Ethnic Minorities Whose Population Is below 100 Thousand

There are 20 ethnic minorities in China whose population is below 100 thousand, namely, Blang, Tajik, Achang, Pumi, Owenki, Nu, Ching, Jinuo, Deang, Paoan, Russian, Yuku, Uzbek, Monba, Oroqen, Dulong, Tartar, Hezhe, Gaoshan and Luoba.
Dulong Nationality:
Dulong nationality has a population of over 7400 people, who live in compact community in the river valley along the Dulong River in Gongshan Dulong and Nu Autonomous County of Yunnan Province. Its spoken language is Dulongnese, which belongs to the Chinese-Tibetan language family, but it has no letter of its own. Dulong people believe that everything has its soul and they worship nature objects. The name of this nationality first appeared as “Qiao” according to the folkways in Lijiang area recorded in the chorography of Yuan Dynasty; later in the Ming and Qing Dynasty, this minority group was called “Qiu” or “Qu”. After the founding of new China, the name “Dulong” was adopted at the will of this ethnic group. In the past, the level of social productive force development of Dulong nationality was very low because they were mainly engaged in primitive agricultural production with simple production tools made of wood and bamboo; in addition, collection of ready-made products, fishing and hunting are indispensable supplement to their production. It was not until the founding of People’s Republic of China in 1949 that the backward situation of Dulong people was completely addressed. Dulong people are industrious, hospitable and attach great importance to friendship. In Dulong community, it is not unusual that all the villagers render their help to the family that is in need or difficulty and the game animals are always shared by all who participate in the hunting. In addition, Dulong people are famed for their trustworthiness, fulfillment to their commitment and good traditional ethics and virtues based upon honesty and simplicity, therefore, in their community there are no such things as to shut the households’ doors at night to prevent burglary or to take possession of things lost by others on the road.

Jinuo Nationality

Jinuo nationality has a population of more than 20 thousand, who mainly live in compact community on large mountain in Xishuangbanna prefecture of China’s south western Yunnan Province. They speak Jinuonese, which belongs to the Chinese-Tibetan language family, but has no letter of their own. Jinuo people used to believe that everything has its soul and they usually worship their ancestors. “Jinuo” is the name they call themselves and there is no written record about the origin of this ethnic group. Jinuo people revere Zhuge Liang, an outstanding strategist and prime minister of Shu Kingdom during the Three Kingdoms Period in Chinese history, and it is said that Jinuo people were part of Zhuge Liang’s expeditionary troop to the south, who came from Pu’er, Mojiang and even places afar in northern China. After the founding of new China, Jinuo people made a great historical leap forward, directly from primordial society to socialism, putting an end to its backward outlook, such as primitive means of production with reaphook and fire, making historical record by carving on the bamboo, barter trade and resorting to worship of ghosts for medical treatment. At present, Jinuo people have already had its own cadres, doctors, merchants and technology experts of agricultural production.

Oroqen Nationality

Oroqen nationality has a population of over 8 thousand, who live in concentrated community in Big and Small Xing’anling area bordering upon Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Heilongjiang Province, and there is an Oroqen autonomous banner in Hulunbeir of Inner Mongolia. Oroqen people speak Oroqenese, which belongs to the Altai language family and they adopt Chinese letters because they don’t have their own. “Oroqen” is the name they call themselves, which means “people living on the mountain”, and this name appeared in historical record as early as in early Qing Dynasty. Over the long period of time, Oroqen people have mainly lived on hunting with collection of ready-made natural products and fishing as the supplementary means of their livelihood. Almost all men of Oroqen nationality are excellent horse riders and arrow shooters, who enjoy a great deal of knowledge about the temperament of various wild animals and their life habits as well as rich experience of hunting. In 1940s, Oroqen people were still a nomadic tribe marked with trace of primitive commune and they retained some habits of primordial society characterized by common consumption and equal distribution: for instance, the game animals were equally distributed in their community and those elderly, weak, injured and handicapped members could be given an even larger share. After the establishment of new China, Oroqen people made a great leap forward into socialism and now they have settled down and become the protectors of forests and wild animals instead of hunters in previous time. Oroqen people enjoy a good reputation of their craftsmanship and they can make elegant handicrafts out of bark of birches, such as clothes, shoes, box, kitbag, barrel, trunk and even exquisite boat made of birch bark. These handicrafts are delicate, enduring, and bold and decorated with beautiful designs. Most Oroqen people believe in shaman and adore natural object. In addition, they believe everything has its soul and worship of their ancestors is prevalent.

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