Latest News:  
Beijing   Thundershower/Overcast    28 / 20   City Forecast

Home>>PD Online Database >> Ethnic Odyssey

The Yi ethnic minority (7)

(People's Daily)

15:42, August 28, 2011

Lack of transportation facilities was one of the factors contributing to the seclusion of the Liangshan Mountains. Construction of roads started right after liberation. In 1952, the highway connecting Sichuan and western Yunnan was reconstructed and opened to traffic. At the same time, trunk highways linking the Liangshan Autonomous Prefecture with other parts of the country were constructed. The Yixi Highway was opened to traffic in 1957, linking up the Greater and Lesser Liangshan Mountains for the first time in history. A highway network extending in all directions within the prefecture had been formed by 1961. By the end of 1981, the total length of highways in the prefecture had increased from seven km. before 1949 to 7,368 km. While there were only 18 push carts in the whole area before 1949, the number of vehicles in 1981 reached 11,000, of which 5,000 were motor vehicles.

The local transportation department employed a total of 10,000 people. The Chengdu-Kunming Railway crosses six counties in the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture over a distance of 337 km., with 45 stations on the line.

With the development of the local economy, people in the prefecture had built 1,480 hydroelectric stations with a total generating capacity of 97,000 kw. By 1981, providing electric power and lighting for 80 per cent of the area.

Being extremely backward in education in the old days, the Yi people now have primary schools in all villages. The autonomous prefecture began setting up middle schools, secondary technical schools and schools for training ethnic teachers in the late 1950s. In 1981, there were 180 middle schools with 220 minority teachers and 12,000 students, 3,780 elementary schools with 3,700 minority teachers and 66,900 pupils. Children of emancipated slaves and poor peasants now have access to education. A new generation of Yi intellectuals with socialist consciousness is coming to the fore, and many Yi cadres hold leading positions at all levels of government in the prefecture.

In the past, there were no professional doctors, and the only way to avert and cure diseases was to pray. Now there are hospitals and clinics in all counties. Serious epidemic diseases such as smallpox, typhoid, leprosy, malaria, cholera have either been brought under control or wiped out by and large. A lot of traditional medical experience of the Yis has been collected, summed up and improved. The world famous Yunnan baiyao (a white medicinal powder with special efficacy for treating haemorrhage, wounds, bruises, etc.) is said to have been prepared according to a folk prescription handed down for generations by Yi people in Yunnan.

The colorful literature and art of the Yis are flourishing. The Yi people have created a great deal of historical and literary works written in the old Yi language and folk literary works handed down orally. The oral folk literary works, numerous and in a great variety, include poems, tales, fables, proverbs, riddles, etc. History of the Yis in the Southwest and Lebuteyi, two encyclopedic works written in the old Yi language and involving philosophy, history and religion have been translated into the Han (main Chinese) language. The epics Ashima, The Song of the Axi People and Meige are popular throughout Yunnan.

Since liberation, many Yi folk tales, epics and songs have been published after being collected and collated. Also published are some new works reflecting the present life of the Yi people, such as The Merry Jinsha River and Daji and His Father. Yi songs and dances are rich in ethnic color. The new folk song The Stars and the Moon Are Together expresses through beautiful melodies the happiness and warmth felt by the Yis in the great family of nationalities in China. The Happy Nuosu, another new song with cheerful and lively melodies, reflects the joyous and energetic life of the Yi people.


【1】 【2】 【3】 【4】 【5】 【6】 【7】

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:刘晓宁)

Related Reading

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name

  

Selections for you


  1. Hurricane Irene approaching New York

  2. Pretty hot! Underwear models parade in Kiev

  3. Bayern wins, Cologne stuns Hamburg at German Bundesliga

  4. 7th birthdays of pandas Tuantuan and Yuanyuan celebrated in Taipei

Most Popular

What's happening in China

Military training to start college life

  1. Coal mine safety so far this year
  2. Plan sets out details for human rights development and implementation
  3. Ancestral villages all gone with the flow
  4. First official electronic chart in service
  5. Plans for man-made island lead to worries

PD Online Data

  1. The Naxi ethnic minority
  2. The Lhoba ethnic minority
  3. The Ewenki ethnic minority
  4. The De'ang ethnic minority
  5. The Blang ethnic minority