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Historical photos of 56 ethnic groups in China (Part Ⅳ)

(Chinaculture.org) Updated: 2015-05-07 07:00 Comments

Historical photos of 56 ethnic groups in China (Part Ⅳ)

A photo of a Bonan girl in 1956, taken by Ma Naihui. [Photo/ China Photographers Association]


China is a large united multi-ethnic state. Besides Han, which takes up over 90% of China’s population, there are 55 ethnic groups in this big country, with their costumes, festivals and customs.

These numerous groups share China's vast lands but at the same time many live in their individual communities. The relationships between them have been formed over many years. Now let’s have a look at some old photos of the 56 ethnic groups and learn about their culture.

Bonan ethnic group

Inhabiting Gansu province, the Bonan people tend to grow highland barley, wheat and corn. They only eat beef and mutton and refuse to eat non-ruminants and their by-products.

The Bonan people boast a thriving handicraft industry as almost everyone is an expert in knife forging on brass, copper or ox bones. This handicraft industry has a long history of over a hundred years.

Bonan musical forms of songs and dances sound distinctly similar to the Tibetan ones. The men play traditional stringed or woodwind instruments and often perform impromptu pieces.

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