minority

    Editor:luby       Organization:GuangXi Shelton China Travel Inof Co. Ltd.   Edited Date:2008-4-11 17:00:17  

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    People & Culture

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      Most of the Li, an ethnic group south of the Nanling Mountains, 1.24 million people in total, are found in the middle and southern parts of Hainan Province.
    Their history in the Hainan Island can be traced back to cover 3,000 years ago. Today, on the bodies of some aged women, we still see remains of a very ancient practice, tattoos in face, on chest, hands or legs. Some people call these tattoos Dunhuang frescoes on human bodies.
    The Li language, with diverse dialects, belongs to the Zhuang-Dong group of the Sino-Tibetan phylum. Because of long association with the Han people, some of the Li can also speak Chinese. In 1957, they created the written form of Li language based on Roman script.
    The Li people believe all things have spirits and in some places, there are still relics of totem adoration; they all respect seniors and ancestors, and during festivals, they will go to them to pray for peace and harvest. Owing to the spread of Christianity, some of Li have taken to this religion.
    The Li ethnic minority lives basically on agriculture, together with handicrafts, breeding industries and commerce. In their subtropical area, rice can be ripe and harvested three times a year; they turn their proximity to the sea to their advantage, fishing and breeding fish, and establishing a thriving salt industry.

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