On to Next Minority
Back to Chinese Nationalities
|Yao Lady||Yao Group Waiting for the Bus|
Some minorities had been so absorbed that their status as separate peoples was nearly lost. The Yao retreated from the west 500 years ago under pressure from the Han expansion. The Yao are found in Hunan, Guangdong, Yunnan, and Guizhou Provinces and also in the Guangxi Autonomous Region. The Yao farm sweet potatoes, maize and rice. They have recently developed hydroelectric power and increased irrigation. The Yao's customs have their own traditional features characterized by the people's costumes. The women are skilled at embroidery and they embroider fine flower patterns on the cuffs, edges of their clothes as well as on the bottoms of their trousers. The coned hairstyle and red scarf are the mark of a married woman. A man wraps his head with a piece of red or green cloth, wears a collarless undershirt, a vest and loose pants. There are several different mutually incomprehensible Yao languages, and Chinese or Zhuang are often used for communication. Traditional religions include nature worship, ancestor worship and Daoism. They are part of the Hmong-Yao language family linguistic group.