Yuanjiang Hani, Yi and Dai Autonomous County

 

Yuanjiang Hani, Yi and Dai Autonomous County lies in the center of Yunnan Province, in the southern part of Yuxi Municipality. Most of its territory is covered by the Ailaoshan Mountains, home of different branches of the Hani and Yi nationalities, the lowlands traversed by the rivers, of which the Yuanjiang River is the most important, are inhabited mainly by Han Chinese and people of the Dai and Bai nationalities.

Yuanjiang Hani, Yi and Dai Autonomous County has a surface of 2,858 square kilometers, and a population of 200,000. This district has a rich ethnic variety, and can be considered the home of at least 20 ethnic groups; ten of them are branches of the Hani nationality, four of the Yi and the Dai. Chinese Han, Bai and Hui nationalities complete the ethnic composition of Yuanjiang.

Most of the Hani inhabit the Ailaoshan Mountains, at heights ranging from 1.000 to 2.000 meters, in areas near Mojiang and Honghe counties. They are concentrated mainly in Naruo, Yangjie, Yinyuan, Mili, Yangchajie townships, where they have built terraced fields. Among the branches of the Hani nationality living in Yuanjiang we have:

- Nuobi
- Nuomei
- Baikong or Bukong
- Budu
- Duota
- Ximoluo
- Biyue
- Suobi
- Asuo
- Kaduo

The women of these branches wear different dresses. Their languages are different, and the people belonging to each branch celebrate their main festivals in a different way. Their New Year is celebrated in lunar October (except for the Duota, Asuo and Budu branches that celebrate with Han Chinese)

The Yi also inhabit in the Ailaoshan Mountains, in the areas bordering Xinping and Shiping counties. Among their branches we have:

Shesu
Shansu
Pula
Lalu

The Dai inhabit the lowlands near the rivers, especially both banks of the Yuanjing River. The main branches of the Dai in Yuanjiang County are:

Daile
Daina
Daiya
Daibeng

Yuanjiang County enjoys good communications as a modern highway connects the county capital to Kunming in three hours. In 2011, when the road connecting with Honghe and Yuanyang counties will be finished the county will become an interesting stop on the way to the famous Hani terraced fields in Yuanyang County.

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