yi ethnic


Woman of the Yi ethnic group performs during a talent show of a traditional beauty contest at Xichang City, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, July 23, 2014. The beauty contest is one of the most important activities during the annual Torch Festival at Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture. It can date back to over 1,000 years ago in the history of the Yi ethnic group.

Butuo County, China

Yi ethnic minority women gather before a traditional performance to celebrate the torch festival

Photograph: Reuters


彝族 ethnic yi chinese. “彝族支系繁多,各地服饰差异大,服饰区别近百种,琳琅满目,各具特色。妇女一般上身穿镶边或绣花的大襟右衽上衣,戴黑色包头、耳环,领口别有银排花。彝族男子多穿黑色窄袖且镶有花边的右开襟上衣,下着多褶宽脚长裤。头顶留有约三寸长的头发一绺,汉语称为“天菩萨”,彝语称为“子尔”。(The Yi have a broad range of approximately a hundred differences between their dress across different regions, each fashioned in dazzling and unique ways. Generally women wear embroidered trimmed shirts that clasps on the right side, black head wraps, earrings, a line of silver flower pins at the collar, Yi men wear black tight sleeves and embroidered right-side opening tops, with pleated wide leg trousers. On the headwear is an approximately three inches long lock of hair, which in mandarin is "Heavenly Bodhisattva,” or in Yi language, is called “zi-er” )


If you have kids or know kids who complain about their commute to school, then consider the challenges facing the children in the Atule'er village in southwest China’s Sichuan province.

The schoolkids are walking half-a-mile vertically each way, and must navigate steep cliffs, hundreds of feet high, on rickety wooden ladders to get to and from school. It illustrates the yawning chasm between China’s gleaming first-world cities and its impoverished hinterland, and the difficulties faced by China’s many ethnic minorities.

The place the Chinese media have dubbed the “cliff village” is in Liangshan Prefecture, an eight-hour drive south of Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan Province. The road traverses the fertile Sichuan basin, and climbs along the banks of the headwaters of the Yangtze River.

A Harrowing, Mountain-Scaling Commute For Chinese Schoolkids

Photos: Anthony Kuhn/NPR