Chinese Nationalities (Nu Minority)
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|Nu Lady Weaving Cloth||Nu Ladies||Nu Lady Weaving Cloth|
The Nu is an ancient tribe that originally lived on the banks of the Nu and Lancang Rivers. Historical records show that they are the descendants of both the Luluman people who inhabited the area during the Yuan Dynasty and people who resided in the Gongshan area during ancient times. These two tribes intermingled and intermarried, finally giving birth to a new group, Nu, even though some distinctive characteristics of each group were preserved.
In the eighth century, the area inhabited by the Nu people came under the jurisdiction of the Nanzhao and Dali principalities, which paid tribute to the Tang (618-907) Dynasty court. During the Yuan and Ming a Naxi headman in Lijiang administrated dynasties the Nu people. From the 17th century on, Bai, Naxi and Tibetan rulers governed the Nu area simultaneously. In addition, the newly immigrated Lisu headmen also oppress the Nu People, usurping the Nu people's land and sometimes carrying many of them off as slaves.
The Nu people used to be called Nusu, Anu, and Along. With the founding of the PRC in 1949, it was agreed upon that their official name would become the Nu ethnic group.
The spoken language of the Nu people, consisting of three dialects, belongs to the Tibetan-Burmese group of the Chinese-Tibetan language family. These dialects differ from each other so greatly that people from different dialect areas cannot even communicate. As a result of frequent contact with the Han and Lisu, most Nu people can speak the Chinese and Lisu languages. Without a written script system of their own, the Nu people used to keep records by carving notches on sticks. Now, Han script is in common use.
The Nu are farmers who are closely related to the Tibetans. Some follow lama Buddhism, while others are nature worshippers or Christians. They live in both wooden and bamboo houses. The men are fond of carrying long-bladed chopper, bow and animal quivers.