Brief Introducation of Qiang Ethnic Group
The Qiang nationality is one of the minority nationalities in China. It has a population of 198,252 now. They mainly gather in the Mao county in the Aba Zang and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan, others scatter over Wenchuan, Li, Heishui, Songpan counties in Aba, Danba county in Ganzi Zang Autonomous Prefecture, Beichuan county in Mianyang city and Shiqian, Jiangkou counties in Guizhou Province.
The Qiang nationality is an old nationality. As early as three thousand years ago, the Qiangs were recorded in inscriptions on bones or tortoise shells of the Shang Dynasty. Yandi Shen Nong (a legendary ruler) was the earliest ancestor of agriculture in our country in legend, and the group whose surname was Jiang was the first branch that changed to farming. They mainly lived at the eastern edge of the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau. Mountains are high and valleys are deep there, forest is dense and current is rapid, resources are rich and rare medicinal herbs are abound there. The area is also living place for nationally precious animals— Giant Panda and precious golden monkey.
The Qiangs mainly focus on agriculture, and animal husbandry is sideline, which are assisted by hunting and varieties of sidelines.
The Qiang language belongs to the Qiang language branch (another version is Zang language branch) of the Tibetan-Burmese family in the Sino-Tibetan Family. It has two kinds of dialects: the southern dialect and the northern dialect. Many people know Chinese. They don’t have their own characters and Chinese characters are commonly used. Ancestors of the Qiangs— Dangxiang Qiangs created and used the Western Xia characters. Documents written with Western Xia characters were understood by few scholars until the beginning of the 20th century.
The ancient Qiangs were one of the earliest explorers who explored the Great West, and were main component of the Xia Dynasty. The Qiang Fief was a fief of the Shang Dynasty ansu-Qinghai region. They came to the Northern Tibet and Sichuan in Sui and Tang Dynasties. The Dangxiang Qiangs established the Western Xia regime; In the Yuan Dynasty, many generals came from the brave and battle-wise Qiangs. There were Qiang soldiers of the station troops who went to Guangdong and Zhejiang to fight against invaders in the Opium Wars. The Revolution of 1919 and the Long March of the Red Army were vigorously supported by the Qiangs.