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Encyclopedia > Tujia

The Tujia (土家族) are an ethnic group numbering about 8 million, living in the Wuling Mountains of China's Hunan and Hubei provinces. They form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China.


History

There are different accounts of their origins, though their history can be traced back over twelve centuries, and possibly beyond, to the ancient Ba people who occupied the area around modern-day Chongqing some 2,500 years ago. Over the centuries they have come into extensive contact with the country's Han Chinese majority, but it was only after the Qing Dynasty imposed direct rule in the 1730s that the Tujia's native culture began to disappear as a result of acculturation and assimilation.


Culture

Today there are at most 70 thousand speakers of the Tujia language, all of whom live in the northern part of Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in north-western Hunan Province. The vast majority of the Tujia use Chinese; a few speak Miao. Today, traditional Tujia customs can only be found in the most remote areas.


The Tujia are renowned for their singing and song composing abilities and for their tradition of the Baishou hand dance, a 500 year old collective dance which uses 70 ritual gestures to represent war, farming, hunting, courtship and other aspects of traditional life. They are also famous for their richly-patterned brocade, known as 'xilankapu', a product that in earlier days regularly figured in their tribute payments to the Chinese court.


See also


Chinese ethnic groups (classification by PRC government)
Achang - Bai - Blang - Bonan - Buyi - Dai - Daur - De'ang - Dong - Dongxiang - Drung - Evenks - Gaoshan - Gelao - Gin - Han - Hani - Hezhen - Hui - Jingpo - Jino - Kazakh - Kirghiz - Koreans - Lahu - Lhoba - Li - Lisu - Manchu - Maonan - Monpa - Miao - Mongols - Mulam - Naxi - Nu - Oroqin - Pumi - Qiang - Russian - Salar - She - Shui - Tajik - Tatars - Tibetan - Tu - Tujia - Uyghur - Uzbek - Wa - Xibe - Yao - Yi - Yugur - Zhuang

  Results from FactBites:
 
Tujia Minority - Chinese Nationalities (273 words)
The Tujia were not recognized until the 1950s.
The Tujia are found in Hunan, and Hubei Provinces.
Tujia people grow a variety of crops including wet rice, wheat, maize, and sweet potatoes.
Tujia Summary (1455 words)
Settlements of the Tujia are distributed over western Hunan and western Hubei provinces, as well as in several autonomous counties under the jurisdiction of Chongqing municipality.
The Tujia are renowned for their singing and song composing abilities and for their tradition of the Baishou (摆手舞) hand dance, a 500 year old collective dance which uses 70 ritual gestures to represent war, farming, hunting, courtship and other aspects of traditional life.
Tujia is a member of the Sino-Tibetan language group; many consider it an isolate within this group.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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