55 Ethnic Minorities in China

Each of the minority ethnic groups has a distinctive and different character. The following are the 55 ethnic minorities listed in the alphabetical order:

Young Girls of Bai Nationality
Young Girls of Bai Nationality
Achang:  one of the earliest people in Yunnan; famous for being good at growing rice and forging iron weapons such as cutting tools
Bai: the masters of artistic creativity and favor white clothes and decorations; creative in architecture, painting, music, sculpture and lacquer work
Blang:  live in Yunnan Province; mainly practice agriculture; good at planting tea trees and early rice; do many artistic practices such as literature and music
Bonan:  live in southwest of Gansu Province; mainly engage in handicraft industry; believe in Islam; play traditional woodwind or stringed instrument
Bouyei: inhabit in Guizhou Province as early as in the Stone Age; advanced in agriculture and forestry; good at brocade and embroidery
Chaoxian: dwell mainly in northeastern part of China; their ancestors are the immigrants from the Korean Peninsula; have similar festivals with Han People
Dai: distribute in southern part of Yunnan Province; a versatile nation who has made certain achievement in music; believe in Southern Buddhism
Daur:  a considerably smaller minority who said to be the descendants of Khitan tribe in Liao Dynasty; lay stress upon etiquette; have many taboos of their own
Deang:  a small minority distributed in Yunnan Province; they are skilled craftsman, and have profound tea culture; rice, wheat, corn and legume are the staple foods
Dong:  living in the border regions between Hunan, Hubei and Guizhou Provinces; skilled in handcrafts; rice, millet, wheat sorghum are the staple foods
Dongxiang:  mainly inhabit in Gansu Province, with farming and stocking as their mode of production; believe in Islam; enjoy drinking tea
Dulong: one of the smallest minority groups in China; believing that there are spirits who control everything; have two meals a day; carpet is their distinctive handicraft
Ewenki:  mostly live in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region; good at singing and dancing, horse-racing and wrestling; believe that Gods control their life
Gaoshan:  most live on Taiwan Island; like singing ballads and telling tales; have rituals for daily activities, such as sowing, harvesting, hunting and fishing
Elder Women of Hui Nationality
Hui Nationality in Xinjiang

Gelao: an old ethnic minority good at the refinement of forging, blacksmith and stonecutting; believe in the bless from many Gods and their ancestors
Gin: most live in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region; make a living on farming and fishing; most believe in Taoism; seafood and rice are their staple foods
Hani: mainly inhabit within the reaches of Yuan and Lantsang Rivers; have interesting marriage custom; believe in the great influence of many Gods and their ancestors
Hezhen: the smallest minority in China; believe in Shamanism and all have spirits and worship as many gods; fish is their staple food
Hui: believe in Islamism; the religious thoughts play important role in their daily life; their life style is very different from other minority groups
Jingpo: mainly distribute in Yunnan Province; skilled at carving, painting, weaving and embroidering; believe everything has a soul which will never die
Jino:live mainly in Yunnan Province; an old minority who believe in animism; rice and corn are their staple food; the Iron Forging Festival is the grandest festival
Kazak: mainly dwell in Xinjiang, Gansu and Qinghai; love music and have many unique musical instruments such as Dongbula; believe in Islam
Miao Ethnic Minority in Guizhou Province
Miao Ethnic Minority in Guizhou

Kirgiz: most live in Xinjiang; adept at literature, music, sports and handicrafts; do animal husbandry; some of them believe in Islam and some believe in Tibetan Buddhism
Lahu: most are scattered around the Lancangjiang Lahu Autonomous County; believe in Mahayana; regard black as the most beautiful color
Li:mainly live in middle and southern part of Hainan Province; favorite corn, rice and sweet potatoes; depend on agriculture, breeding and handicrafts industries
Lisu:most live in Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces; mainly live on corn and buckwheat; created their own calendar composed of ten months divided by nature's change
Luoba:dwell at the foot of Himalayas, and make a living by doing agriculture and hunting; have unique food custom, and corn, rice and a kind of local grain are their staple foods
Man:originated from the Jurchen tribes; have a long history and brilliant culture; the creator of Jin and Qing Dynasties; has made great influence to Chinese history
Maonan:mainly distribute in Huanjiang County in Guangxi Province; live on agriculture and handicraft industry; rice and corn are their staple foods
Miao:has a relatively larger popular compared with other minorities in China; skillful in handicrafts such as paper-cutting, embroidery, weaving, and jewelry casting
Mongolians in Inner Mongolia
Mongolians in Inner Mongolia

Monba: mainly distribute in Tibet and has a long history; their staple food are corn, rice and buckwheat; adept in weaving with vines and bamboo vines; have interesting wedding ceremony
Mongol:primarily live in Inner Mongolia; the minority on the horseback; the staple food is meat and milk; the greatest festival is Nadam Fair
Mulam:a smaller minority group dwelling mainly in Guangxi Province; believe in natural spirits; adept at pottery making and iron forging
Naxi: mainly live in Yunnan, Sichuan and Tibet; the major production activities are handicrafts, stock breeding and farming; most of them believe in Dongba Religion
Nu: most live in the southwest of Yunnan Province; believe everything has spirit and some believe in Christianity and Lamaism; good at playing musical instruments
Oroqen:dwell mainly in Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang Province; good at hunting and making wares with iron, wood and bone; the staple food is meat
Dance of Uygur Minority
Dance of Uygur Minority
Primi:live on agriculture and livestock; believe life is influenced by gods and ancestors; celebrate Spring Festival, Pure Brightness Festival and Dragon Boat Festival
Qiang: mainly live in Aba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province; their staple foods are beef, mutton, chicken, fish, corn, wheat and potatoes
Russ: derived from Russian immigrates in 18th Century; most live in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region; celebrate Christmas Day and Easter Day
Salar:mainly live in Qinghai, Gansu and Xinjiang Provinces; make a living by engaging in horticulture, handicrafts and agriculture
She: most live in Fujian and Zhejiang Provinces; believe in the influence of ancestors and totems; the staple foods are corn, rice, beans and potatoes
Shui: mainly distribute in Guizhou Province; have their own language; good at stone-carving, paper-cuts, silver jewelry making and batik techniques
Tagik: have splendid culture and long history; live on agriculture and stock husbandry; believe in Islam and lay stress upon etiquette
Tatar: mainly live in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region; have their own language; follow Islam; depend on agriculture, stock husbandry and handicrafts
Long Hair Yao Minority, Guangxi
Long Hair Yao Minority, Guangxi

Tu: mainly distribute in Qinghai and Gansu Provinces; practice Animism and Taoism; live on agriculture, stock husbandry and sheep breeding
Tujia: distribute widely in Hunan, Hubei, Guizhou and Sichuan Provinces; believe in the great influence of gods and ancestors; live on agriculture and fish industry
Uygur: mainly live in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regions; believe in Islam; their unique staple foods are nang, zhuafan and noodles
Uzbek:mainly live in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regions; believe in Islam, and depend on stock breeding and handicrafts industries
Wa:mainly live in Yunnan Province; make a living by doing agriculture; some believe in Buddhism and Christianity; rice is their staple food
Xibe: distribute in Jilin, Liaoning and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region; live on stock husbandry and agriculture; wheat flour, rice and mutton are their staple food
Yao:distribute widely in the mountainous areas in south of China; corn, rice and potatoes are their staple food and they like drinking tea and homemade wines
Tibetan Women in Tibet
Tibetan Women in Tibet

Yi: widely live in Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan and Guangxi Provinces; have a long history and splendid culture; treasure various beliefs
Yugur:mainly live in Gansu Province; the typical nomads live on stock breeding; believe in Lamaism; preserve many traditional cultures such as folk tales, legends and ballads
Zang:most live in the Tibetan Autonomous Region; believe in Tibetan Buddhism (also called Lamaism); Tsamba, butter tea, mutton and beef are their staple foods
Zhuang:the largest minority group in China mainly living in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region; has a long history and splendid culture
  Further Reading: Chinese Han People - the largest ethnic group in China.

- Last updated on Jun. 01, 2023 -
Questions & Answers on 55 Ethnic Minorities in China
Asked by Miguel A Sanabria from USA | Jun. 01, 2023 05:59Reply
Fifty five different ethnic groups in China? What are their dialects?
How they receive their education? Is the National government providing the basics need to these people? How they receive payment for their goods, are they tax for what they sale or produce in their land? Are these people permitted to move out of their villages to Urban cities and mix their race and traditions with other civilians in China?
Answers (1)
Answered by Emily | Jun. 01, 2023 20:11

Yes, of course. Every civilian in China can enjoy the nine-year compulsory education so the ethnic group people have schools and can receive basic education. They can even go to universities with a lower grade than the students of the Han nationality.

Most of the ethnic groups have their dialects and other Chinese may also cannot understand these dialects, so Mandarin is important to learn to communicate. They also need to pay tax but the local government may have a policy decreasing some tax payments. People can also freely move to any other cities or places as they want.
Asked by Mareet from INDIA | Mar. 11, 2016 03:25Reply
Do louba people celebrate any festival?
Answers (1)
Answered by Shan from FRANCE | Mar. 12, 2016 01:21

You must refer to Luoba People, right?
To be honest, they don't have common festivals on the same date because some people observe festivals according to Tibetan calendar, while others live according to own calendar.
But most of them celebrate the Chinese New Year together. During that period of time, they will kill pigs, oxen or sheep for meat and share the meat with others. In addition, they also have several other interesting activities, such as dancing and singing.
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