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wonders of Yunnan

Population and Characteristics

Text: M.E Cavanaugh (U.S.A)

Material from China Tourism Magazine Bimonthly
by National Tourism Administration of China

the waist-adorned Dai girls at Yuxi in Yunnan

the waist-adorned Dai girls at Yuxi in Yunnan

dance at the Firebrand festival in the stone Forest at Lunan in Yunnan

dance on the Firebrand festival of the Stone Forest at Lunan in Yunnan


The Musuo, a subgroup of the Naxi culture, with a tradition of strict matrimony, also live here. With the Musuo, men are tolerated as laborers and are useful for fathering children, but are considered incapable of leadership, and have no role in decision-making. The Musuo women and children live in the houses, the men live in bunkhouses in the back of the main houses.

Jinghong is home to Dai nationality. Dai people, with the same ancestor as the people of Northern Thailand, are famous for their grace and beauty. They are friendly and fun-loving, but in a quiet, poised way. On the 14th of April of each year (generally the hottest day of the year) and for about a week, they have their Water Splashing Festival. Anyone who ventures out then will be thoroughly splashed with big basins of water!

In the West of Yunnan there is a Mongol community (about 6,000, I am told). These are the descendants of the soldiers of Kublai Khan. Their forefathers evidently knew a good thing when they saw it, and settled in Yunnan only Mongol community anywhere in the world that still preserves many of the ancient Mongol traditions. I wasn't able to go see them, but I understand they are friendly and gentle with outsiders (though they appear to have some rather robust sports, such as wrestling, bull-fighting, etc.)

In the East of Yunnan are Yi, a fun-loving nationality who are also noted for their bravery. They are an attractive, friendly people who take pride in their area (with the Great Stone Forest and many other attractions). On the 24th day of the sixth lunar month the Yi celebrate their Torchlight Festival, with huge numbers of people dancing, parading, and just having fun while carrying huge torches through the evening and night.


the head-swaying dance of Wa Nationality

the head-swaying dance of Wa Nationality

water splashing (Dai Nationality in Xishuang Banna)

the merry Water-splashing Festival(Dai Nationality in Xishuang Banna)


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