The Naxi Nationality
The Naxi nationality has a population of 281,000, most of whom live in compact communities in Lijinag Naxi Autonomous County, Ninlglang County, Yongsheng County and Weixi ,Zhongdian and Deqin counties in Diqing.
The Naxi nationality has a long history. Their ancestors were a nomadic tribe from northern China called “Qing”. In upper reaches of the Jinsha River during the Sui and Tang Dynasties, and were called “Moshayi”, “Moxoeyi” and “Mosuo”. They called themselves “Na”, “Naxi” means people who worship black or a nation. therefore “Naxi” means people who worship black or a great nationality.
The Naxi people have a splendid culture, of which the most important one is the Dongba language which consists of the only surviving hieroglyphic characters in the world, The Naxi people have their own language, which belongs to the Tibet-Burmese Branch of the Sino-Tibetan language Family (Yi Branch).
The Naxi people believe in Mahayana Buddhism, Taism and Lamaism. The famous Lijiang Murals well reveal their attitudes of broad-mindedness and their assimilation of diverse cultures.
The costumes of the Naxi men are not very different from those of the Han people. The Naxi women usually wear coats with loose sleeves and buttons on the right, vests, long trousers and pleated aprons. They also wear a goat-felt cape in the shoulders with the pattern of seven embroidered circles symbolizing diligence and hard working.
The Mosuo people , a branch of the Naxi nationality, still keep the unique Axia marital custom, and the trace of a matrilineal system can still be seen in this group. Therefore they are called the “Living Fossil” for a study of the development of human family and marriage.
The main fes5ivals of the Naxi people are the Bangbanghui festival on January 15th on the lunar calendar, the Sanduo Festival in February 8th and the live Stock Exchange Fair in March and June.