Brief Introduction of Li Ethnic Group

Heroes of Wuzhi Mountain—the Li Nationality

The Li ethnic group is one of Chinese national minorities. The existing population is 1,110,900, mainly living in the city of Dongfang, the four Li autonomous counties, Baisha, Lingshui, Changjiang, Ledong, and two Li and Miao autonomous counties, Qiongzhong and Baoting in southern and central Hainan Province. The remaining population lives scatteredly in other regions of Hainan and inhabit together with different nationalities.

The Li ethnic group lives in the Wuzhi mountainous area, where is situated at the subtropics and the enchanting scenery makes its tourism develop with steady steps.

Li people manily depend on the agriculture to make a living, with fishing, gathering and forestry as the supplement.

According to the archaeological research, on the Hainan Island there are more than 100 primitive cultural remains sites of the neolites time and Li people are the earliest inhabitants there. Li people develope from the ancient Yue people and their origin is closely related with the Luo Yue nationality, a branch of “a-hundred Yue nationalities.” In the history the Li ethnic group has got various names, such as Qi, Run, Meifu, and Sai. These five names are in fact from the five branches of the Li ethnic group, which live in different regions and have different custom. After the Song Dynasty, the name of “Li” has been generally used, up to today.

The Li dialect belongs to the Sino-Tibetan language family, but the Li ethnic group does not have its own writing, so the Chinese characters has been commonly used after the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

In the New Democratic Revolution time, Li people have made great contributions. In 1926, there had established the county party committee of the Chinese Communist Party in Lingshui County. In 1928, the soviet government had been established in the county. In the 23 years of  arduous struggle, the firm support from Li people has kept the party’s flag continuously lifted up. In the Agrarian Revolution War there was “the Red Detachment of Women”, in the Sino-Japanese War time there were Baisha uprising, the Qiongya garrison of the Chinese Communist Party, and in the liberation war Li people coordinated the Chinese People’s Liberation Army to attack Kuomintang and finally achieved the Hainan Island’s liberation in 1950.