The Nu Nationality
The Nu nationality has a population of only 27,000. They stay mainly in Lushui, Fugong, Gongshan, and Lanping counties of Nujiang Prefecture. Those in northern Fugong and Gongshan called themselves “Along” and “Anu”, and had kinship with the Dulong nationality in ancient times.
Those living in southern Fugong and Gongshan areas called themselves “Nusu” and were regarded as the descendants of the Lu-lu people of the Tang Dynasty, who were called “Luman” in the Yuan dynasty and “Nuren” in the Ming and Qing dynasties. The ancestors of these two tribes lived in the same regions together for a long tome in the Nujiang Cangyou, and combined to form one nationality as time passed by.
The language of the Nu nationality belongs to the Tibeto-Burman Branch of sino-Tibetan Language family. Since they have been living together in the same area with the Lisu people, most of them can speak the Lisu langgage. But they use the Han writing system. the majority of them believe in primitive religion, and worship their ancestors, but some believe in Lamaism and Christianity.
The Nu people are good at playing musical instruments. their major musical instruments are pipa, kouxuan, dizi (Chinese flute) and hulusheng. Young people express their love by means of pipa and kouxan. On these occasions, lovers use music instead of words to communicate with each other.
Both men and women wear linen clothes. The Nu men usually wear long linen gowns with blue broche patterns. When they go out, they always bring their cutting swords, bows and fur arrow-bags. The women in Lushui and Fugong counties usually wear coats with buttons on the right, and ling skirts decorated with colorful laces.
They wear coral and plastic beads on their heads and chests as ornaments. But the women in Gingshan only wear chest ornaments.