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My China Project


For my AACE class presentation on China, I chose to study (and later present) the many ethnic groups of the Yunnan Province. My information was extremely abundant, so to lighten the load for myself, I focused on just three out of the over twenty ethnic minorities. I focused on the particular following three, because of the contact our class will have with them when we travel to China in April.

The three ethnic groups I selected based on that idea were the Yi, the Bai, and the Naxi. I focused on such things like; religion and beliefs, customs and traditions, dress, accomplishments, and festivals usually associated with each culture.

I also included an article I found over the internet from the China Daily newspaper, about a newly developed gene bank at the Yunnan University, where they have collected DNA from men who are a "pure" members of the different ethnic groups that inhabit the Yunnan province. I also touched base on the Cultural Revolution, because of the possibility of it being a contributing factor to why Yunnan Province is so diverse in its culture.
I found out many intersting things about each and every culture that I studied.  For example, I had absolutrly no idea that the Yi are the biggest ethnic group population in the Yunnan Province.  I also had no idea that the Naxi are the creators of the Dongba religion and script.  the following are some more facts about each ethnic group that I studied.


The Yi:
-Their language belongs to the Tibetan-Myanmese language group of the Chinese Tibetan Langage Family.
-They have a syllabic script called "The Old Yi Language", that was formed in the thirteenth century.  It contains 10,000 words , 1,000 being for everyday use.
-The Yi's clothing comes in great variety and is different in different regions.
-They generally consider beardless men to be handsome.
-The Yi family is usually in the form of a clan with a "Suyi" (head man) and "Degu" elders gifted with silver tongues).
-The last one or two syllables of the Father's name go into or are added to the son's.
The Bai:
-They are one of the biggest ethnic groups in the Yunnan province, however their population is not as high as the Yi culture,.
-Bais worship the color white, and white clothing is considered as noble.
-Their architecture is harmonious and elegant in design.
-They are most known as living in Dali, that has become a famous tourist attraction and holds historical importance in China.
-Women wear their hair in a chaplet hair-style with a red ribbon fastening around to the scarf, along with a elegantly embroidered apron.
-They celebrate the "Third Month Fair", "Rao Santing", "Yu Tan Hui", and the "Torch Festival".
-They also find building houses a great joy.  Friends and family come around to give congradsulations to the family building the house.

The Naxi:

-The naxi are also one of the biggest ethnic groups in the Yunnan province.
-Most Naxi believe in the Dongba religion.
-They are fond of singing and dance. The main instruments that they use are flutes, reed pipes, and wind-string. They highly favor music called naxi Ancient Music.
-They clebrate the "Sanduo Festival". Saduo is a Naxi war god, who is said to be born in the year of the goat so on every goat day they sacrafice one to him.
-Their main occupation is agriculture.
-Their language belongs to the Chinese-Tibetan language family.

I have learned so much about each ethnic group that it would be impossible to tell you all of it. if i had the time and resources I would love to study at least part of each ethnic groups culture that excists in the Yunnan province, even the whole of China. I can imagine it to be so full and rich with information that it would be an extreme feet to research and learn about them. Afterall there are so many just within the Yunnan province, and I only know of the ones that are classified by the government! so I bring my summary to a close, and let me just say, wow.

That's all for now folks!

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