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The Miao are a group of linguistically-related peoples living in
Southern China Northern China () and Southern China () are two approximate regions within China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is ...
and
Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Southeast Asia
, which are recognized by the government of China as one of the 56 official ethnic groups. The Miao live primarily in southern China's mountains, in the provinces of
Guizhou Guizhou (; alternately Kweichow) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational enti ...

Guizhou
,
Yunnan Yunnan () is a landlocked Provinces of China, province in Southwest China, the southwest of the People's Republic of China. The province spans approximately and has a population of 48.3 million (as of 2018). The capital of the province is Ku ...

Yunnan
,
Sichuan Sichuan (; , ; alternatively romanized as Szechuan or Szechwan) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, admini ...

Sichuan
,
Hubei Hubei (; ; alternately Hupeh) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity ...

Hubei
,
Hunan Hunan (, ; ) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdi ...

Hunan
,
Guangxi Guangxi (; alternately romanized as Kwanghsi; ; za, Gvangjsih), officially the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (GZAR), is an autonomous region An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, uni ...

Guangxi
,
Guangdong Guangdong (, ), alternately romanized as Canton Province or Kwangtung, is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, admin ...

Guangdong
and
Hainan Hainan (, ; ) is the smallest and southernmost province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational enti ...

Hainan
. Some sub-groups of the Miao, most notably the
Hmong people #REDIRECT Hmong people #REDIRECT Hmong people#REDIRECT Hmong people The Hmong people ( RPA: ''Hmoob'', Nyiakeng Puachue: "𞄀𞄩𞄰", Pahawh Hmong: "𖬌𖬣𖬵" ) are an ethnic group living mainly in southern China, Vietnam , ima ...

Hmong people
, have migrated out of China into Southeast Asia (
Myanmar Myanmar, ); UK pronunciations: US pronunciations incl. . Note: Wikipedia's IPA conventions require indicating /r/ even in British English although only some British English speakers pronounce r at the end of syllables. As John C. Wells, John ...

Myanmar
, Northern
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...

Vietnam
,
Laos , national_anthem = "Pheng Xat Lao "Pheng Sat Lāo" () is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that officially symbolizes a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often r ...

Laos
and
Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , wi ...

Thailand
). Following the communist takeover of Laos in 1975, a large group of Hmong refugees resettled in several Western nations, mainly in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
,
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
and
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
. Miao is a
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...
term, while the component groups of people have their own autonyms, such as (with some variant spellings)
Hmong Hmong may refer to: * Hmong people #REDIRECT Hmong people#REDIRECT Hmong people The Hmong people ( RPA: ''Hmoob'', Nyiakeng Puachue: "𞄀𞄩𞄰", Pahawh Hmong: "𖬌𖬣𖬵" ) are an ethnic group living mainly in southern China, Vietna ...

Hmong
,
Hmu The Hmu language (''hveb Hmub''), also known as Qiandong Miao (黔东, Eastern Guizhou Miao), Central Miao, East Hmongic, or (somewhat ambiguously) Black Miao, is a dialect cluster A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a series of language ...
, Xong (Qo-Xiong) and
A-Hmao A-Hmao (''Big Flowery Miao'') are an ethnic group in China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and 14 different ...
. These people (except those in
Hainan Hainan (, ; ) is the smallest and southernmost province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational enti ...

Hainan
) speak
Hmongic languages The Hmongic also known as Miao languages include the various languages spoken by the Miao people The Miao are a group of linguistically-related peoples living in Southern China Northern China () and Southern China () are two approximate m ...
, a subfamily of the
Hmong–Mien languages The Hmong–Mien languages (also known as Miao–Yao and rarely as Yangtzean) are a highly tonal language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, based on speech ...
including many mutually unintelligible languages such as the
Hmong Hmong may refer to: * Hmong people #REDIRECT Hmong people#REDIRECT Hmong people The Hmong people ( RPA: ''Hmoob'', Nyiakeng Puachue: "𞄀𞄩𞄰", Pahawh Hmong: "𖬌𖬣𖬵" ) are an ethnic group living mainly in southern China, Vietna ...
, Hmub, Xong and
A-Hmao A-Hmao (''Big Flowery Miao'') are an ethnic group in China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and 14 different ...
. Not all speakers of the
Hmongic languages The Hmongic also known as Miao languages include the various languages spoken by the Miao people The Miao are a group of linguistically-related peoples living in Southern China Northern China () and Southern China () are two approximate m ...
belong to the Miao. For example, the speakers of the Bunu and
Bahengic languages The Bahengic (Pahungic) languages are a divergent branch of the Miao languages, Miao (Hmongic) languages. Speakers are among the ethnic ''Bunu'': Miao-speaking Yao people of China. Pa-Hng language, Pa-Hng (Baheng) has long been recognized as a div ...
are designated as the
Yao Yao or YAO may refer to: * Yao (surname), the transliteration of Chinese family names 姚, 銚, and 么 * Yao (ruler), a mythical Chinese ruler and emperor * Yao Ming, Chinese Basketball All-Star that played for the Houston Rockets * Euphrasie Kouas ...
, and the speakers of the
Sheic languages The Sheic or She–Jiongnai languages are a branch of the Miao languages, Miao (Hmongic) language family. She language, She (Ho-Ne) has long been recognized as a divergent language. It has been difficult to classify because of its numerous Chines ...
are designated as the She and the Yao. The Kem Di Mun people in
Hainan Hainan (, ; ) is the smallest and southernmost province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational enti ...

Hainan
, despite being officially designated as Miao people, are linguistically and culturally identical to the Kim Mun people in continental China who are classified as a subgroup of the
Yao Yao or YAO may refer to: * Yao (surname), the transliteration of Chinese family names 姚, 銚, and 么 * Yao (ruler), a mythical Chinese ruler and emperor * Yao Ming, Chinese Basketball All-Star that played for the Houston Rockets * Euphrasie Kouas ...
.


Nomenclature: Miao or Hmong

The term "Miao" gained official status in 1949 as a ''minzu'' (ethnic group) encompassing a group of linguistically-related ethnic minorities in
Southwest China Southwest China () is a region in the south of the People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth' ...

Southwest China
. This was part of a larger effort to identify and classify minority groups to clarify their role in the national government, including establishing
autonomous administrative divisions An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, unit, region, subdivision, or territory) is a subnational administrative division or territory, internal territory of a sovereign state that has a degree of ...
and allocating the seats for representatives in provincial and national government. Historically, the term "Miao" had been applied inconsistently to a variety of non-
Han Han may refer to: Ethnic groups * Han Chinese The Han Chinese,
. Huayuqiao.org. Retrieved on ...
peoples. Early Chinese-based names use various transcriptions: Miao, Miao-tse, Miao-tsze, Meau, Meo, mo, Miao-tseu etc. In Southeast Asian contexts, words derived from the Chinese "Miao" took on a sense which was perceived as derogatory by the subgroups living in that region. The term re-appeared in the
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the Dynasties in Chinese history, ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol Empire, Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynas ...

Ming dynasty
(1368–1644), by which time it had taken on the connotation of "barbarian." Being a variation of Nanman, it was used to refer to the indigenous people in southern China who had not been assimilated into Han culture. During this time, references to Unfamiliar (生 Sheng) and Familiar (熟 Shu) Miao appear, referring to the level of assimilation and political cooperation of the two groups, making them easier to classify. Not until the Qing dynasty (1644–1911) do more finely grained distinctions appear in writing. Even then, discerning which ethnic groups are included in various classifications can be complex. There has been a historical tendency by the Hmong, who resisted assimilation and political cooperation, to group all Miao peoples together his claim is unfounded or needs substantial evidenceunder the term Hmong because of the potential derogatory use of the term Miao. In modern China, however, the term continues to be used regarding the Miao people there. Though the Miao themselves use various self-designations, the Chinese traditionally classify them according to the most characteristic color of the women's clothes. The list below contains some of these self-designations, the color designations, and the main regions inhabited by the four major groups of Miao in China: * Ghao Xong/Qo Xiong; Xong; Red Miao; Qo Xiong Miao: West
Hunan Hunan (, ; ) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdi ...

Hunan
* Gha Ne/Ka Nao; Hmub; Black Miao; Mhub Miao: Southeast
Guizhou Guizhou (; alternately Kweichow) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational enti ...

Guizhou
*
A-Hmao A-Hmao (''Big Flowery Miao'') are an ethnic group in China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and 14 different ...
; Big Flowery Miao: West Guizhou and Northeast
Yunnan Yunnan () is a landlocked Provinces of China, province in Southwest China, the southwest of the People's Republic of China. The province spans approximately and has a population of 48.3 million (as of 2018). The capital of the province is Ku ...

Yunnan
* Gha-Mu; Hmong, Mong; White Miao, Green/Blue Miao, Small Flowery Miao; South and East
Yunnan Yunnan () is a landlocked Provinces of China, province in Southwest China, the southwest of the People's Republic of China. The province spans approximately and has a population of 48.3 million (as of 2018). The capital of the province is Ku ...

Yunnan
, South
Sichuan Sichuan (; , ; alternatively romanized as Szechuan or Szechwan) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, admini ...

Sichuan
and West
Guizhou Guizhou (; alternately Kweichow) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational enti ...

Guizhou


Gender roles


Women's status

Compared to the Confucian principles traditionally exercised over women in some regions of China, the Miao culture is generally less strict in categorization of women’s roles in society. Miao women exercise relatively more independence, mobility and social freedom. They are known to be strong willed and politically minded. They actively contribute to their communities in social welfare, education, arts and culture, and agricultural farming. Miao women demonstrate great skill and artistry when making traditional clothing and handicrafts. They excel at embroidering, weaving, paper-cutting, batik, and intricate jewelry casting. From vests, coats, hats, collars and cuffs, to full skirts, and baby carriers, the patterns on their clothes are extremely complicated and colorful with clean lines. Girls of around seven will learn embroidering from mothers and sisters, and by the time they are teenagers, they are quite deft. Additionally, Miao silver jewelry is distinctive for its design, style and craftsmanship. Miao silver jewelry is completely handmade, carved with fine decorative patterns. It’s not easy to make and there is not one final masterpiece exactly the same as another. The Miao embroidery and silver jewelry are highly valued, delicate and beautiful. Silver jewelry is a highly valuable craftwork of the Miao people. Apart from being a cultural tradition, it also symbolises the wealth of Miao women. As a Miao saying goes, “decorated with no silver or embroidery, a girl is not a girl”, Miao women are occasionally defined by the amount of silver jewelry she wears or owns. It is especially important to wear heavy and intricate silver headdresses and jewelry during significant occasions and festivals, notably during weddings, funerals and springtime celebration. Silver jewelry is an essential element of Miao marriages, particularly to the bride. Miao families would begin saving silver jewellery for the girls at an early age, wishing their daughters could marry well with the large amount of silver jewelry representing the wealth of the family. Although a growing Miao population is moving from rural Miao regions to cities, the new generation respects the families' silver heritage and is willing to pass on the practice as a cultural tradition more than a showcase of family wealth.


Workforce and income

Although Miao women are not strictly-governed, their social status is often seen as lower than that of men, as in most patriarchal societies. Be it in the subsistence economy or otherwise, men are the main economic force and provide the stable source of income for the family. Women are primarily involved in social welfare, domestic responsibilities, and additionally earn supplementary income. As tourism became a major economic activity to this ethnic group, Miao women gained more opportunities to join the labor force and earn an income. Women mostly take up jobs that require modern day customer service skills; for example, working as tour guides, selling craftwork and souvenirs, teaching tourists how to make flower wreaths, and even renting ethnic costumes. These jobs require soft skills and hospitality and more visibility in public, but provide a low income. On the contrary, Miao men take up jobs that require more physical strengths and less visibility in public, such as engineering roads, building hotels, boats and pavilions. These jobs generally provide a more stable and profitable source of income. The above example of unequal division of labor demonstrates, in spite of socioeconomic changes in China, men are still considered the financial backbone of the family.


Marriage and family

While the Miao people have had their own unique culture, the Confucian ideology exerted significant influences on this ethnic group. It is expected that men are the dominant figures and breadwinners of the family, while women occupy more domestic roles(like cooking and cleaning). There are strict social standards on women to be “virtuous wives and good mothers”, and to abide by “three obediences and four virtues”, which include cultural moral specifications of women’s behavior. A Miao woman has some cultural freedom in marrying a man of her choice. However, like many other cultures in Asia, there are strict cultural practices on marriage, one being clan
exogamy Exogamy is the social norm Social norms are shared standards of acceptable Acceptability is the characteristic of a thing being subject to acceptance for some purpose. A thing is acceptable if it is sufficient to serve the purpose for which it ...
. It is a taboo to marry someone within the same family clan name, even when the couple are not blood related or from the same community. In contrast to the common practice of the right of succession belonging to the firstborn son, the Miao’s inheritance descends to the youngest son. The older sons leave the family and build their own residences, usually in the same province and close to the family. The youngest son is responsible for living with and caring for the aging parents, even after marriage. He receives a larger share of the family’s inheritance and his mother’s silver jewelry collection, which is used as bridal wealth or
dowry A dowry is a payment, such as property or money, paid by the bride's family to the groom or his family at the time of marriage. Dowry contrasts with the related concepts of bride price Bride price, bridewealth, or bride token, is money ...
. Some imperially commissioned Han Chinese chieftaincies assimilated with the Miao. Those became the ancestors of a part of the Miao population in Guizhou. The Hmong Tian clan in Sizhou began in the seventh century as a migrant Han Chinese clan. The origin of the Tunbao people traces back to the Ming dynasty when the
Hongwu Emperor The Hongwu Emperor (21 October 1328 – 24 June 1398), personal name Zhu Yuanzhang (), was the founding emperor of the Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 ...
sent 300,000 Han Chinese male soldiers in 1381 to conquer Yunnan, with some of the men marrying Yao and Miao women. The presence of women presiding over weddings was a feature noted in "Southeast Asian" marriages, such as in 1667 when a Miao woman in Yunnan married a Chinese official. Some Sinicization occurred, in Yunnan a Miao chief's daughter married a scholar in the 1600s who wrote that she could read, write, and listen in Chinese and read Chinese classics.


History


Legend of Chiyou and origins

According to a Tang dynasty myth, Miao people originated from Chi You. However, the oldest text known as The Tai Gong Six Secret Teachings that include Huang Di and Chi You (in short description) does not mention about who are the descendants of these two. No classic in Zhou dynasty mentions Chi You as the ancestor of Miao people. Hence, there is a big time gap between Tang and Zhou dynasty, approximately 1,500 years apart. There are no actual evidence that Chi You is Miao. During the communist cultural revolution, some historical texts and sites were destroyed, which left little evidence proving that Chi You was Miao. Nor can the modern Chinese authorities back their claim that Miao people are descendants of Chi You. However, according to the Tang dynasty myth, the Miao who descended from the Jiuli tribe led by
Chiyou Chiyou (; Old Chinese Old Chinese, also called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese, and the ancestor of all modern varieties of Chinese. The earliest examples of Chinese are divinatory inscriptions on oracl ...

Chiyou
() were defeated at the
Battle of Zhuolu A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force c ...
(, a defunct
prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power ...

prefecture
on the border of present provinces of
Hebei Hebei (; alternately Hopeh) is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, f ...
and
Liaoning Liaoning (), is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivisi ...
) by the military coalition of Huang Di () and Yan Di, leaders of the
Huaxia ''Huaxia'' is a historical concept representing the Chinese nation ''Zhonghua minzu'' (; "Chinese nation") is a key political term in modern Chinese nationalism related to the concepts of nation-building, ethnic group, ethnicity, and rac ...
() tribe as the two tribes struggled for supremacy of the
Yellow River The Yellow River (Chinese: , Jin: uə xɔ Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucrat is ...
valley. There is no universally accepted origin for the Miao (Hmong) people. Two different stories say that the Miao were either descended from people who used to live up in the north or that they were originally a Central Asian people several thousand years ago. The Miao may have ruled a kingdom known as Jiu Li 6,000 years ago. Chinese records record a San Miao ( 三苗, Three Miao) kingdom in modern
Sichuan Sichuan (; , ; alternatively romanized as Szechuan or Szechwan) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, admini ...

Sichuan
that existed around 2700 BC. It was founded by Tao Tie and Huan Tuo and was defeated by
Yu the Great Yu the Great (大禹) was a legendary king in ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during the king Wu Ding's reign, who was me ...
. Its people were called the ''Da Mong''. Another Miao kingdom may have emerged in
Yunnan Yunnan () is a landlocked Provinces of China, province in Southwest China, the southwest of the People's Republic of China. The province spans approximately and has a population of 48.3 million (as of 2018). The capital of the province is Ku ...

Yunnan
around 704 BC that was subjugated by the Chinese in the 3rd century BC. In 2002, the
Chu language Chu (, Hanyu Pinyin: Chǔ, Old Chinese: ''*s-r̥aʔ'') was a Zhou dynasty ancient Chinese states, vassal state. Their first ruler was King Wu of Chu in the early 8th century BCE. Chu was located in the south of the Zhou heartland and lasted ...
has been identified as perhaps having influence from Tai–Kam and Miao–Yao languages by researchers at
University of Massachusetts Amherst The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst, UMass) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organizat ...
.


Dispersal

The Miao were not mentioned again in Chinese records until the
Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organiza ...
(618–907). In the following period, the Miao migrated throughout southern
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
and
Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Southeast Asia
. They generally inhabited mountainous or marginal lands and took up swidden or slash-and-burn cultivation techniques to farm these lands. During the
Miao RebellionsThere have been several Miao rebellions in Chinese history: *Miao rebellions under the Ming dynasty (14th–15th centuries) *Bozhou rebellion (1589–1600) *Miao Rebellion (1735–36) *Miao Rebellion (1795–1806) *Miao Rebellion (1854–73) {{set ...
of the
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the Dynasties in Chinese history, ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol Empire, Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynas ...

Ming dynasty
, thousands of Miao were killed by the imperial forces. Mass castrations of Miao boys also took place. During the Qing Dynasty the Miao fought three wars against the empire.Xiong, Yuepheng L
"Chinese Odyssey: Summer Program offers Students rare opportunity to learn Hmong history in China"
HmongNet.org
The issue was so serious that the Yongzheng emperor sent one of his most officials,
Ortai Ortai (; ) (1680–1745) was the first Earl Xiangqin. He was an eminent Manchu The Manchu (; ) are an officially recognized ethnic minority in China and the people from whom Manchuria Manchuria is an exonym and endonym, exonym for a ...
, to be the Viceroy of the provinces with significant Miao populations in 1726, and through 1731, he spent his time putting down rebellions. In 1735 in the southeastern province of Guizhou, the Miao rose up against the government's forced assimilation. Eight counties involving 1,224 villages fought until 1738 when the revolt ended. According to Xiangtan University Professor Wu half the Miao population were affected by the war. The second war (1795–1806) involved the provinces of Guizhou and Hunan. Shi Sanbao and Shi Liudeng led this second revolt. Again, it ended in failure, but it took 11 years to quell the uprising. The greatest of the three wars occurred from 1854 to 1873. Zhang Xiu-mei led this revolt in Guizhou until his capture and death in Changsha, Hunan. This revolt affected over one million people and all the neighbouring provinces. By the time the war ended Professor Wu said only 30 percent of the Miao were left in their home regions. This defeat led to the Hmong people migrating out of China into Laos and Vietnam. During Qing times, more military garrisons were established in southwest China. Han Chinese soldiers moved into the Taijiang region of
Guizhou Guizhou (; alternately Kweichow) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational enti ...

Guizhou
, married Miao women, and the children were brought up as Miao. In spite of rebellion against the Han, Hmong leaders made allies with Han merchants. The imperial government had to rely on political means to bring in Hmong people into the government: they created multiple competing positions of substantial prestige for Miao people to participate and assimilate into the Qing government system. During the Ming and Qing times, the official position of ''Kiatong'' was created in Indochina. The Miao would employ the use of the ''Kiatong'' government structure until the 1900s when they entered into French colonial politics in
Indochina Mainland Southeast Asia, also known as the Indochinese Peninsula or Indochina, is the continental portion of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...
.


20th century

During the founding of the
People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

People's Republic of China
(PRC), the Miao played an important role in its birth when they helped
Mao Zedong Mao Zedong pronounced ; also Romanization of Chinese, romanised traditionally as Mao Tse-tung. (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who was the Proclamation of the ...

Mao Zedong
to escape the
Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT), also referred to as the Guomindang (GMD) or the Chinese Nationalist Party, is a political party in the Taiwan, Republic of China, initially Republic of China (1912–1949), on the Mainland China, Chinese mainland and ...
in the Long March with supplies and guides through their territory. In Vietnam, a powerful Hmong named Vuong Chinh Duc, dubbed the king of the Hmong, aided
Ho Chi Minh (; , ; : ; 19 May 1890 – 2 September 1969), born , also known as , , , Người cha dân tộc or simply ('Uncle', ), was a Vietnamese Vietnamese may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Vietnam, a country in Southeas ...

Ho Chi Minh
's nationalist move against the French, and thus secured the Hmong's position in Vietnam. In Điện Biên Phủ, Hmongs fought on the side of the communist Viet Minh against the pro-French
Tai Dam Tai or TAI may refer to: Arts and entertainment *Tai (comics) Tai is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. A Cambodian, Tai was something of a mentor for the New Warriors in the first 25 issues of t ...
aristocrats. During the
Vietnam War {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Vietnam War , partof = the Indochina Wars The Indochina Wars ( vi, Chiến tranh Đông Dương) were a series of wars fought in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled ...
, Miao fought on both sides, the Hmong in Laos primarily for the US, across the border in Vietnam for the North-Vietnam coalition, the Chinese-Miao for the Communists. However, after the war the Vietnamese were very aggressive towards the Hmong who suffered many years of reprisals. Most Hmong in Thailand also supported a brief Communist uprising during the war.


Miao clans with Han origins

Some of the origins of the Hmong and Miao clan names are a result of the marriage of Hmong women to Han Chinese men, with distinct Han Chinese-descended clans and lineages practicing Han Chinese burial customs. These clans were called "Han Chinese Hmong" ("Hmong Sua") in
Sichuan Sichuan (; , ; alternatively romanized as Szechuan or Szechwan) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, admini ...

Sichuan
, and were instructed in military tactics by fugitive Han Chinese rebels. Such Chinese "surname groups" are comparable to the patrilineal Hmong clans and also practice exogamy. Han Chinese male soldiers who fought against the Miao rebellions during the Qing and Ming dynasties were known to have married with non-Han women such as the Miao because Han women were less desirable. The Wang clan, founded among the Hmong in Gongxian county of Yibin district, is one such clan and can trace its origins to several such marriages around the time of the Ming dynasty suppression of the Ah rebels. Nicholas Tapp wrote that, according to ''The Story of the Ha Kings'' in the village, one such Han ancestor was Wang Wu. It is also noted that the Wang typically sided with the Chinese, being what Tapp calls "cooked" as opposed to the "raw" peoples who rebelled against the Chinese. Hmong women who married Han Chinese men founded a new Xem clan among Northern Thailand's Hmong. Fifty years later in Chiangmai two of their Hmong boy descendants were Catholics. A Hmong woman and Han Chinese man married and founded northern Thailand's Lau2, or Lauj, clan, , with another Han Chinese man of the family name Deng founding another Hmong clan. Some scholars believe this lends further credence to the idea that some or all of the present day Hmong clans were formed in this way.
Jiangxi Jiangxi (; ; alternately romanized as Kiangsi or Chianghsi, Gan Chinese Gan, Gann or Kan is a group of Sinitic languages The Sinitic languages, often synonymous with "Chinese languages", constitute the major branch of the Sino-Tibe ...

Jiangxi
Han Chinese are claimed by some as the forefathers of the southeast
Guizhou Guizhou (; alternately Kweichow) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational enti ...

Guizhou
Miao, and Miao children were born to the many Miao women married Han Chinese soldiers in Taijiang in Guizhou before the second half of the 19th century.


Archaeology

According to
André-Georges Haudricourt André-Georges Haudricourt (; January 17, 1911 – August 20, 1996) was a French botanist Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a ...
and David Strecker's claims based on limited secondary data, the Miao were among the first people to settle in present-day China. They claim that the Han borrowed a lot of words from the Miao in regard to rice farming. This indicated that the Miao were among the first rice farmers in China. In addition, some have connected the Miao to the Daxi Culture (5,300 – 6,000 years ago) in the middle Yangtze River region. The
Daxi Culture The Daxi culture (5000–3300 BC) was a Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age, with a wide-ranging set of developments that appear to have arisen independently in several parts of the world. It is first seen abou ...
has been credited with being amongst the first cultivators of rice in the Far East by Western scholars. However, in 2006 rice cultivation was found to have existed in the Shandong province even earlier than the Daxi Culture. Though the Yuezhuang culture has cultivated rice, it is more of collected wild rice and not actual cultivated and domesticated rice like that of the Daxi. A western study mention that the Miao (especially the Miao-Hunan) has its origins in southern China but have some DNA from the Northeast people of China. Recent DNA samples of Miao males contradict this theory. The White Hmong have 25% C, 8% D, & 6% N(Tat) yet they have the least contact with the Han population.


Demographics

According to the 2000 census, the number of Miao in China was estimated to be about 9.6 million. Outside of China, members of the Miao sub-group or nations of the Hmong live in
Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , wi ...

Thailand
,
Laos , national_anthem = "Pheng Xat Lao "Pheng Sat Lāo" () is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that officially symbolizes a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often r ...

Laos
,
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...

Vietnam
and
Burma Myanmar (; my, မြန်မာ ) or Burma ( my, ဗမာ ), officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, is a country in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is bordered by Bangladesh and India to its northwest, China to its northeast, Laos a ...

Burma
due to outward migrations starting in the 18th century. As a result of recent migrations in the aftermath of the
Indochina Mainland Southeast Asia, also known as the Indochinese Peninsula or Indochina, is the continental portion of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...
and
Vietnam War {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Vietnam War , partof = the Indochina Wars The Indochina Wars ( vi, Chiến tranh Đông Dương) were a series of wars fought in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled ...
s from 1949–75, many Hmong people now live in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
,
French Guiana French Guiana ( or ; french: link=no, Guyane ) is an overseas department/region and single territorial collectivity A single territorial collectivity (french: collectivité territoriale ''unique'') is a chartered subdivision of France ...

French Guiana
,
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
and
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
. Altogether, there are approximately 10 million speakers in the Miao language family. This language family, which consists of 6 languages and around 35 dialects (some of which are mutually intelligible) belongs to the Hmong/Miao branch of the Hmong–Mien (Miao–Yao) language family. A large population of the Hmong have emigrated to the northern mountainous reaches of Southeast Asia including Thailand,
Laos , national_anthem = "Pheng Xat Lao "Pheng Sat Lāo" () is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that officially symbolizes a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often r ...

Laos
, Vietnam, and
Burma Myanmar (; my, မြန်မာ ) or Burma ( my, ဗမာ ), officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, is a country in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is bordered by Bangladesh and India to its northwest, China to its northeast, Laos a ...

Burma
. However, many continue to live in far Southwest China mostly in the provinces of
Yunnan Yunnan () is a landlocked Provinces of China, province in Southwest China, the southwest of the People's Republic of China. The province spans approximately and has a population of 48.3 million (as of 2018). The capital of the province is Ku ...

Yunnan
,
Guangxi Guangxi (; alternately romanized as Kwanghsi; ; za, Gvangjsih), officially the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (GZAR), is an autonomous region An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, uni ...

Guangxi
and to a very limited extent in
Guizhou Guizhou (; alternately Kweichow) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational enti ...

Guizhou
. :''Note: The Miao areas of Sichuan province became part of the newly created
Chongqing Chongqing ( ; ; Sichuanese pronunciation: , Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese (), in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingu ...

Chongqing
Municipality in 1997.'' Most Miao currently live in China. Miao population growth in China: * 1953: 2,510,000 * 1964: 2,780,000 * 1982: 5,030,000 * 1990: 7,390,000 3,600,000 Miao, about half of the entire Chinese Miao population, were in
Guizhou Guizhou (; alternately Kweichow) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational enti ...

Guizhou
in 1990. The Guizhou Miao and those in the following six provinces make up over 98% of all Chinese Miao: *
Hunan Hunan (, ; ) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdi ...

Hunan
: 1,550,000 *
Yunnan Yunnan () is a landlocked Provinces of China, province in Southwest China, the southwest of the People's Republic of China. The province spans approximately and has a population of 48.3 million (as of 2018). The capital of the province is Ku ...

Yunnan
: 890,000 *
Sichuan Sichuan (; , ; alternatively romanized as Szechuan or Szechwan) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, admini ...

Sichuan
: 530,000 *
Guangxi Guangxi (; alternately romanized as Kwanghsi; ; za, Gvangjsih), officially the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (GZAR), is an autonomous region An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, uni ...

Guangxi
: 420,000 *
Hubei Hubei (; ; alternately Hupeh) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity ...

Hubei
: 200,000 *
Hainan Hainan (, ; ) is the smallest and southernmost province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational enti ...

Hainan
: 50,000 (known as Miao but ethnically Yao and Li) In the above provinces, there are 6 Miao
autonomous prefecture Autonomous prefectures () are one type of autonomous administrative divisions of China, existing at the Administrative divisions of China#Prefectural level (2nd), prefectural level, with either list of ethnic groups in China and Taiwan, ethnic m ...
s (shared officially with one other ethnic minority): *
Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture (; Hmu language The Hmu language (''hveb Hmub''), also known as Qiandong Miao (黔东 Eastern Guizhou Miao), Central Miao, East Hmongic, or (somewhat ambiguously) Black Miao, is a dialect cluster of ...
, Guizhou *
Qiannan Buyei and Miao Autonomous Prefecture Qiannan Buyei The Bouyei (also spelled ''Puyi'', ''Buyei'' and ''Buyi''; self called: Buxqyaix, or "Puzhong", "Burao", "Puman"; ; vi, người Bố Y), otherwise known as the Zhongjia, are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is ...
, Guizhou *
Qianxinan Buyei and Miao Autonomous Prefecture Qianxinan Buyei and Miao Autonomous Prefecture (; Buyei The Bouyei (also spelled ''Puyi'', ''Buyei'' and ''Buyi''; self called: Buxqyaix, or "Puzhong", "Burao", "Puman"; ; vi, người Bố Y), otherwise known as the Zhongjia, are an ethnic ...
, Guizhou *
Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture (;Tujia language, Tujia:Xianxxix bifzivkar befkar zifzifzoux;Xong language, Miao:Xangdxid tutjadcul maolcul zibzhibzhoud) is an autonomous prefecture of the People's Republic of China. It is located in ...
, Hunan *
Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture is an autonomous prefecture Autonomous prefectures () are one type of autonomous administrative divisions of China, existing at the prefectural level, with either ethnic minorities A minority g ...
, Yunnan *
Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture () is located in the mountainous southwestern corner of Hubei Hubei (; Postal romanization, alternately Hupeh) is a landlocked provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China, a ...
, Hubei There are in addition 23 Miao autonomous counties: * Hunan:
Mayang Mayang ( "''Mayang Miao Autonomous County''", ; usually referred to as "''Mayang County''", ) is an autonomous county Autonomous counties and autonomous banners are county-level autonomous administrative divisions of China Autonomous admin ...
,
Jingzhou Jingzhou () is a prefecture-level city in southern Hubei province, China, located on the banks of the Yangtze River. Its total residential population was 5,231,180 based on the Seventh National Population Census of the People's Republic of China ...
, Chengbu * Guizhou: Songtao, Yinjiang, Wuchuan, Daozhen, Zhenning, Ziyun, Guanling, Weining Yi Hui and Miao Autonomous County, Weining * Yunnan: Pingbian, Jinping Miao, Yao, and Dai Autonomous County, Jinping, Luquan Yi and Miao Autonomous County, Luquan * Chongqing: Xiushan, Youyang, Qianjiang District, Qianjiang, Pengshui * Guangxi: Rongshui Miao Autonomous County, Rongshui, Longsheng Various Nationalities Autonomous County, Longsheng, Longlin Various Nationalities Autonomous County, Longlin (including Hmong) *
Hainan Hainan (, ; ) is the smallest and southernmost province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational enti ...

Hainan
: Qiongzhong and Baoting Li and Miao Autonomous County, Baoting Most Miao reside in hills or on mountains, such as * Wuling Mountain by the Qianxiang River () * Miao Mountain (), Qiandongnan * Yueliang Mountain (), Qiandongnan * Greater and Lesser Ma Mountain (), Qiannan * Greater Miao Mountain (), Guangxi * Wumeng Mountain by the Tianqian River () Several thousands of Miao left their homeland to move to larger cities like Guangzhou and Beijing. There are 789,000 Hmong spread throughout northern
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...

Vietnam
,
Laos , national_anthem = "Pheng Xat Lao "Pheng Sat Lāo" () is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that officially symbolizes a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often r ...

Laos
,
Burma Myanmar (; my, မြန်မာ ) or Burma ( my, ဗမာ ), officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, is a country in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is bordered by Bangladesh and India to its northwest, China to its northeast, Laos a ...

Burma
, and on other continents. 174,000 live in
Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , wi ...

Thailand
, where they are one of the six main Hill tribe (Thailand), hill tribes.


Distribution

File:Miao autonomous prefectures and counties in China.png, Miao autonomous prefectures and counties in China File:Hmong_Mien_lang.png, Map of Hmong-Mien languages distribution


By province

The 2000 Chinese census recorded 8,940,116 Miao in mainland China. ;Provincial distribution of the Miao in mainland China


By county

;County-level distribution of the Miao in mainland China (Only includes counties or county-equivalents containing >0.25% of mainland China's Miao population.)


Cuisine


Miao Fish (苗鱼 miáo yǘ)

Miao fish is a dish made by steaming fish with a mixture of fresh herbs, green peppers, ginger slices and garlic.


See also

* Chi You, Chiyou * Ethnic groups in Chinese history * Ethnic minorities in China * History of China *
Hmong people #REDIRECT Hmong people #REDIRECT Hmong people#REDIRECT Hmong people The Hmong people ( RPA: ''Hmoob'', Nyiakeng Puachue: "𞄀𞄩𞄰", Pahawh Hmong: "𖬌𖬣𖬵" ) are an ethnic group living mainly in southern China, Vietnam , ima ...

Hmong people
* Hmong customs and culture *
Hmong–Mien languages The Hmong–Mien languages (also known as Miao–Yao and rarely as Yangtzean) are a highly tonal language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, based on speech ...
* Languages of China * List of Hmong/Miao People * Pole worship * Vang Pao


References


Citations


Sources

* Enwall, Jaokim
''Thai-Yunnan Project Newsletter''
No. 17, Department of Anthropology, Australian National University, June 1992. * * * * * * * * Feng, Xianghong. (2013)
Women's Work, Men's Work: Gender and Tourism among the Miao in Rural China
Anthropology of Work Review. 34. p. 4–10.


Further reading

*Tomoko Torimaru(September 1, 2008), One Needle, One Thread: Miao (Hmong) embroidery and fabric piecework from Guizhou, China, University of Hawaii Art Galle *


External links


Hmong Studies Internet Resource CenterHmongNet.orgAn Album of the Miao Minority
from 1786
Map share of ethnic by county of China
{{DEFAULTSORT:Miao People Miao people, Ethnic groups officially recognized by China Ethnic groups in Laos Ethnic groups in Thailand Ethnic groups in Vietnam Hmong