Introducing the Nu peoples

 

The name of Nu is the generic denomination of four different ethnic groups, with different languages and well differentiated cultures: the Anongs, the Alongs, the Ruorous and the Nusus, with a total population of 30.000 people.

As all these ethnics groups live in the banks of the Nu River, their common name can be translated as "peoples of the Nu River".

Localization: All the Nus live along a stretch of 500 km in the banks of the Nu River, in the remote west of Yunnan Province. It is a mountainous area, with sharp gorges and virgin forests. The temperatures are warm and the humidity abundant.

The Anong, inhabitants of Fugong County, were the first who arrived to that region. They have a population of 8.000 people. According to their legend their first ancestor was an ant, borne from the only viable embryo from the only couple that survived the deluge.

The Along, about 8.000 people, live in Gongshan County. They have received an important cultural Tibetan influence.

The Ruorou, also called "people of the wheat", are some 2.000 people. They live in Lanping County, near the Lancang River. They have received more cultural influences from the Bai and the Pumi.

The Nusus, about 11.000, live in Bijiang County. Their name means "The people from outside."

Their languages have been scarcely studied until now. It is thought that all them belong to the Tibetan-Burmese family, but it is not known to what branch. Each one of these four languages is unintelligible for the no native.

Nowadays these languages are used fundamentally for the family life, while for trade and external relations they use their neighbors' languages.

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