Photo by Chen Haiwen
Miao is an ethnic group recognized by the government of China as one of the 55 official minority groups. Miao is a Chinese term and does not reflect the self-designations of the component groups of people, which include (with some variant spellings) Hmong, Hmub, Xong (Qo-Xiong), and A-Hmao. With a population of 8,940,116, the Miao people form one of the largest ethnic minorities in southwest China. After immigration in a long history, today they live mainly in Guizhou, Yunnan, Hunan, Hubei, Hainan Provinces and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Prefecture. They are divided into several branches, such as Black Hmong, White Hmong, Striped Hmong, etc.
Miao People, also known as (Hmong), is a great nationality. Believed as the descendants of Chi You, Miao Nationality thrived along the Yellow River and Yangtze River as a main tribe and built the Sanmiao Kingdom there over 5000 years ago. They boast splendid culture, eye-dazzling costumes, stunning silver ornaments, exquisite embroidery, classic batik, colorful festivals, mysterious witchcraft and turbulent history.
Much of the Miao area is hilly or mountainous, and is drained by several big rivers. The weather is mild with a generous rainfall, and the area is rich in natural resources. Major crops include paddy rice, maize, potatoes, Chinese sorghum, beans, rape, peanuts, tobacco, ramie, sugar cane, cotton, oil-tea camellia and tung tree. Hainan Island is abundant in tropical fruits.
Miao people are versatile and brilliant. Reed-Pipe(Lusheng) Dance, Golden Pheasant Dance, Bronze Drum Dance, Wooden Drum Dance, Xiangxi Drum Dance, Bench Dance are characterized by their alluring, graceful and mysterious charm. Miao people are good singers also. There are Flying Song (Feige, or HXak Yangt), Wine Song, Youfang Song, Worship Song and Reed-Flute Music, which are very touching, melodious and different.
By 2010, there are over nine million Miao people in China, whom mainly inhabit the hilly area of Guizhou, Hunan, Yunnan, Chongqing, Guangxi and Hainan. In southeast countries include Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, Thailand, and Burma (Myanmar), you can also find Miao people. Miao people make a living out of cultivating rice, corns, wheat, and tobacco.
Xishuangbanna Tropical Plants
Xishuangbanna Wild Elephant