Yi people

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Alternative names:
Nuosu and dozens of others
Total population
Regions with significant populations
China: Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Guangxi
Vietnam 4,541 (2009)[2]
Mandarin, Yi (minority)
Bimoism, minority of Buddhists and Christians
Related ethnic groups
Naxi, Qiang, Tibetan, possibly Tujia.
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For the people living to the east of the early Chinese civilization, see Dongyi.


Alternative names:
Nuosu and dozens of others
Total population
Regions with significant populations
China: Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Guangxi
Vietnam 4,541 (2009)[2]
Mandarin, Yi (minority)
Bimoism, minority of Buddhists and Christians
Related ethnic groups
Naxi, Qiang, Tibetan, possibly Tujia.

The Yi or Lolo people[3] are an ethnic group in China, Vietnam, and Thailand. Numbering 8 million, they are the seventh largest of the 55 ethnic minority groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China. They live primarily in rural areas of Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, and Guangxi, usually in mountainous regions. As of 1999, there were 3,300 "Lô Lô" people living in Hà Giang, Cao Bằng, and Lào Cai provinces in northeastern Vietnam. Most Yi are farmers; herders of cattle, sheep and goats; and nomadic hunters.[citation needed]

The Yi speak various Loloish languages, Tibeto-Burman languages closely related to Burmese. The prestige variety is Nuosu, which is written in the Yi script.


Of the more than 8 million Yi people, over 4.5 million live in Yunnan Province, 2.5 million live in southern Sichuan Province, and 1 million live in the northwest corner of Guizhou Province. Nearly all the Yi live in mountainous areas,[citation needed] often carving out their existence on the sides of steep mountain slopes far from the cities of China.

The altitudinal differences of the Yi areas directly affect the climate and precipitation of these areas. These striking differences are the basis of the old saying that "The weather is different a few miles away" in the Yi area. This is the primary reason why the Yi in various areas are so different from one another in the ways they make a living.[4]


Although different groups of Yi refer to themselves in different ways (including Nisu, Sani, Axi, Lolo, Acheh) and sometimes speak mutually unintelligible dialects, they have been grouped into a single ethnicity by the Chinese, and the various local appellations can be classified into three groups:

(Groups listed below are sorted by their broad linguistic classification and the general geographic area where they live. Within each section, larger groups are listed first.)

ClassificationApproximate total populationGroups
Southern1,082,120Nisu, Southern Nasu, Muji, A Che, Southern Gaisu, Pula,
Boka, Lesu, Chesu, Laowu, Alu, Azong, Xiuba
Southeastern729,760Poluo, Sani, Axi, Azhe, Southeastern Lolo, Jiasou, Puwa,
Aluo, Awu, Digao, Meng, Xiqi, Ati, Daizhan, Asahei, Laba,
Zuoke, Ani, Minglang, Long
Central565,080Lolopo, Dayao Lipo, Central Niesu, Enipu, Lopi, Popei
Eastern1,456,270Eastern Nasu, Panxian Nasu, Wusa Nasu, Shuixi Nosu,
Wuding Lipo, Mangbu Nosu, Eastern Gepo, Naisu, Wumeng,
Naluo, Samei, Sanie, Luowu, Guopu, Gese, Xiaohei Neisu,
Dahei Neisu, Depo, Laka, Lagou, Aling, Tushu, Gouzou,
Wopu, Eastern Samadu
Western1,162,040Mishaba Laluo, Western Lolo, Xiangtang, Xinping Lalu,
Yangliu Lalu, Tusu, Gaiji, Jiantou Laluo, Xijima, Limi, Mili,
Lawu, Qiangyi, Western Samadu, Western Gepo,
Xuzhang Lalu, Eka, Western Gaisu, Suan, Pengzi
Northern2,534,120Shengba Nosu, Yinuo Nosu, Xiaoliangshan Nosu, Butuo Nosu,
Suodi, Tianba Nosu, Bai Yi, Naruo, Naru, Talu, Mixisu, Liwu,
Northern Awu, Tagu, Liude, Naza, Ta'er
Unclassified55,490Michi (Miqie), Jinghong Nasu, Apu, Muzi, Tanglang, Micha,
Ayizi, Guaigun


A Yi woman in traditional dress

Some scholars believe that the Yi are descended from the ancient Qiang people of today's western China, who are also said to be the ancestors of the Tibetan, Naxi and Qiang peoples. They migrated from southeastern Tibet through Sichuan and into the Yunnan Province, where their largest populations can be found today.

They practice a form of animism, led by a shaman priest known as the Bimaw. They still retain a few ancient religious texts written in their unique pictographic script. Their religion also contains many elements of Daoism and Buddhism.

Many of the Yi in Liangshan and northwestern Yunnan practiced a complicated form of slavery. People were split into the nuohuo or Black Yi (nobles), qunuo or White Yi (commoners), and slaves. White Yi were free and could own property and slaves but were in a way tied to a lord. Other ethnic groups were held as slaves.[8][9][10][11][12][13]


Most Yi believe they have the same ancestor, ꀉꁌꅋꃅ or ꀉꁌꐧꃅ (Axpu Ddutmu or Axpu Jjutmu). It is said that Apu Dumu married three wives and had six sons: each of the wives bore two sons. In the legend, the oldest two sons leading their tribes conquered other aborigines of Yunnan and began to reside in most territory of Yunnan. The youngest two sons led their tribes eastwards and were defeated by Han, before finally making western Guizhou their home and creating the largest quantity of Yi script documents. The other two sons led their tribes across the Jinsha River and dwelled in Liangshan. This group had close intermarriage with the local (Pup).

Known history[edit]

Most Yi live in Liangshan, Chuxiong, and Honghe. At the Lizhou archaeological site (Chinese: 礼州遗址) near Xichang of Liangshan, dating to 3,000 years ago, many artifacts of the Neolithic Age have been discovered. Although no evidence proves that these ancient cultures of stone age have direct correlation with modern Yi people, their descendants, local bronze culture, may have had some influence on Yi people, as the ancestors of Yi people had frequent contact and intermarriage with local tribes, such as Dian (Chinese: 滇), Qiong (Chinese: 邛) and Zuo (Chinese: 笮), during their southwards migration from north eastern edge of Tibetan Plateau. Today, the Yi people still call the city of Xichang as ꀒꎂ (Op Rro). In spite of the affix “or-”, the root “dro” is believed by some scholars as related to the tribe Qiong (Chinese: 邛) as the pronunciation is quite close to the ancient pronunciation of Chinese character 邛.

During the Han dynasty, the central sovereign of China conquered the valley of Anning River, which is a tributary of Yalong River, and founded a county there named Qiongdu (Chinese: 邛都). The site is Xichang of present day and from that time onwards, Xichang has become the bridge of Chengdu and Kunming across Yi area. Since Han dynasty, Yi people have been involved in the history of China. In the north dialect of modern Yi language, Chinese Han is still called ꉌꈲ (Hxie mgat), which is related to the Chinese word 汉家 (pinyin: Hànjiā), which means household of Han.

After the Han dynasty, the Shu of the Three Kingdoms conducted several wars against the ancestors of Yi under the lead of Zhuge Liang. They defeated the king of Yi, ꂽꉼ (Mot Hop; Chinese: 孟获) and expanded their conquered territory in Yi area. After that, the Jin Dynasty succeed Shu as the suzerainty of Yi area but with weak control.

After the Jin dynasty, central China entered the era of the Southern and Northern Dynasties with frequent wars against the invading nomads from the north and lost its control of Yi and Yi area.

Although the Sui dynasty reunited China, it did not retrieve control of Yi but had close communications with Han residential spots scattered within Yi area (most along Anning River). After the Sui dynasty's mere 37 years, the situation continued in Tang dynasty. During Sui and Tang dynasty, the local aborigines of present-day Yunnan and Liangshan were distinguished by Chinese Han as Wuman (Chinese: 乌蛮, meaning black barbarian) and Baiman (Chinese: 白蛮, meaning white barbarian). Some scholars believe that Wuman is the ancestor of modern Yi while Baiman is the ancestor of modern Bai people (Chinese: 白族) of Yunnan.

The Wuman and Baiman people founded six independent cities on Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau.[citation needed] The cities were known as zhao (Chinese: 诏) in Chinese texts, meaning 'city chieftain'. In 649 the king Xinuluo (Chinese: 细奴逻) of the Mengshe Zhao (Chinese: 蒙舍诏) extended his city's territory into a kingdom that assumed the name Great Meng (Chinese: 大蒙国). Great Meng was near Erhai Lake. Yi people[who?] believe[citation needed] the capital of the Great Meng was located in the area of nowaday Weishan county. In 737 with the support of the Tang dynasty of China, King Piluoge (Chinese: 皮罗阁) of the Great Meng united the six cities (zhao) in succession, establishing a new kingdom. As the Great Meng was the most southern of the six, the Tang dynasty recorded the united Great Meng as Nanzhao (Chinese: 南诏), which means the southern city. Although academic arguments exist (see Controversy of Nanzhao), there is a popular[citation needed] view that the royal family of Nanzhao were Yi people and ministers were Bai people. In the Weishan county of today, the saga of King Piluoge is still widely told.[citation needed]

Tibet also noted the spring of Nanzhao, which in Tibetan is called Jang. Although Tibet had maintained suzerainty over Nanzhao for decades, Nanzhao finally turned to the Tang dynasty. At the era of King Geluofeng (Chinese 阁罗凤), who was the son of King Piluoge, the Tang dynasty performed three expeditions against Nanzhao to conquer it, but all failed.

Nanzhao existed for 165 years until A.D. 902. After 35 years of tangled warfare, Duan Siping (Chinese 段思平) of the Bai birth founded the Kingdom of Dali, succeeding the territory of Nanzhao. Most Yi of that time were under the ruling of Dali. Dali’s sovereign existed for 316 years coterminous with the Song dynasty of central China, until it was conquered by Kublai Khan. During the era of Dali, Yi people lived in the territory of Dali but had little communication with the royalty of Dali.

Kublai Khan included Dali in his domain, grouping it with Tibet. The Yuan emperors remained firmly in control of the Yi people and the area they inhabited as part of Kublai Khan's Yunnan Xingsheng (Chinese: 云南行省) at current Yunnan, Guizhou and part of Sichuan. In order to enhance its sovereign over the area, the Yuan dynasty set up a dominion for Yi, Luoluo Xuanweisi (Chinese: 罗罗宣慰司), the name of which means local appeasement government for Lolos. Although technically under the rule of the Yuan emperor, the Yi still had autonomy during the Yuan dynasty. The gulf between aristocrats and the common people increased during this time.

During the Ming dynasty the Chinese emperor expedited its cultural assimilation policy in southwestern China, spreading the policy of Gai Tu Gui Liu (Chinese: 改土归流). The governing power of many Yi feudal lords had previously been expropriated by the successors of officials assigned by the central government. With the progress of Gai Tu Gui Liu, the Yi area was dismembered into many communities both large and small, and it was difficult for the communities to communicate with each other as there were often Han-ruled areas between them.

The Kangxi Emperor of the Qing dynasty defeated Wu Sangui and took over the land of Yunnan and established a provincial government there. When Ortai became the Viceroy of Yunnan and Guizhou during the era of Yongzheng Emperor, the policy of Gai Tu Gui Liu and cultural assimilation against Yi were strengthened. Under these policies, Yi who lived near Kunming were forced to abandon their convention of traditional cremation and adopt burial, a policy which triggered rebellions among the Yi. The Qing dynasty suppressed these rebellions.

After the Second Opium War (1856–1860), many Christian missionaries from France and Great Britain visited the area in which the Yi lived. Although some missionaries believed that Yi of some areas such as Liangshan were not under the ruling of Qing dynasty and should be independent, most aristocrats insisted that Yi was a part of China despite their resentment against Qing rule.

Long Yun, a Yi, was the military governor of Yunnan, during the Republic of China rule on mainland China.

The Fourth Front Army of the CCP encountered the Yi people during the Long March, and many Yi joined the communist forces.[according to whom?]

Much like their Tibetan neighbors, the Yi, specifically the Lolo, actively resisted the Communist occupation of their homeland. This manifested in a large scale armed revolt against the Communist Chinese in 1955, leading to thousands of losses on the Chinese side before the revolt was finally put down. In retribution, the Communist forces staged mass executions in which Lolo men, women, and children were bayoneted and shot. The true scale of these reprisals remains a mystery.[14]

After the establishment of the PRC, several Yi autonomous administrative districts of prefecture or county level were set up in Sichuan, Yunnan, and Guizhou. With the development of automotive traffic and telecommunications, the communications among different Yi areas have been increasing sharply.


The Chinese government recognizes six mutually unintelligible Yi languages, from various branches of the Loloish family:[15]

Northern Yi (Nuosu 诺苏), Western Yi (Lalo 腊罗), Central Yi (Lolopo 倮倮泼), Southern Yi (Nisu 尼苏), Southeastern Yi (Sani 撒尼), Eastern Yi (Nasu 纳苏).

Northern Yi is the largest with some two million speakers, and is the basis of the literary language. There are also ethnically Yi languages of Vietnam which use the Yi script, such as Mantsi.

Many Yi in Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi know Standard Chinese, and code switching between Yi and Chinese is common.


By province[edit]

By county[edit]

County-level distribution of the Yi 2000 census

(Only includes counties or county-equivalents containing >1% of county population.)

county/cityYi %YiTotal
Longlingezu autonomous county1,033563347462
Sichuan province2,58212238982348296
Panzhihua city10,111103261091657
Dong district1,253945315707
Xi district1,843148170862
Renhe district19,0638907204170
Miyi county13,2127381207300
Yanbian county19,0836945193618
Leshan city3,531173553324139
Jinkouhe district10,15537352916
Ebian Yi autonomous county30,6543269141166
Mabian Yi autonomous county39,1566723170425
Pingshan county2,005004250620
Yaan city2,04310131522845
Hanyuan county4,5115686347471
Shimian county11,1713769123261
Ganzi Tibetan autonomous prefecture2,5622946897239
Luding county4,40342477855
Jiulong county37,011880650816
Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture44,4318136834081697
Xichang city16,48101369615212
Muli Tibetan autonomous county27,7134489124462
Yanyuan county47,67149568313765
Dechang county23,1843810188980
Huili county17,3375064433185
Huidong county6,9124279351310
Ningnan county21,8537134169962
Puge county76,55106521139156
Butuo county95,44132285138604
Jinyang county78,42109813140028
Zhaojue county96,75200951207712
Xide county85,74118048137676
Mianning county33,39108289324332
Yuexi county72,54172505237800
Ganluo county68,66120445175426
Meigu county97,81172356176214
Leibo county51,36106757207873
Guizhou province2,3984355435247695
Baiyun district1,041961187695
Qingzhen city1,657761471305
Liupanshui city9,562623082744085
Zhongshan district5,6425549453293
Liuzhite district11,3261319541762
Shuicheng county11,7079339678228
Pan county8,97961011070802
Qianxi'nan Bouyei Miao autonomous prefecture2,05587662864920
Xingyi city2,0214521719605
Xingren county2,4410372425091
Puan county2,666905259881
Qinglong county6,7617436258031
Anlong county2,289094399384
Bijie prefecture7,414688006327471
Bijie city4,26480941128230
Dafang county10,8492295851729
Qianxi county8,6760420697075
Jinsha county4,1720696496063
Zhijin county3,8131420825350
Nayong county5,7237840661772
Weining Yi Hui Miao autonomous county9,06956291056009
Hezhang county13,4882406611243
Yunnan province11,11470565842360089
Kunming city6,653845315781294
Wuhua district2,5610580413420
Panlong district1,595468344754
Guandu district3,38473111398305
Xishan district5,0730617603363
Dongchuan district3,268984275564
Chenggong county1,222202180685
Jinning county7,6420443267739
Fumin county7,4410422140046
Yiliang county6,0624051396677
Shilin Yi autonomous county32,4972779223978
Luquan Yi Miao autonomous county22,4596388429355
Xundian Hui Yi autonomous county8,9142934481721
Anning city3,349872295173
Qujing city3,852103515466089
Qilin district2,1614041648956
Malong county3,416326185766
Shizong county6,2121718349770
Luoping county6,4433159515211
Fuyuan county7,1647076657474
Huize county2,0016910844485
Zhanyi county2,168406389838
Xuanwei city4,46577081292825
Yuxi city19,324004122073005
Hongta district9,0236905409044
Jiangchuan county5,4814087257078
Chengjiang county1,822726149748
Tonghai county5,8216017275063
Huaning county21,2941844196519
Yimen county26,7545362169581
Eshan Yi autonomous county52,3679289151426
Xinping Yi Dai autonomous county46,20122259264615
Yuanjiang Hani Yi Dai autonomous county20,9741923199931
Zhaotong prefecture3,231485214592388
Zhaotong city2,5818758727959
Ludian county2,518686345740
Qiaojia county2,8613183461034
Daguan county1,984667235802
Yongshan county4,7217130362943
Zhenxiong county5,78634631097093
Yiliang county4,2420269477811
Chuxiong Yi autonomous prefecture26,316689372542530
Chuxiong city19,0595959503682
Shuangbai county43,1066110153403
Mouding county22,0343032195322
Nanhua county36,0782223227970
Yaoan county25,3850526199071
Dayao county29,5282620279838
Yongren county49,4451223103606
Yuanmou county24,2549179202779
Wuding county30,1879254262601
Lufeng county16,6168811414258
Honghe Hani Yi autonomous prefecture23,579737324130463
Gejiu city20,2791902453311
Kaiyuan city33,0996647292039
Mengzi county29,3899917340051
Pingbian Miao autonomous county18,5127596149088
Jianshui county29,02149071513712
Shiping county53,67148987277580
Mile county30,92153235495642
Luxi county7,9929202365585
Yuanyang county24,0187137362950
Honghe county14,2338086267627
Jinping Miao Yao Dai autonomous county11,9737837316171
Lvchun county4,929894201256
Hekou Yao autonomous county4,42422195451
Wenshan Zhuang Miao autonomous prefecture10,623471943268553
Wenshan county17,2874255429639
Yanshan county21,1192356437508
Xichou county3,959332236120
Malipo county2,256036267986
Maguan county9,1632056350002
Qiubei county18,0578327434009
Guangnan county5,8442675730376
Funing county3,1712157382913
Simao prefecture16,584111202480346
Simao city15,1234904230834
Puer Hani Yi autonomous county19,4536589188106
Mojiang Hani autonomous county9,2332812355364
Jingdong Yi autonomous county39,92140556352089
Jinggu Dai Yi autonomous county20,5959476288794
Zhenyuan Yi Hani Lahu autonomous county27,2856119205709
Jiangcheng Hani Yi autonomous county13,4713503100243
Menglian Dai Lahu Va autonomous county2,404999208593
Lancang Lahu autonomous county6,7431255464016
Ximeng Va autonomous county1,0590786598
Xishuangbanna Dai autonomous prefecture5,6155772993397
Jinghong city5,5624673443672
Menghai county2,287175314068
Mengla county10,1523924235657
Dali Bai autonomous prefecture12,944266343296552
Dali city2,9515385521169
Yangbi Yi autonomous county46,0948565105380
Xiangyun county7,2631733437371
Binchuan county6,2720332324412
Midu county8,3524791296860
Nanjian Yi autonomous county47,2499159209887
Weishan Yi Hui autonomous county34,07100879296124
Yongping county26,5647391178438
Yunlong county5,4510739196978
Eryuan county3,009443315003
Jianchuan county2,884771165900
Heqing county5,4013446249030
Baoshan prefecture3,23758772348315
Baoshan city4,6139025846865
Shidian county3,6211360314187
Longling county1,834758260097
Changning county6,0420123333241
Lijiang prefecture18,682104311126646
Lijiang Naxi autonomous county2,428871366705
Yongsheng county12,4346703375769
Huaping county8,2612808154968
Ninglang Yi autonomous county61,97142049229204
Nujiang Lisu autonomous prefecture1,999805491824
Lushui county2,283915171974
Lanping Bai Pumi autonomous county2,915727196977
Diqing Tibetan autonomous prefecture3,2911616353518
Zhongdian county6,509586147416
Weixi Lisu autonomous county1,382016146017
Lincang prefecture15,773678802332570
Lincang county5,4315478285163
Fengqing county27,61117883426943
Yun county37,96158099416507
Yongde county8,6829521339918
Zhenkang county17,1931334182258
Shuangjiang Lahu Va Blang Dai autonomous county1,572605165982
Gengma Dai Va autonomous county3,5711193313220


The Yi script was originally logosyllabic like Chinese, and dates to at least the 13th century. There were perhaps 10,000 characters, many of which were regional, since the script had never been standardized across the Yi peoples. A number of works of history, literature, and medicine, as well as genealogies of the ruling families, written in the Old Yi script are still in use, and there are Old Yi stone tablets and steles in the area.

Under the Communist government, the script was standardized as a syllabary. Syllabic Yi is widely used in books, newspapers, and street signs.


The Yi play a number of traditional musical instruments, including large plucked and bowed string instruments,[16] as well as wind instruments called bawu (巴乌) and mabu (马布). The Yi also play the hulu sheng, though unlike other minority groups in Yunnan, the Yi do not play the hulu sheng for courtship or love songs (aiqing). The kouxian, a small four-pronged instrument similar to the Jew's harp, is another commonly found instrument among the Liangshan Yi. Kouxian songs are most often improvised and are supposed to reflect the mood of the player or the surrounding environment. Kouxian songs can also occasionally function in the aiqing form. Yi dance is perhaps the most commonly recognized form of musical performance, as it is often performed during publicly sponsored holidays and/or festival events.

Yi people's son's given name is patronymic, based on the last one or two syllable of father's name.



Main article: Bimoism

Bimoism is the ethnic religion of the Yi. Shaman-priests of this faith are known as bimo, which means "master of scriptures". Bimo officiate at births, funerals, weddings and holidays. They are often seen along the street consulting ancient scripts. The Yi worship deified ancestors similarly to the Chinese traditional religion practitioners, besides gods of local nature: fire, hills, trees, rocks, water, earth, sky, wind, and forests.

Ritual performances play a major role in daily life through healing, exorcism, asking for rain, cursing enemies, blessing, divination and analysis of one's relationship with the gods. They believe dragons protect villages against bad spirits, and demons cause diseases. However, the Yi dragon is neither similar to dragon in Western culture nor the same as that in Han culture. After someone dies they sacrifice a pig or sheep at the doorway to maintain relationship with the deceased spirit. The Yi believe that bad spirits cause illness, poor harvests and other misfortunes and inhabit all material things. The Yi also believe in multiple souls. At death, one soul remains to watch the grave while the other is eventually reincarnated into some living form.

The Nosu form of Bimoism (the religion of the Nosu or Nuosu subgroup of the Yi) distinguishes two sorts of shamans: the bimo and the suni, respectively hereditary and ordained priests. One can become bimo by patrilineal descent after a time of apprenticeship or formally acknowledging an old bimo as the teacher, a suni must be elected. Bimo are the most revered, to the point that the Nosu religion is also called "bimo religion". Bimo can read Yi scripts while suni cannot. Both can perform rituals, but only bimo can perform rituals linked to death. For most cases, suni only perform some exorcism to cure diseases. Generally, suni can only be from humble civil birth while bimo can be of both aristocratic and humble families.

In recent decades the Bimoist faith has undergone a revival, with large temples built in the early 2010s.[17][18][19]

Other religions[edit]

In Yunnan, some of the Yi have adopted Buddhism as a result of exchanges with other predominantly Buddhist ethnic groups present in Yunnan, such as the Dai and the Tibetans. The most important god of Yi Buddhism is Mahākāla, a wrathful deity found in Vajrayana and Tibetan Buddhism. In the 20th century, some Yi people in China converted to Christianity, after the arrival of Gladstone Porteous in 1904 and, later, medical missionaries such as Alfred James Broomhall, Janet Broomhall, Ruth Dix and Joan Wales of the China Inland Mission. According to missionary organization OMF International, the exact number of Yi Christians is not known. In 1991 it was reported that there were as many as 150,000 Yi Christians in Yunnan Province, especially in Luquan County where there are more than 20 churches.[20]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ China.org.cn - The Yi Ethnic Group
  2. ^ "The 2009 Vietnam Population and Housing Census: Completed Results". General Statistics Office of Vietnam: Central Population and Housing Census Steering Committee. June 2010. p. 135. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  3. ^ Nuosu: ꆈꌠ [nɔ̄sū]; Chinese transcription: 诺苏 Nuòsū; Chinese: 彝族; pinyin: Yízú; Vietnamese: Lô Lô; Thai: โล-โล, Lo-Lo
  4. ^ "Ethnic Groups - china.org.cn". china.org.cn. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  5. ^ Some scholars, however, argue that the Nuosu-series appellations are from the word "black" instead (, Nuo).
  6. ^ Ramsey, Robert S. (1987). The Languages of China, p. 160. Princeton University Press.
  7. ^ Benedict, Paul K. (1987). "Autonyms: ought or ought not." Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area 10: 188. Italics in original.
  8. ^ Martin Schoenhals Intimate Exclusion: Race and Caste Turned Inside Out 2003- Page 26 "A non-slave-owning Black Yi, or a poor one, was nonetheless always higher in caste status than any White Yi, even a wealthy one or one owning slaves, and the Black Yi manifested this superiority by refusing to marry White Yi even if the latter ..."
  9. ^ Barbara A. West Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Asia and Oceania 2009 - Page 910 "Yi society prior to the revolution in 1949 was divided into four ranked classes or castes: Nuohuo, or Black Yi; Qunuo, or White Yi; Ajia; and Xiaxi. The Nuohuo, or Black Yi, was the highest and smallest caste at just about 7 percent of the ..."
  10. ^ Yongming Zhou Anti-Drug Crusades in Twentieth-Century - China: Nationalism, ... - 1999 - Page 150 "The black Yi (about 7 percent of the population) made up the aristocratic ruling class, and the white Yi held subordinate status. Within the white Yi, however, there were three subgroups: Qunuo, Anjia, and Jiaxi. Qunuo (about 50 percent of the ..."
  11. ^ S. Robert Ramsey The Languages of China 1987- Page 253 "The Black Yi looked down on farming, and all cultivation was traditionally done by White Yi and slaves. The Black Yi were responsible only for administration and military protection. Even so, however, they usually took great care to tend to their ..."
  12. ^ Stevan Harrell Perspectives on the Yi of Southwest China 2001 - Page 174 "One village is for Black Yi, who speak Black Yi language. One village is for White Yi, who speak White Yi language. One place is for Red Yi, who speak Red Yi language. One village is for Gan Yi, who speak Gan Yi language. One village is for ..."
  13. ^ Daniel H. Bays Christianity in China: From the Eighteenth Century to the Present 1999- Page 144 "In the local hierarchy of ethnic groups, they ranked near the bottom, below the Chinese, the Yi aristocracy (Black Yi) and free men (White Yi), and the Hui, closer to the Yi slave caste."
  14. ^ Norbu, Jamyang. "Learn from the Wisdom of Chairman Mao." In Warriors of Tibet: The Story of Aten and the Khampas' Fight for the Freedom of their Country, 96-97. London, England: Wisdom Publications, 1986.
  15. ^ Andrew West, The Yi People and Language
  16. ^ "彝族人网-中国彝族文化网络博物馆,创建最早,规模最大的彝族文化门户网站-网站地图". yizuren.com. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  17. ^ 彝族六祖分支.
  18. ^ 彝族分支圣地,神奇乌蒙昭通.
  19. ^ 2012年中华彝族祭祖节祭祖大典在南诏土主庙举行.
  20. ^ "OMF International". Retrieved 2008-02-18. 



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