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
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