Guilin Ethnic Group

According to statistics in 2016, Guilin has a permanent resident population of about 5.0 million, an urban population of 2.38 million, and a rural population of 2.62 million, and it has an urbanization rate of 47.61%. Guilin has 28 ethnic minorities, like the Zhuang, Yao, Hui, Miao and Dong, and the population of ethnic minorities is 0.73 million, and the Han ethnic group is the biggest ethnic group in Guilin.

Guilin has two autonomous counties and 15 nationality townships like Gongcheng Yao autonomous county, Longsheng various nationalities autonoumous county, Caoping Hui township, Wantian Yao township and Chetian Miao township.

Gongcheng Yao autonomous county has a population of 0.3 million in 2017, and the population of the Yao accounts for 60% of the total population. Though the Yao are the main ethnic group in this county, it has 26 other ethnic minorities. The Yao have their own dialects which can be divided into four kinds according to region, and those dialects are a little different. The Yao in Xinhe village of Xiling township have their own wearings from head to foot. The most important is that they remain their craft of embroidery, and they would make clothes of the Yao style. Female of the Yao would make a set of clothes for their weddings. The Yao have their festivals and dances. In the fourteenth day of the first lunar month, the Yao have a festival named Huapao Festival. the Yao in Shikou village would have a dance performance-Yangjiao dance or sheep horn dance, and the dance show how people hunt animals. Horns of sheep are one of the tools used in the dance.In the sixth day of the sixth lunar month, the Yao would have a celebration for Chixin Festival and cook newly-harvested rice. The Yao in Xinling township would have a dance called Chonggu dance on this festival.

Longsheng various nationalities autonoumous county has more than 20 ethnic groups, and the population of ethnic minorities covers more than 75% of the total population. The Dong, Han, Zhuang, Yao and Miao are the big ethnic groups in Longsheng county. The Dong people are indigenous people and mainly live in two townships-Pingdeng and Lejiang, and they have their own clothes and jewelry. The clothes are plain, mainly in blue and black colors, which are handmade by the Dong females. Their shining silver jewelry is usually worn in head, neck, ear and wrist, which has special meaning to them. Gulou is the wooden building of the Dong  style, which is distinct from buildings of other ethnic group and it is one of the symbols of the Dong people, and a part of the Dong culture. Longsheng county has lots of Gulou, and it is one of most dense places of Gulou buildings. Fengyuqiao or wind and rain bridge is another famous building of the Dong people, and Pingdeng village has a fengyuqiao above the Pingdeng river, 94 meters, 21 meters high, three meters wide, which is convenient for people to across  the river. This bridge has two stone seats and the bridge floor is made from wood. This village also has a cluster of Gulou buildings of more than one hundred years. The Dong people have three delicious food, sour fish, sour duck and sour meat, which have a special making method. The Dong people has many festivals, like Huapao Festival, and Douniu Festival. Douniu Festival is a competition of bullfighting, which is celebrated in the second or eighth lunar month.


The Yao in Longsheng county are divided into Pan Yao, Hong Yao and Hua Yao. The name of Pan Yao is from their worship to Pan Hu, the earliest ancestor of the Yao. The name of Hong Yao comes from their red clothes, and the female of Hong Yao usually wear red clothes. Hong Yao have a festival called Hongyi Festival or red clothes festival, and on the festival day, people would dress up themselves and have entertaining activities and sports activities. Another festival is Shaiyi Festival, celebrated on the sixth day of the sixth lunar month. At that day, Hong Yao people would hang out all their clothes to absorb sunshine, and the sunshine would sterilize the clothes. Besise, they would have singing and dancing performances, and performances about ethnic customs. Hua Yao is also named from their clothes which have various colors and decorative patterns.


The Hui are not indigenous, and the first Hui people moved to Guilin in the Yuan Dynasty. The Hui people moved to Guilin in the early time are from the upper class like officers or generals or the rich. The Hui people have their family books, and there are several surnames having a long history in Guilin: Bai, Zhang, Yi, and Ma. Caoping Hui township is the only Hui township in Guangxi. Qianjing village of this township has a mosque built in the later period of the Qing Dynasty, and this village is the birthplace of Bai Chongxi, a general of the Nationalist party or Kuomingtang. The Hui people have their own culture, like eating culture, wearings and festivals like Eid Adha(古尔邦节) and Eid al-Fitr(开斋节).

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