Ethnic China: Ethnic Hunan

 

Though Hunan province is not considered an ethnic region of China, the western and southern parts of the province are the home of many ethnic groups, particularly related to the Tujia, Miao, Dong and Yao nationalities.

Hunan has a surface of 210,000 sq km and a population of more than 64 millions.

A wet land in the south center of China, it is more known for the revolutionary tradition (the hometown of Mao Zedong and other communist leaders) and its spicy food, than by the ethnic groups who inhabit inside its boundaries.

In the Hunan ethnic map, below we can see that most of the ethnic areas of Hunan are in the border with Guizhou province.

Due to the lack of interest in the ethnic groups of Hunan, there are not many books available about them. We suppose that a deep study of the ethnic reality would provide interesting facts, as there are many local legends with strong original flavor about some of the ethnic groups included as Miao or Tujia.

It has several autonomous administrative units:

- Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture.
With the prefecture capital in Jishou City. Established in 1952 in west Hunan. Inhabited mainly by Tujia, Miao, Yao, Hui and Han peoples.

- Jianghua Yao Autonomous County.
With the administrative capital in Toujiang. Established in 1955 in southeast Hunan. Inhabited mainly by Yao, Zhuang and Han peoples.

- Chengbu Miao Autonomous County.
With the administrative capital in Rulin. Established in 1956 in southwest Hunan. Inhabited mainly by Miao, Yao, Dong, Hui and Han peoples.

- Tongdao Dong Autonomous County.
With the administrative capital in Shuangjiang. Established in 1954 in southwest Hunan. Inhabited mainly by Dong, Miao, Yao and Han peoples.

- Xinhuang Dong Autonomous County.
With the administrative capital in Xinhuang. Established in 1956 in the west part of Hunan. With people of the Dong, Miao and Yao stock.

- Zhijiang Dong Autonomous County.
With the administrative capital in Zhijiang. Established late in 1986 in the west part of Hunan, with a surface area of 2,098 square kilometers and a population of 301,000 inhabitants, of which 162,000 belong to national minorities; mainly Dong (139,500) and Miao (21,300).

- Mayang Miao Autonomous County. Established late in 1984 in the west part of Hunan.

- Jingzhou Miao and Dong Autonomous County. Established late in 1984 in the west part of Hunan.

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