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A People Living in Primitive Peacefulness

Suspension Bridge over the Dulong RiverThe Dulong people is one of the ethnic minorities with a relatively small population. The 5,816 Dulong people mainly live in the northwest of Yunnan Province - on the banks of the vale of Dulong River in the west of Gongshan Autonomous County of Dulong Minority Group, banks of Nu River in the north, Qile Village in the neighbouring Weixi Autonomous County of Lisu Minority Group; and also in Chawaluo of Chayu County, Tibet Autonomous Region. Besides, there are a certain number of Dulong in Myanmar.

The Dulong people call themselves "Dulong" and "Dima", and were once called in history "Qiao", "Qiu", "Qiu Ren", "Qiu Zi", "Luo", "Qu Luo", etc. In 1952, their formal name was decided as "Dulong", according to their own choice.

Dulong people have their own language, which does not have a written form. They used to record things and exchange information by tying knots and carving wood. The Dulong language belongs to the Zang and Mian language branch, Sino-Tibetan family, similar to the Nu language in Gong Mountain.

In old times, they lived in the remote mountains, where the living circumstances were very harsh and the transportation was quite undeveloped. And therefore the progress of society was very slow and the productivity was very low. At the founding of the PRC, they still remained in a primitive state. The main form of the economy was still agriculture in the slash-and-burn method, collecting and hunting still taking a considerably large proportion.

Dulong people take corn and buckwheat as the staple food, and love watery wine, roasted meat, tea and tobacco. Their dress is quite plain and simple. They used to wrap the body with one or two pieces of flax cloth, as clothes in the daytime and quilt at night. Women once had the habit of tattooing the face. They live in wooden or bamboo houses. The only festival is the New Year, which used to have no fixed date, mainly in December by the lunar calendar, and the length is irregular.

They have primitive religion, and believe in animatisms.


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