By the Year 2000 National Census, the number of Xibe in China was found to have risen considerably to 188.800 people.
Today's Xibe can be mainly be found concentrated in the village of Orion Xibe, in a water rich area near Shenyang in Liaoning Province, where some 50.000 live together near but not in their original homelands. Another majority population however resides in Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region, near the City of Yining (Gulja) where some 30,000 Xibes live in the Chabucha’er Xibe Autonomous County.
Today's Daur are the far descendents of Daurs who moved to China's western region in the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Alternative names for the Daur Ethnic group are Dagur, Daguor, Dawar, Dawo'er, Tahur and Tahuerh.
Along with the Ewenkis and Oroqens, The Daur people are thought to be descended from the Khitan nomads, who founded the Liao Dynasty (916 AD-1125 AD) of North China. They originally inhabited the lower reaches of the Heilong River. During the reign of Emperor Shun Zhi (1644-1662), the Daurs moved south and settled on the banks of the Nenjiang River. Politically savy, the Ching welcomed the Daur as a lost Tribe (Due to their Khitan Ancestry). During the Reign of the Qing Daur soldiers served in garrisons all over the Chinese empire. Among their most notable achievements, the Daurs helped to repel Cossack invaders from Tsarist Russia in 1643 AD and 1651 AD. For this feat they are well honored in China, such as at the Qing Dynasty Era Pu Le Temple at Chengde in Hebei Province. When the Japanese invaded China's Northeast in 1931, the Daurs opposed them and helped the resistance forces until liberation in 1945.
The Daur have their own language but no written language, although a written version was used in the Qing Dynasty Era (1644 AD-1911 AD). Daur language is related to Mongolian and the Manchu Language. Throughout history they have been flexible, using the Manchu Language during the Times of the ManchuQing Dynasty in China. At the Time they traded hides for metal implements, cloth and other articles from the more economically advanced Hans who were ruled by Manchu.
Manchu was the trading language for the Daur.
As is ensured by the Chinese Central Government and Local Authorities currently most Daur use the Chinese language and Chinese signs for writing. Depending on location some are also able to speak the Mongolian, Kazakh or Uygur Languages. Daur language knows no less than four dialects, these are Buteha (Bataxan), Haila'er (Hailar), Qiqiha'er (Qiqihar, Tsitsikhar).
The Daur are herdsmen and small scale Farmers. Their diet further includes fish, an inheritance from their more primitive ancestors. Although mainly self-sustaining, Daur are hearty and friendly people, especially warm to guests.
The biggest Daur community is in the Morin Dawa Daur Autonomous Banner, which was set up on August 15, 1958 on the left bank of the Nenjiang River in Heilongjiang Province. This 11,943 sq. km.-area has lush pasture and farmland. The main crops produced are maize, sorghum, wheat, soybeans and rice. In the mountains which border the Daur community on the north are stands of valuable timber - such as oak, birch and elm - and medicinal herbs. Wildlife, including bears, deer, lynx and otters are found in the forests, although many species are near extinct or found exlcusively far away from human civilization. Mineral deposits in the area include gold, mica, iron and coal.
The Daur Religion reflects their primitive origins as fishermen and hunter-gatherers. Although the Daur were the first Ethnic Minority to convert to a sedentary lifestyle, shamanistic beliefs prevailed until recently. Some Daur adhere to Tibetan-Lamaism. Most of today's Daur have adopted more modern idea's and lifestyles and true religious ceremonies are now rare. The Shaman are old or gone. Sometimes Shaman Rituals are performed as Tourist attraction.
The Most important festival in Daur Culture is the annual Anie, which vaguely resembles the Spring Festival of the Han Chinese People. Interestingly, in winter-time when the waters are frozen over the Daur engage in a unique game which resembles (ice) Hockey.
Manchu-Tungusic Peoples, descendants of the Jurchen and XiaoBei in China :
The Hezhen are another small Ethnic Group of North-Eastern China's HeilongJiang Province. The Hezhen ancestry can be traced to the Nuzhens, a race of Tartar horsemen.
Numbering only 300 in the late 1940's, the number of Hezhen was back up to 1,500 in the 1982 AD census. In the 1990 AD census the population was estimated to be 4,245. The Year 2000 AD National Census measured the Hezhen population at 4.600 souls.
There are several sub-groups or tribes of Chinese Hezhen, among which are Heijin, Heiqi, Hezhen, and Qileng. Alternative names for the Hezhen or Nanais. They were also formerly also known as Golds and Samagir.
The Hezhen can be found in the area's of the Heilong, Wusuli and Songhua Rivers, which are sparsely populated and developed area's of the Province. The main concentration of Chinese Hezhen are located along the confluence of the Songhua and Heilong rivers in Tongjiang, Fuyuan and Raohe counties, separated from a larger number of Hezhen in Russia.
Traditional Hezhen society was composed of seven seperate clans, similar to the Manchu clan system. The clan heads and village heads were elected by all adult members and had the power to order punishments for recognized crimes. Today intermarriage with other minorities groups such as the Koreans, Manchu and Han is common.
The Hezhen People suffered several disasters in the 20Th Century. According to historic reports some 80 to 90% of all Hezhen perished during the Japanese Occupation of Northern China and the brutalities of the Manchukuo Puppet State. During this Time, the Hezhen were forcibly removed from their Community Villages and deported to either Forests or Marshlands of HeilongJiang where they were forced to perform hard labor. Many Hezhen perished in unsafe Japanese Mines or while constructing the massive railway infrastructure needed to transport all of the North-East's raw materials to Japanese Industries.
In the same period and aftermath Opium Addiction took another serious toll on the Hezhen Population.
The Hezhen are Forest People and Fishermen. Traditionally, they live mainly from hunting and fishing.
For hunting they made use of dog-drawn sleds and a special method of fishing on the ice. Until the 17Th Century the Hezhen lived a secluded life in the wilderness and a primitive self-sustained lifestyle. However, during the Ching Dynasty they made extensive contacts with Chinese Han and Manchu Civilization. In this period they settled in communities in HeilongJiang Province.
Hezhen Men served extensively in the army of the Qing Dynasty and were incorporated in the 8 Banner System of the Manchu (Ethnic) Class of the North. The 8 Banners formed the core of the Qing Dynasty
The Oroqen are another of the Tribes of the Manchu-Tungusic descent and language branch. Among these the Oroqen historically rank among the smallest and most primitive Tribes.
According to the year 2000 AD National Census there were 8.200 Oroqen living in China, which is considerably up from the recent past. Numbers from 1917 AD report the Oroqen population at 4,000 souls, whereas in 1943 AD the number had fallen to 3,700. The census taken in 1953 AD reported number only 2,250 Oroqen.
The Oroqen mainly reside in the wide rough and forested spaces of HeilongJiang Province and Inner-Mongolia Autonomous Region. Most Oroqen now live in their own compact community, the 55.000 Square Kilometer large Oroqen Autonomous Banner of Inner-Mongolia Autonomous Region, established in 1951 AD. This Autonomous Banner is located in the greater and lesser Hinggan Mountains, a sparsely populated area of the North-East bordering on HeilongJiang and the Russian Province of Siberia and consists for 95% of Forested lands. The Main Town of the Autonomous County is named Alihe, a modern although somewhat industrial small Town. Other Oroqen communities are spread through HeilongJiang Province and Inner Mongolia AR, of whom some prefer to retain their nomadic woods-bound lifestyle.
Alternative names for the Oroqen People are Orochon, Oronchon, Olunchun, Elunchun and Ulunchun. The Oroqen, as do the entire ethnic branch descend from the ancient Xiaobei People ("Shiwei", meaning Forrest Men).
A Full and complete Map of China (PRC) identifying all Language Areas big and small in all Provinces and Autonomous Regions of China.
Map includes Turkic Languages (Uygur, Kazakh, Kirghiz, Salar & Uzbek), Mongolian Language and Sub-Divisions (Mongol, Tu, Daur and Dongxian), Tungusic Peoples (Oroqen, Evenki and Xibe) and Languages, Korean, Tajik (Tadzhik), Mon-Khmer (Kawa + Puman (or Pulang)), Hui, Uygur (Uighur), Tibeto-Bhurman Languages, Tai and Miao, Yao and She' Language Area's and Borders. Main Area's and sub-divisions of Han Languages (Northern Mandarin, Eastern Mandarin, South-Western Mandarin and Cantonese) further included. This color-coded ethno-linguistic Map (of 1967 AD) identifies at a glance most ethnic minority regions in China
Map China Ethno-Linguistic / Language Distribution China
Other Hezhen in this Era opted for a civil career or participated in patrols on the rivers.
The Hezhen ethnic group was one of the groups of the Jurchen tribe during the Ming Dynasty (1368 AD - 1644 AD). In the 19Th Century circumstances started changing for the Hezhen as Chinese Settlement in the Area increased. Their was a growing trade in dried fish, furs, and deer antlers which was benificial to the Hezhen at first, but soon led to tensions over their rights. Furthermore, fire arms were introduced to the Hezhen Tribe. The 19Th Century Hezhen kept Geese, wild duck, eagles, bears, wolves and foxes in menageries.
Fishing became highly commercialized in the early years of the twentieth century and so the older system of commonly owned fishing grounds and even division of the catch gave way to private ownership of boats and equipment by a handful of families and hired labor as a livelihood for the majority.
After 1949 AD and the establishment of the Peoples Republic of China the Hezhen were organized into fishing communities by the ever zealous local Communist Party Government. In the late 1950s Hezhen villages were incorporated into communes, fishing cooperatives, shared with neighboring Manchu, Koreans, and Han Chinese. At this Time the Hezhen became aquianted with methods of farming and new foods leading them to a more settled lifestyle. As a result today's Hezhen are no longer all Nomads of the Forest but many live in modern albeit exclusive communities. Agriculture is now a large part of the Hezhen economy and hunting is more rare.
In the past the Hezhen, through bare necessity, made their clothes from fish bone and skins, earning them the nickname "Fish Skin People", the Yupi Tribe. They were also known as Shiquan Tribe, the Dog-using Tribe, after their ways of hunting. Historically, they lived in crude birch-bark sheds. Todays home as rough red brick, built in small villages of the Hezhen originally organized and supported by the Communist Government.
Jiejinkou, a small village of reportedly 3,500 square meters is the main settlement of the Hezhen. The basic layout of the village is in the shape of a square, and the buildings are largely tile-roofed houses of the Han style. In the village, there’s an ethnic museum that keeps rich collections of Hezhen relics unearthed, artifacts and production tools of all ages. The Jiejinkou Hezhen Village is located in the northeast of Tongjiang City with mountains and rivers around it. The village lies in view of the Russian Border and connects to the Jiejinkou National Forest Park. The village can be reached overland or by boat. It was officially founded in 1936 and its population consists of Han, Manchu, Korean and Hezhen nationalities. At present there are 70 households and 3000 people in the Village.
The Hezhen still retain their language, elements of traditional dress made of fish skins and deer hide. However today's dress has switched to a modern style and fish skin garments are only manufactured and sold for tourists. Other popular items are the Hezhen handcrafted birchbark canoe and their dogsleds.
As with the Daur People, the Hezhen have a spoken language but (historcially had) no written version. Their language belongs to the Manchu-Tungusic Branch of Altaic.
Today's Hezhen all speak Chinese and use it's written language. In fact, in practice only Hezhe of over Age 50 still remember some of their tribal Language and can speak the words.
Learning the Hezhe Language is complicated by the many dialects of the verbal-only language.
As for Poetry, this art was especially refined by the Hezhen. Their most noted Poem is the Yimakan Poem, a living fossil of oral asian art. As such, it has been preserved and compiled into more than 50 volumes. The Yimakan Poems are narrative poems which are told as well as sung. The complete performance of the work would take days, if not weeks. They have many Folklore's which deal with the origin of Hezhen People, their beliefs and religion, and of course with romance, heroes and more.
The year 2005 saw the publication of a first Hezhe language textbook. The Book was compiled by teachers from Jiejinkou Hezhe Central School in Tongxiang, Heilongjiang Province and is probably the First ever Hezhe Language Learning Book in world history. Currently, each year around a 150 students enter a four year course to learn the Heze Language.
The Hezhen Religion worshipped the Mountain God, rivers, trees and other natural objects. According to the Hezhen Shaman every object is pervaded by the forces of God and every living thing has a sould which wanders in eternity in the universe. The Hezhen natural beliefs however are near extinct. Supposedly however, Shaman's are still alive, including a Female Shaman.
The Main Festival of the Hezhen Culture is traditionally the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival. Since 1985 however, the Hezhen have adopted a new festival especially to Celebrate their precious culture, customs, songs, poetry and lifestyle. This Festival, the Wurigong, is held once every two years in Summer, lasting for three whole days. Wurigong Festival falls either in june or july, depending on the Lunar Calendar.
Even among the Hezhen sports their fishing past is well reflected. The Hezhen play a sport known as "spearing the straw ball." The game basicly is as follows: A man throws a straw ball, symbolizing a fish. Participants throw spears at the rolling ball, and the one to penetrate the ball wins.
The Hezhen staple diet consists of fish, which is available in abundance in the area. Some Hezhen customs related to food are unique. Before drinking wine, they must dip chopsticks in the wine, cast it to the sky and sprinkle it on the land. This is an expression of respect for both the gods and their ancestors. The only tea they care to drink is the tea flavored with scorched grain, wild rose or young leaves. They prefer un-boiled, cold water.
Pregnant women get a special treatment. The food for Hezhen pregnant woman will include congee, fish soup, rabbit soup, noodle soup, and egg. During her confinement in childbirth, the woman is never allowed to have cold food, for it is believed it will affect her health and milk quality. However, green vegetables, which may cause diarrhea to infants and the mother, is strictly prohibited in the first three days after giving birth.
Fried thin pieces of pasta and other snacks in various shapes will be offered in sacrifice to a dead Hezhen clansman. These foods are also offered to all members of the mourning ceremony.
Burials are usually done in the earth, as was custom since human memory.
The Evenk live in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Heilongjiang Province and historically in far Western Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region. According to the 1990 Census Evenk People numbered -- people in total.
By the Year 2000 National Census, the number of Evenk in China was found to have risen considerably to -- people.
Today's Xibe can be mainly be found concentrated in- XXX.
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