Hani people

Hani people

Infobox Ethnic group

caption=An ethnic Hani girl with a typical Hani headgear for children. Near Yuanyang, Yunnan Province, China.
Alternative names: Haqniq, Hà Nhì
poptime=1.5 million (est.)
popplace= China: Yunnan,
Vietnam 17,535 (1999),
langs= Hani
rels=Traditional religion, Buddhism, Christianity.
related= Yi, Lahu

The Hani people (Hani: "Haqniq"; zh-cp|c=哈尼族|p="Hānízú"; Vietnamese: "Người Hà Nhì") are an ethnic group. They form one of the 56 nationalities officially recognized by the People's Republic of China. They also form one of the 54 officially recognized ethnic groups of Vietnam. There are 12,500 Hanis living in the Lai Chau and Lao Cai provinces of Vietnam.

Over ninety percent of the Hani live in the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan, scattered across the Ailao Mountains between the Mekong River and the Red River (Yuanjiang).

The origins of the Hani are not precisely known, though their ancestors, the ancient Qiang tribe, are believed to have migrated southward from the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau prior to the third century AD.

The Hani oral traditions state that they are descended from the Yi people, and that they split off as a separate tribe fifty generations ago. One of their oral traditions is the recital of the names of Hani ancestors from the first Hani family down to oneself.


The Hani are polytheists and they profess a special adoration toward the spirits of their ancestors. They are used to practicing rituals to venerate to the different gods and thus to obtain their protection.

The religious hierarchy of the hani is divided into three main personages: the "zuima" that directs the main celebrations; the "beima", responsible for practicing the exorcisms and the magical rituals; the "nima" that takes charge of carrying out predictions and to administer the medicinal herbs. This last charge can be performed indistinctly by men and women. Some Hani also profess Theravada Buddhism.


The dwellings of the Hani are usually two or three flats built with bamboo, mud, stone and wood.

The traditional clothing of the Hani is used made out of dark blue fabric. The men dress in short jackets and in long wide pants. They also wear turbans which are white or black. The women dress depending on which clan they belong to. There is no gender difference in the clothing of children under the age of seven.

They play a wind instrument called the "ebi" (俄比).


The Hani language spoken by many of the Hani is of the Yi branch of the Tibeto-Burman linguistic family. Oral tradition tells of an ancient written script, tradition says it was lost on the migration from Sichuan. They now use a romanization of the Luchun dialect as a written script.

ee also

* Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture

External links

* [http://www.yuanyangwindow.com/index.php?Hani Photographs of the Hani] of Yuanyang County, Yunnan
* [http://www.autef.com/Trips/Xishuangbanna.htm Hani gallery]
* [http://www.china.org.cn/e-groups/shaoshu/shao-2-hani.htm The Hani ethnic minority] on China.org.cn (Chinese government site)
* [http://www.asiaharvest.org/pages/profiles/china/chinaPeoples/H/Hani.pdf Asia harvest ethnic profile]
* [http://www013.upp.so-net.ne.jp/hani-akha/haniwa.htm ハニ和辞典] (Hani-Japanese glossary)

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