Brief Introduction of Nu Ethnic Group

The Nus call themselves “Nusu”, “Anu”, “Along”, and “Nu people”, “Nu people (different from the former one in Chinese written and pinyin forms)”, ” Nuzi”, etc, in historical records. It’s one of the Chinese minority groups, and has a population of 27123. It distributes mainly over Lushui, Fugong, Gongshan and Lanping counties of the Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province, Weixi County in the Diqing Zang Autonomous Prefecture, and Chayu County in the Tibet Autonomous Region. They live together with the Lisus, the Drungs, the Tibetans, the Bais, the Hans, the Naxis, etc. 

The Nus have their own language without writings. The Nu language belongs to the Tibeto-Burmese family of the Sino-Tibetan Family, and there is big difference among local dialects, which make them can’t communicate with each other. But because they have lived with the Lisus for long, most of them can speak the Lisu language. 

The Nu economy is based on agriculture, added with hunting and gathering. Their staple foods are corn and buckwheat. Their traditional wearing is long gown made of flax or cotton, and women like to wear skirt, head ornaments and necklace stringed with coral, plastic beads and shells. Men like to carry chopper on the waist and hold crossbow over the shoulder.

The Nus are old residents living on either side of the Nujiang River and the Lancangjiang River. The Nu region has range upon range of mountains and rivers join there. From the perspective of travel and sightseeing, all the visitors are captivated by the countless strange peaks and stones, cliffside spring and waterfalls, rapids and dangerous shoals, old trees and dragon bamboo, etc. However, from the perspective of living, the poor soil and hard traffic have brought much trouble to the Nu people’s life and lead to slow development of the local society. Before the establishment of PRC, the scenes happened in ancient times, such as counting seasons by observing withering and flourishing of flowers and trees, transferring message by means of tying knots or carving wood, and farming by the slash-and-burn method, could be seen from time to time there. For thousands of years, the brave and diligent Nu people have never stopped resisting and fighting with nature, they have changed history with their own hands and wisdom, and they are composing a new chapter of the age.