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The Maonan ethnic minority

(People's Daily)

10:01, August 12, 2011

Population: 72,400

Major area of distribution: Guangxi

Language: Maonan

Religion: Taoism, polytheism


Photo: Chen Haiwen

The Maonan ethnic minority has a population of 72,400, living in the northern part of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The Maonan communities are located in sub-tropical areas characterized by a mild climate and beautiful scenery, with stony hills jutting up here and there, among which small patches of flatland are scattered. There are many small streams which are used to irrigate paddy rice fields. Drought-resistant crops are grown in the Dashi Mountain area where water is scarce. In addition to paddy rice, agricultural crops include maize, wheat, Chinese sorghum, sweet potatoes, soybean, cotton and tobacco. Special local products include camphor, palm fiber and musk. The area abounds in mineral resources such as iron, manganese, stibium and mercury. The Maonans are experts in raising beef cattle, which are marketed in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

People surnamed Tan take up 80 per cent of the population. Legend has it that their ancestors earlier lived in Hunan Province, then emigrated to Guangxi and multiplied by marrying the local women who spoke the Maonan tongue. There are other Maonans surnamed Lu, Meng, Wei and Yan, whose ancestral homes are said to have been in Shandong and Fujian provinces.

The Maonan language belongs to the Dong-Shui branch of the Zhuang-Dong language group of the Chinese-Tibetan language family. Almost all the Maonans know both the Han and the Zhuang languages because of long contact with those people.
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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

Leave your comment3 comments

  1. Name

YHWsQWFc at 2011-11-09202.7.176.*
Thanks for writing such an easy-to-understand atirlce on this topic.
ATYzPCelwZgvSnV at 2011-11-0789.111.61.*
I love these articles. How many words can a wordsimth smith?
JWazfhTvppNprmHCPaM at 2011-09-11174.129.125.*
Please keep thrownig these posts up they help tons.
  

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