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Encyclopedia > Yi people
Yi
Alternative names:
Nuosu and dozens of others
Total population

8 million

Regions with significant populations
China: Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Guangxi; Vietnam; Thailand
Languages
Yi
Religions
animism
Related ethnic groups
Naxi, Qiang

The Yi people (own name in the Liangshan dialect: ꆈꌠ, official transcription: Nuosu, IPA: /nɔ̄sū/; Chinese: 彝族; pinyin: Yìzú; the older name "Lolo" is now considered derogatory in China, though used officially in Vietnam as Lô Lô and in Thailand as Lolo) are a modern ethnic group in China, Vietnam, and Thailand. Numbering 8 million, they are the seventh largest of the 55 minor ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China. They live primarily in rural areas of Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, and Guangxi, usually in mountainous regions. There are 3300 Lô Lô peoples (1999 statistics) live in Hà Giang, Cao Bằng and Lào Cai provinces in Vietnam.   (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ; literally south of the clouds) is a province of the Peoples Republic of China, located in the far southwestern corner of the country. ...   (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: SzÅ­4-chuan1; Postal map spelling: Szechwan and Szechuan) is a province in the central-western China with its capital at Chengdu. ... (Simplified Chinese: 贵州; Traditional Chinese: è²´å·ž; pinyin: Gùizhōu; Wade-Giles: Kuei-chou; also spelled Kweichow) is a province of the Peoples Republic of China located in the southwestern part of the country. ... Guangxi (Zhuang: Gvangjsih; old orthography: ; Simplified Chinese: 广西; Traditional Chinese: 廣西; Pinyin: GuÇŽngxÄ«; Wade-Giles: Kuang-hsi; Postal System Pinyin: Kwangsi), full name Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (Zhuang: Gvangjsih Bouxcuengh Swcigih; old orthography: ; Simplified Chinese: 广西壮族自治区; Traditional Chinese: 廣西壯族自治區; Pinyin: GuÇŽngxÄ« Zhuàngzú ZìzhìqÅ«) is a Zhuang autonomous region of... Yi (also Moso, Lolo, Noso, ) is a family of closely related Tibeto-Burman languages spoken by the Yi people. ... Animism is a belief system that does not accept the separation of body and soul, of spirit from matter. ... Categories: Ethnic groups of China ... The Qiang people (羌族; Pinyin: qiāng zú) are an ethnic group. ... For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words see here. ... It has been suggested that Pinyin method be merged into this article or section. ... The Peoples Republic of China officially describes itself as a multinational unitary state and as such officially recognizes 56 nationalities or Mínzú (民族), within China: the Han being the majority (>92%), and the remaining 55 nationalities being the national minorities. ...   (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: SzÅ­4-chuan1; Postal map spelling: Szechwan and Szechuan) is a province in the central-western China with its capital at Chengdu. ...   (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ; literally south of the clouds) is a province of the Peoples Republic of China, located in the far southwestern corner of the country. ... (Simplified Chinese: 贵州; Traditional Chinese: è²´å·ž; pinyin: Gùizhōu; Wade-Giles: Kuei-chou; also spelled Kweichow) is a province of the Peoples Republic of China located in the southwestern part of the country. ... Guangxi (Zhuang: Gvangjsih; old orthography: ; Simplified Chinese: 广西; Traditional Chinese: 廣西; Pinyin: GuÇŽngxÄ«; Wade-Giles: Kuang-hsi; Postal System Pinyin: Kwangsi), full name Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (Zhuang: Gvangjsih Bouxcuengh Swcigih; old orthography: ; Simplified Chinese: 广西壮族自治区; Traditional Chinese: 廣西壯族自治區; Pinyin: GuÇŽngxÄ« Zhuàngzú ZìzhìqÅ«) is a Zhuang autonomous region of... Hà Giang is a province of Vietnam. ... Cao Bang (in Vietnamese, Cao Bằng) is a province of Vietnam. ... Lao Cai (in Vietnamese, Lào Cai, in Chinese 老街, literally means Old Streets) is a province of Vietnam. ...


The Yi speak Yi, a Tibeto-Burman language closely related to Burmese, which is written in the Yi script. Yi (also Moso, Lolo, Noso, ) is a family of closely related Tibeto-Burman languages spoken by the Yi people. ... The Tibeto-Burman linguistic subfamily of the proposed Sino-Tibetan language family is spoken in various central and south Asian countries: Myanmar (Burmese language), Tibet (Tibetan language), northern Thailand (Mong language), Nepal, Bhutan, India (Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and the Ladakh region of... The Yi scripts, also known as Cuan or Wei, are used to write the Yi languages. ...

Contents

Who are the Yi?

The Chinese government has grouped the Nisu, Nasu, Sani, Axi, Lolopo, Pu, and tens of dozens of other peoples speaking more than six completely distinct languages with dozens of dialects into a single group called the Yi (pronounced like the name of the letter E). Because of this, a Yi from one area may not be able to communicate with a Yi from another area; and may or may not even agree that they both are Yi. Most Yi are farmers; herders of cattle, sheep and goats; and nomadic hunters. Only about one third of the Yi are literate. Most have no written language.


Although the younger generation seems less devoted, the Yi have generally been animists, worshipping the spirits of ancestors, hills, trees, rocks, water, earth, sky, wind, and forests. Magic plays a major role in daily life through healing, exorcism, asking for rain, cursing enemies, blessing, divination and analysis of one's relationship with the spirits. They believe dragons protect villages against bad spirits, and demons cause diseases. After someone dies they sacrifice a pig or sheep at the doorway to maintain relationship with the deceased spirit.


The Nuosu religion (from the Nuosu or Nasu group in the Yi minority) distinguishes two sorts of shamans: the « bi-mox » and the “ su-nyit”. Bi-mox are the most revered and maybe also important agents in the Nuosu religion, to the point that sometimes the Nuosu religion is also called “bimox religion”. When one can becomes a bimox by patrilineal descent after a time of apprenticeship, one becomes a su-nyit by election or after having been “elected”. Both can perform rituals. But only bimox can perform rituals linked to death. Bimox are said to be literate too.


Where are the Yi?

Of the over 8 million Yi people, over 4.5 million live in Yunnan Province, 2.5 million live in southern Sichuan Province, and 1 million live in the northwest corner of Guizhou Province. Nearly all the Yi live in mountainous areas, often carving out their existence on the sides of steep mountain slopes far from the cities of China.


History

Legend has it that the Yi are descended from the ancient Qiang people of Western China, who are also said to be the ancestors of the Tibetan, Naxi and Qiang peoples. They migrated from Southeastern Tibet through Sichuan and into Yunnan Province, where their largest populations can be found today. Ethnolinguistic Groups of Tibet, 1967 Ethnic Tibetan autonomous entities set up by the Peoples Republic of China. ... Categories: Ethnic groups of China ... The Qiang people (羌族; Pinyin: qiāng zú) are an ethnic group. ... Tibet (older spelling Thibet; Tibetan: བོད་; Wylie: Bod; Lhasa dialect IPA: [; Simplified and Traditional Chinese: 西藏, Hanyu Pinyin: XÄ«zàng; also referred to as 藏区 (Simplified Chinese), 藏區 (Traditional Chinese), ZàngqÅ« (Hanyu Pinyin), having the two names different connotations; see Name section below) is a plateau region in Central Asia and the...


They practice a form of animism, led by a shaman priest known as the Bimaw. They still retain a few ancient religious texts written in their unique pictographic script. Their religion also contains many elements of Daoism and Buddhism. Animism is a belief system that does not accept the separation of body and soul, of spirit from matter. ... For other uses of the words tao and dao, see Dao (disambiguation). ... Buddhism is a dharmic, non-theistic religion, which is also a philosophy and a system of psychology. ...


Many of the Yi in northwestern Yunnan practiced a complicated form of slavery. People were split into the nuohuo or Black Yi (nobles) and qunuo or White Yi (commoners). White Yi and other ethnic groups were held as slaves, but the higher slaves were allowed to farm their own land, hold their own slaves and eventually buy their freedom. The Buxton Memorial Fountain, celebrating the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire in 1834, London. ...


List of Yi sub-groups

Groups listed below are sorted by their broad linguistic classification but in reality is more of the general geographic area where they live. Within each section, largest groups are listed first. The approximate total population is in parenthesis.
Southern (1,082,120):
Nisu; Nasu, Southern; Muji; A Che; Gaisu, Southern; Pula; Boka; Lesu; Adu; Chesu; Laowu; Alu; Azong; Xiuba
Southeastern (729,760):
Poluo; Sani; Axi; Azhe; Lolo, Southeastern; Jiasou; Puwa; Aluo; Awu; Digao; Meng; Xiqi; Ati; Daizhan; Asahei; Laba; Zuoke; Ani; Minglang; Long Central (565,080):
Lolopo; Lipo, Dayao; Niesu, Central; Enipu; Lopi; Popei
Eastern (1,456,270):
Nasu, Eastern; Nasu, Panxian; Nasu, Wusa; Nosu, Shuixi; Lipo, Wuding; Nosu, Mangbu; Gepo, Eastern; Naisu; Wumeng; Naluo; Samei; Sanie; Luowu; Guopu; Gese; Neisu, Xiaohei; Neisu, Dahei; Depo; Laka; Lagou; Aling; Tushu; Gouzou; Wopu; Samadu, Eastern
Western (1,162,040):
Laluo, Mishaba; Lolo, Western; Xiangtang; Lalu, Xinping; Lalu,Yangliu; Tusu; Gaiji; Laluo, Jiantou; Xijima; Limi; Mili; Lawu; Qiangyi; Samadu, Western; Gepo, Western; Lalu, Xuzhang; Eka; Gaisu, Western; Suan; Pengzi
Northern (2,534,120):
Nosu, Shengba; Nosu, Yinuo; Nosu, Xiaoliangshan; Nosu, Butuo; Suodi; Nosu, Tianba; Bai Yi; Naruo; Naru; Talu; Mixisu; Liwu; Awu, Northern; Tagu; Liude; Naza; Ta'er
Unclassified (55,490):
Michi (Miqie); Nasu, Jinghong; Apu; Muzi; Tanglang; Micha; Ayizi; Guaigun


References

  • Cheng Xiamin. A Survey of the Demographic Problems of the Yi Nationality in the Greater and Lesser Liang Mountains. Social Sciences in China. 3: Autumn 1984, 207-231.
  • Dessaint, Alain Y. Minorities of Southwest China: An Introduction to the Yi (Lolo) and Related Peoples. (New Haven: HRAF Press, 1980).
  • Du Ruofu and Vincent F. Vip. Ethnic Groups in China. (Beijing: Science Press, 1993).
  • Grimes, Barbara F. Ethnologue. (Dallas: Wycliffe Bible Translators, 1988).
  • Harrell, Stevan, ed. Cultural Encounters on China's Ethnic Frontiers. The History of the History of the Yi. (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995).
  • Harrell, Stevan, ed. Perspectives on the Yi of Southwest China. (Berkeley / Los Angeles / London: University of California Press, 2001), ISBN 0-520-21988-0.
  • Ma Yin, ed. China's Minority Nationalities. (Beijing: Foreign Language Press, 1994).
  • Zhang Weiwen and Zeng Qingnan. In Search of China's Minorities. (Beijing: New World Press).
  • Collective book, Ritual for Expelling Ghosts, A religious Classic of the Yi nationality in Liangshan Prefecture, Sichuan (The Taipei Ricci Institute, Nov.1998)

External links

  • The Yi ethnic minority (China.org.cn)
  • Yi Peoples of China
  • Huge string instruments of the Yi
  • Huge string instruments of the Yi
  • Nuosu Religion: Rituals, Agents and Belief Article by B. Vermander about the Nuosu religion
  • The Bi-mox in The Liangshan Yi Society Article by Ayi Bamo, a specialist of religious ethnography


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Viet-Muong: Chut | Muong | Tho | Viet (Kinh)
Tay-Thai: Bố Y | Giáy | Lao | Lu | Nung | San Chay | Tay | Thai
Mon–Khmer: Ba Na | Brau | Bru-Van Kieu | Cho Ro | Co | Co Ho | Co Tu | Gie Trieng | H're | Khang | Khmer | Kho Mu | Ma | Mang | Mnong | O Du | Ro Mam | Ta Oi | Xinh Mun | Xo Dang | Xtieng
Hmong–Dao: Dao | Hmong | Pa Then
Tai-Kadai: Gelao | Lachi | Laha | Qabiao
Malayo-Polynesian (Nhóm ngôn ngữ Nam đảo): Chăm | Chu-ru | Ê-đê | Jarai | Ra-glai
Nhóm Hán: Hoa | Ngái | Sán dìu
Tibeto-Burman (Nhóm Tạng): Cống | Hà Nhì | La Hủ | Lô Lô | Phù Lá | Si La

  Results from FactBites:
 
The Yi ethnic minority (5918 words)
The fl Yis were born aristocrats, claiming their blood to be "noble" and "pure," and forbidding marriages with people of the other three ranks.
Any personal attacks against fl Yis, encroachment on their private property, violation of the marriage system of the rank and infringement on the privileges of the fl Yis were regarded as "crimes," and the offenders would be severely punished.
In response to the aspirations of the Yi slaves and other poor people, the people's government, after consulting with Yis from the upper stratum who had close relations with the common people, decided to carry out democratic reforms in the Yi areas of Sichuan and in the Ninglang Autonomous County of Yunnan in 1956.
Yi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (421 words)
The Yi people (own name in the Liangshan dialect: ꆈꌠ, official transcription: Nuosu, IPA: [nɔ̄sū]; Chinese: 彝族, Pinyin: Yìzú; the older name "Lolo" is now considered derogatory in China, though used officially in Vietnam as Lô Lô) are a modern ethnic group in China and Vietnam.
Legend has it that the Yi are descended from the ancient Qiang people of Western China, who are also said to be the ancestors of the Tibetan, Naxi and Qiang peoples.
White Yi and other ethnic groups were held as slaves, but the higher slaves were allowed to farm their own land, hold their own slaves and eventually buy their freedom.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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