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Hani Nationality

Hani Minority is a unique ethnic group of Yunnan Province China. It originates from the ancient Qiang tribe. After thousands of years’ migration, it settled down among the numerous mountains and hills in Yunnan Province. Hani language belongs to Sino-Tibetan Family which can be further divided to three dialects--- Haya(哈雅), Bika(碧卡), Haobai(豪白). In each dialect, there exist several colloquial expressions. Originally, Hani Minority didn’t have its own written language until in 1957 the Alphabetic writing based on Latin Letters was created.

Hani Minority, as the sixteenth largest ethnic group in China, has a population of 1,440 thousand. Its people dwell in Yunnan Province from generation to generation. They live mainly in the area between Red River(红河区) and Lancang River(澜沧江) in Yunnan Province. Agriculture activities provide them with life necessities. Hani people are brave, hard-working, and extremely proficient in terracing. They celebrate a large amount of festivals, among them, Shiyue Nian(十月年节) and Liuyue Nian(六月年) are the most significant.

Rice Terraces

Hani Terrace, one of the world cultural heritages, is a masterpiece created by the generations of Hani People. For 1300 years, Hani people have been using their wisdom and strength to produce the marvelous terraces which provide about 600 thousand farmlands for Hani Minority with its altitude being over 1500 meters and steps reaching 3000. The forms of the terraces vary with the landscape: gentle hills with large farmlands while steep hills with small fields. Terraces are everywhere; you even can find terraces among rocks. Therefore, some terraces can be as big as several acres, whereas, some may as small as a dustpan. Hani Terraces once was praised as“Hani Terraces is the true art of the Earth, while, Hani people will be the true artist of it.”
yuanyang rice terraces


Besides the marvelous Hani Terraces, you will marvel at mushroom- shaped houses. Legend has it, in ancient times, Hani people lived in caves. Later, they immigrated to a place called “Reluo”, where they saw the fields covered with large mushroom, storms and rains can hardly shake them. And those mushrooms provide shelters for ants and little insects. That’s how Hani people got the idea to build their mushroom houses. Mushroom houses are durable, and people living in them feel warm in winter and cool in summer. Together with towering mountains and marvelous terraces, mushroom houses make a fantastic mountain area view.
hani mushroom house


Hani clothing has its own national style. Their clothes are made of self-made cloth which they dyed and weaved by themselves. Until the 1950s, Hani clothing was boring only with blue and black color, however, its styles are beyond counting.

According to age and gender, the clothing decorations and hairstyles vary. For men, these are rather simple, just cloth wrapping their heads, simple clothes sometimes with silver coin as buttons. For women, it’s far more complicated. There are many kinds of hairstyles such as single braid, double braid, vertical braid and disc braid. Moreover, different occasions require different decorations; Women in different age wear different decorations. For children, they wear different caps with many decorations on it such as boar tusks, seashells, tiger and leopard tusks pangolin shells, etc.


Hani Minority celebrates large amounts of festivals, among them, Shiyue Nian(十月年节) and Liuyue Nian(六月年) are the most important. Hani people regard October as the first month of the year, so they celebrate Shiyue Nian just as people celebrate New Year. During the Shiyue Nian, Hani people will get a holiday as long as half a month. People butcher pigs and make glutinous rice cakes to celebrate it.
yuanyang rice terraces
yuanyang rice terraces
yuanyang rice terraces

Liuyue Nian, also known as Kuzhazha(苦扎扎) in Red River area(红河区) Yunnan Province, is to celebrate new year once again in June. It’s time for Hani people to offer sacrifices to gods and ancestors to pray for a good harvest. Besides, it provides opportunities for young men to compete with each other in many activities like swinging and dancing.
yuanyang rice terraces
yuanyang rice terraces
yuanyang rice terraces


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