Ethnic China: Ethnic Guizhou


With 176.000 square km and 40 millions inhabitants, Guizhou is the poorest province of China, with a per capita GDP of only 4.000 yuan, their habitants are six times poorer than those living in east China.

Guizhou was a province mainly inhabited by minority people, but after the devastating slaughtering that followed the Miao Wars of 19th century, minority population decreased spectacularly.

We can visualize the ethnic composition of Guizhou drawing three strips that will cross the province from north to south. The eastern one will shadow the lands inhabited by Dong nationality, the central one those of the Miao and the western one the Buyi lands.

As the Dong and Buyi are lowland populations, their territory is well differentiated, as to the branches of the Miao, usually extend their location to the east and west of the province.

The rest of the minorities are culturally related to them, speaking languages of the Kam-Dai family or the Miao-Yao family, except for an important number of Yi living in the west corner of Guizhou, Weining Yi, Hui and Miao Autonomous County.

Guizhou Province it is divided into:

Three Autonomous Prefectures

- Southeast Guizhou (Qiandongnan) Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture. In the southwest part of the province. Inhabited mainly by Miao and Dong nationalities. The Dong in the lowlands, the Miao in the mountains.

- South Guizhou (Qiannan) Buyi and Miao Autonomous Prefecture. En the central south of the province. The lowland are inhabited by Buyi nationality, and Shui nationality, who have an autonomous county there; the mountains by some Miao branches.

- Southwest Guizhou (Qianxinan) Buyi and Miao Autonomous Prefecture. In the southwest part of the province. Here again the lowlands are inhabited by Buyi nationality and the mountains by Miao nationality.

Two regions

- Tongren region. In the northeast of the province. It has some autonomous counties where Tujia, Miao and Dong nationalities live.

- Bijie region: In the northwest of the province. It has an autonomous county, Weining, mainly inhabited by Yi, Hui and Miao nationalities.

Four prefecture level cities:

- Guiyang City. Is the capital of the province. It comprises the city proper and surrounding areas. The place of the Guiyang Nationalities Press (with some books in English), The Guizhou Nationalities Museum, and other government institutions related to the provincial minorities. Around Guiyang are living some minority populations, especially Miao.

- Anshun City. West of Guiyang, it is a region of flat terrain and soft hills. The southern part of this municipality belongs to the Buyi and Miao land. It has three autonomous counties for these minorities.

- Liupangshui City. In the west of Guizhou. Is a region rich in mineral resources. Full of mountains that are the home of some Miao branches, as the famous Long Horn Miao of Liuzhi.

- Zunyi City. North of Guiyang. Inhabited mainly by Han Chinese, it has also important populations of some branches of the Miao and the Gelao, with two autonomous counties.

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