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"I dedicate this page to
all my Chinese friends

"May Peace Prevail on Earth"
(in Chinese)

Indigenous peoples of China
Indigenous peoples of Tibet
Chinese Nationalities
and Their Populations
Table of Populations
Ethnic Groups in China


The Chinese are classified as the Mongoloid (the 'yellow' race) along with Korean, Japanese, Native Americans, Mongols, Eskimos, and so on. The Yellow race makes up 33% of the world population. The Caucasoid (the "white" race), including the Australian aborigines, Arabs, Indians, Polynesians, and so on, accounts for 59% of the world population, while the Negroid (the 'black' race) accounts for only 8%.  It is believed the Negroid and Caucasoid are more closely related than the Mongoloid, which gave rise to the regionalism hypothesis whereby the Mongoloid has evolved from homo erectus while the Negroid and the Caucasoid have evolved from a common ancestor homo antecessor. The Mongoloid has dry earwax while others have wet earwax.

No one knows exactly where the Chinese came from or who they are.  It is believed that the humanoid - human-like creatures - appeared about two and half million years ago and that the humans as we know today, homo sapiens sapiens, came into being some 35,000 years ago. Although the oldest known writings - written language - date back only 5,000 years at best, we can 'read' our history by studying fossils, our DNA, geological data, cosmological data, our language, and so on, and from these records, we can determine the origin, or rather the prehistoric history, of the Chinese race, the 'White-clad People' (called "Dong-yi" -- the eastern barbarians, 濊貊族  by Chinese historians).

Minorities Shown Left to Right Descending by Population

List of ethnic groups in China

Minority Population Minority Population Minority Population Minority Population
Han 1,136,703,824 Zhuang 15,555,800 Manchu 8,846,800 Hui 8,612,000
Miao 7,383,600 Uygur 7,207,000 Yi 6,578,500 Tujia 5,725,000
Mongolian 4,802,400 Tibetan 4,593,100 Bouyei 2,548,300 Dong 2,506,800
Yao 2,137,000 Korean 1,923,400 Bai 1,598,100 Hani 1,254,800
Li 1,112,500 Kazakh 1,110,800 Dai 1,025,400 She 634,700
Lisu 574,600 Gelao 438,200 Lahu 411,500 Dongxiang 373,700
Wa 352,000 Shui 347,100 Naxi 277,800 Qiang 198,600
Tu 192,600 Xibe 172,900 Mulam 160,600 Kirgiz 143,500
Daur 121,500 Jingpo 119,300 Salar 87,500 Bulang 82,400
Maonan 72,400 Tajik 33,200 Pumi 29,700 Achang 27,700
Nu 27,200 Ewenki 26,400 Jing 18,700 Jino 18,000
De'ang 15,500 Uzbek 14,800 Russian 13,500 Yugur 12,300
Bonan 11,700 Menba 7,500 Oroqin 7,000 Drung 5,800
Tatar 5,100 Hezhen 4,300 Gaoshan 2.900 Lhoba 2,300

Ancient Chinese had different terms for barbarians in four directions. Dongyi or Yi-of-the-East will be designations for people in the east, i.e., the offsprings from the two clans of Tai-hao-shi and Shao-hao-shi. The term meant for different people during different stages of history. Though, legendary overlords of China, like Yandi (Fiery Lord) and Huangdi (Yellow Lord, r. bc 2697-2599 ?), might be both born near Qufu of Shandong Province in the east, and Lord Yandi, Lord Huangdi and Lord Zhuanxu were recorded to have treated Qufu of Shandong as the capital. Sima Qian's "Shi Ji" mentioned that Huangdi (Yellow Lord), in the east, climbed Mount Wan-shan (i.e., Fan-shan in today's Langya, Shandong Peninsula). Among the ancient eight Chinese overlords, clearly seven belonged to the same old family. The lineage of Yandi (Shen-nong), Huangdi, Shaohao, Gaoyang (Lord Zhuanxu), Gaoxin (Diku), Tangyao (Lord Yao), and Yushun (Lord Shun) is spelled out in prehistory section. Even barbarians could be traced to the same family as Chinese founders. Kong An'guo of Han Dynasty claimed that among the four evil tribes exiled by Lord Yao, Hundun were infilial descendants of Huangdi the Yellow Lord; Gun was infilial son of Lord Zhuanxu; the 'Sanmiao' (Qiangic) people were said to be infilial descendants of Yandi the Fiery Lord.



50+ Indigenous Groups

7% of population

67 million people



In ancient Chinese records, the name of Choson (Chao-xian) had appeared in almost all dynastic chronicles. There are two books that are worthy of special attention: "Shan Hai Jing" and "Huai Nan Zi". "Shan Hai Jing", namely, the Book or Classics of Mountains and Seas, recorded most of the myths and legends of ancient China, and this book, said to have been devised by Lord Yu, strangely, had the stories and accounts of lands as far as Europe and the Americas. Korea or Choson, as a springboard for accessing Sakhalin, the Bering Straits, Aleutian Islands and Japan, land and sea, is usually first mentioned.

Two terms, Miao and Hmong, are both currently used to refer to one of the aboriginal peoples of China. They live mainly in southern China, in the provinces of Guizhou, Hunan, Yunnan, Sichuan, Guangxi and Hubei. According to the 1989 census, their number in China was estimated to be about 7 million. Outside China they live in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Burma, due to migrations starting in the 18th century, and also in the United States, French Guyana and Australia, as a result of recent migrations in the aftermath of the Indochinese wars. Altogether there are approximately 8 million speakers of the language. This language, which consists of 30-40 mutually unintelligible dialects, belongs, together with the Bunu language, to the Miao branch of the Miao-Yao (Hmong-Mien) language family.
With a population of more than seven million, the Miao people form one of the largest ethnic minorities in southwest China. They are mainly distributed across Guizhou, Yunnan, Hunan and Sichuan provinces and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and a small number live on Hainan Island in Guangdong Province and in southwest Hubei Province. Most of them live in tightly-knit communities, with a few living in areas inhabited by several other ethnic groups.

Myth Origins

The English word "myth" comes from the Greek word "mythos" which means word or story. Humans have used myths to describe or explain things that they couldn't have comprehended otherwise. Questions like: why do the seasons
change?, where did the first human beings come from? or why does the sun travel across the sky?. Myths served as the basis for rituals by which the ways of humanity and those of nature could be psychologically reconciled.

Myths are an important part of every society, including our own. Without at least a basic understanding of a cultures myths it's impossible to fully understand that culture because myths express a societies beliefs and justify it's institutions, customs and values.


Early Chinese literature was heavily influenced by Shamanism, Buddhism and Confucianism. The early literature, which began as an oral tradition, depicted a love of nature and man and held that man was a part of nature. Good was rewarded and evil was punished and values like loyalty to the King, filial piety, respect for one's elders, true friendship and chastity were emphasized.


The Five Elements

Five elements

Water has the properties of soaking and descending
Fire both heats and moves upward
Wood allows it form to be shaped into straight and curved pieces
Metal can be melted, molded and then hardened

Earth provides nourishment through sowing and reaping

Five Elements
Directions East South Center West North
Seasons Spring Summer Long Summer Fall Winter
Colors Blue Red Yellow White Black
Flavors Sour Bitter Sweet Acid Salt
Organs Liver Heart Spleen Lung Kidney
Sense Organs Eye Tougue Mouth Nose Ear


The history of Chinese literature begins with the Shih Ching or Book of Songs, an anthology of 305 lyrics of various types, compiled ca. 600 B. C. Most of the songs probably were composed and sung between 1000 and 700 B. C., mostly at Chou court ceremonies (and thus provide a cross-section of early-Chou culture). Some Sinologists have suggested, however, that certain lyrics from the Book of Songs may represent much earlier work, dating from the Shang dynasty
(as early as ca. 1700 B. C.).

Dongyi (Easter Yi) Origin

Whatever the work's true dates of composition, two important traditions account for the origin and survival of the Book of Songs. The first, recorded by a Chinese historian from the first century B. C., maintains that Confucius personally selected these 305 poems from an earlier collection of over three thousand. Choosing poems which exemplified his ideas about statecraft and harmonious personal relations, Confucius arranged them in their present order, revising the musical scores to which the songs were customarily sung.


Written Chinese is well known for its beauty

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Compiled by: Glenn Welker

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