Yunnan Naxi Ethnic Villages, China

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Naxi Ethnic Village

The Naxi Ethnic Villages are mostly situated in Lijiang prefecture of northwest Yunnan Province. Lijiang is the hometown of the Naxi Ethnics.

With its unique landscapes of mountains and rivers and the feelings of the maternal society - the Naxi Ethnic, a large sightseeing spots attracting visitors from home and abroad are composed in Lijiang.

According to the statistics, there are about 280,000 Naxi people, 260,000 of them are in Yunnan. They mainly live in Lijiang, so Lijiang is also called the Naxi Ethnic Autonomous.

Since Lijiang was the important town on the way of the southern Silk Road in ancient China, the businessmen and visitors brought here a lot of different cultural customs and even religion, arts and etc. when passing, so these influenced the local Naxi ethnics.

For these years, the Naxi Ethnic can not only emphasize other ethnics' culture, but also absorb others' merits and serve their own lives. From the present aspects of the constructions, music and mural paintings and so on, you can see clearly the characters of Tibet, Han, Hui and Bai ethnics and they absorb the religion and culture of western nations, so you can say the Naxi Ethnic possesses the compatible culture.

Although the Naxi ethnics can absorb the foreign cultures very much and they are good at overcoming their own shortcomings by learning from others' strong points to their own daily lives, one is very special that they are living in gregarious method of maternal society and has preserved for several thousand years, which becomes the large character of the Naxi Ethnic.

The status of female is higher than that of male at home, usually the elder or able woman manages the household affairs. The man and woman marry in way of "Walking Marriage" and the feeling is the measure of how long both sides getting along with each other. This unique kind of marriage custom is the one that other ethnics haven't.

At present the Naxi young people living in Lijiang city have already changed a lot, they gradually are not willing to obey the "Walking Marriage" of maternal society any more and mostly change into the small family's life of one husband with one wife system.

But the people living in many remote villages of Lijiang county still rule this old system, specially in the place named Ningdang Town, although the traffic there has been more convenient than before, they still preserve the old custom of maternal society: woman is the master at home, while man hasn't any statuses, it is the place that woman's right is the most important.