Sherpas, the famous high altitude tribe who live in the Khumba Valley around Mount Everest, practice Tibetan Buddhism.
Ladakhis and Bhutanese
Ladakhis, See India
Bhutanese, See Bhutan
The Lhoba :
The Yugurs :
The Tibetan Ethnic Minority of China :
Tibetans and other Ethnic Minorities in China :
This page was last updated on: May 27, 2017
The China Report
Ethnic Minorities in China and their Cultures:
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Other Ethnic Minorities of China are listed below.
The Yugurs are a very small Ethnic Group. In the 1950's only some 3000 Yugurs were counted. According to the Year 2000 AD National cenus there were 13.700 Yugurs living in China. Most Yugurs live in their own Autonomous County, Sunan Yugur Autonomous County (Banner) in Gansu Province of North-Western China. A second group resides near JiuGuan (twin city with JiaYuGuan, the last Fortress on the Ming Dynasty Great Wall of China) in the Huangnibao area of the Hexi Corridor of Gansu Province. This area, Jiuquan Huangnibao Yugur Autonomous Township, was established as a native area of the Yugur in April of 1954 AD.
Historicaly the Yugurs descend from a nomadic tribe living in the Erhun River and Selenga River Valleys South of Lake Baikal in Russia and Mongolia who were allied with the Han Chinese during the long Reign of the Tang Dynasty (618 AD - 907 AD). When the Tang Dynasty met its final decline the Yugur ancestors were forced to move Southwards into China under pressure from attacking Kirgiz Tribes and due to to political infighting among themselves. What followed is a complicated story but in principle the migrating ancient Yugurs (the ancient Ouigurs) moved in three seperate groups which wound up in different area's within the large Gansu Province of China. One group settled in the Hexi corridor in the area between Dunhuang (Guazhou), Zhangye (Ganzhou) and Wuwei (Liangzhou) in the Hexi Corridor - the strategic "neck of China" in central-western Gansu Province - where they came under the rule of Tubo, a Tibetan kingdom. They are the Hexi Yugurs.
Link: Satellite Image with Schematic of the Location and path of the Great Wall of China during the Ming Dynasty. Passes on the Great Wall, including JiuGuan and JiaYuGuan are marked.
The Yugur style of dress is colorful if not flamboyant. Beads are very popular and Yugur women wear round skull caps with many beads arranged in colorful decorations. Women's caps vary according to married status. The women usually wear a trumpet-shaped white felt hat with two black lines in front, topped by red tassels.
Yugur clothing is adorned with decorations. Here natural themes of flowers, birds, animals and butterflies abound. Shirt, gown, coat and even boots are decorated. Geometrical designs made of coral beads, sea shells,green and blue stone chips, and silk threads in bright colors are used as hair decorations. Mean wear a high-collared long gown buttoned on the left, a red-blue waist band and high boots. The whole attire is topped off with a typical round hat made of Felt.
As do the Tibetans, the Yugur traditionally adhere to Tibetan-Lamaism as their faith. This faith was introduced to the Yugur in the Ming Dynasty and gained influence through the Ming and Qing Dynasty Era as Buddhist priests cooperated with local governments and participated in the administration of the area's towns and cities. At the time each Yugur Tribe supported its own Buddhist Monastery.
The Yugur diet resembles the Tibetan staple Yak butter, cooked mutton, Zanba, roasted qingke barley flower and milk products. The agricultural Yugurs consume more grain and vegetables.
The main Festival of the Yugur is the yearly horse racing event which draws Yugur's and others from far away.
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Two other groups chose to follow the Kunlun Mountains further East and South to end up on the border with Qinghai Province where they gradually became the Sunan area Yugurs and were engaged in livestock breeding and hunting. As a result of their geographical separation (until the 1950's there were no roads nor bridges in the area) the various Yugur groups developed different language dialects and variations in lifestyle.
The Yugurs resemble the Tibetans in many ways. The Yugurs were originally pastoral people, who lived a nomadic lifestyle on the high plains and grasslands as herdsmen living in tents. Few Nomads remain. Today's Yugur have mainly settled down and have switched to a lifestyle of agriculture. Recently many have found a new life in the booming tourism industry in their localities.
The Yugur have their own spoken language, however no written version of their language, they use Chinese written language instead. The Huangnibao Area/ JiuGuan Yugurs all speak the Chinese Language. However the Yugurs of Sunan Yugur speak a the Yugur language, albeit in different tongues. The Altaic language family (Raohul) tongue is used by the Yugurs in the western part of the autonomous county, whereas a Mongolian branch of the same language family (Engle) is used by those in the eastern part of the autonomous county.
A Schematic Map of Historical Tibet, today Tibet Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province and a part of Sichuan province.
Included for reference are current Internationa Borders, provincial borders, locations and names of main cities and towns, main rivers and lakes, mountains,importantTibetan-BuddhistMonasteries and other places of significance.
Further Reports link to More Photos and History & Backgrounds of each City, Town or Ethnic Community of Yugur, Dongxiang Tibetan, Lhoba, Kazakh, Mongol or others where available.
Today Tibet only exists as Tibet Autonomous Region of China. Tourist visits require an aditional visa !
Khampas and Amdo People
The Khampas, or Kham, are a Tibetan tribe of herders and farmers who live in eastern Tibet and Sichuan. Known for their fierceness and skill as horsemen, they are generally larger and tougher than other Tibetans. Men often wear red turbans or fox-fur hats and robes trimmed with leopard and otter skin and carried scimitars, decorated swords or daggers in their belts.
The Khampas still pride themselves on being horseback warriors. Khampa men and women have very long hair, often braided and worn in buns or pony tails adorned with turquoise, wrapped in a red sash, or worn with red or black tassels. It is a big deal for a Khampa man to cut his hair. Traditionally only a man can cut the hair and no scissors are allowed near the head.
The Amdo come from northern Tibet and Qinghai Province. Women from Amdo wear lots of jewelry and have elaborately braided hair.
The Tibetans from Kham and Amdo have a long history off fighting the Chinese. See CIA.
The Gologs are a Tibetan minority whose name literally means "heads on backwards." Inhabiting remote areas of Qinghai Province, they speak a Tibetan dialect and are known for their ferocity and sour disposition. The first Westerner to meet them, wrote 60 year ago: "Such hostile and unfriendly people I have never met anywhere in the world; it seems that a smile never crosses their coarse features." [Source: National Geographic, Galen Rowell, February 1982]
Accorded to legend, the first Gologs (also known as Goloks, Golocks) were fierce warriors who were sent to the Khampas mountains in the 7th century AD by a Tibetan king to hold off a Chinese invasion. The Tibetan outpost they established eventually collapsed but the Gologs that lived there stayed on. Their language today is almost unintelligible to Tibetans and the version of Buddhism they practice has militant aspects.
A mountain climbing expedition in Western China headed by Galen Rowell hired some Gologs as guides. "While our expedition was generally accepted, it was rarely welcomed," he wrote. "Our Golog guides, for example, more often hindered than helped us. Although superb horsemen, they nonetheless managed to lose their mounts most mornings, just as we were getting under way."
Golog tribesman The Gologs live in yak hair tents built to withstand winds up to 70 miles per hour. Like the Tibetans, they subsist off barley, yak meat, tea and rancid yak butter, and use yak body parts for string, clothing, shoes and numerous other things. Gologs wear ragged sheepskins and woman have ornate headbands.
Golog women wear amazing costumes that look particularly impressive from the back, where a woolen mantle in placed. Weighing more than ten pounds and extending from their head to their hips, the mantel is covered with silver, breast-shaped cups, and overlaid with coral and turquoise beads. Golog women braid their hair into 108 strands, a number that holds mystical significance for Tibetan Buddhists.
Rowell once was startled when his Golog guide unsheathed his knife after walking around a religious shrine three times, and approached Rowell. "But it was for another act of worship," he said. "he cut a lock of my hair, a lock of his own, and another from his horse and bound all three to a pole as an offering to the deities.¡±
Originally the Chinese had hoped to build a railroad from western China to Tibet. But those plans were scrapped after the Gologs and neighboring guerillas drove off Chinese construction crews that had come to build the railroad line.¡Î