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Ewenki: The last reindeer-raising ethnic minority group in China

CGTN | Updated: 2017-08-02 15:51

Ewenki: The last reindeer-raising ethnic minority group in China

Roe deers are raised by Ewenkis. [Photo/CGTN]

In the hinterland of Northeast China's Heilongjiang province and northern Inner Mongolia autonomous region lives a mysterious ethnic minority group, who makes living by raising reindeer. They are China's last hunting tribe, the Ewenki ethnic minority group.

Inner Mongolia, China's first autonomous region, celebrates its its 70th birthday this year.

As an ancient Chinese minority, the Ewenkis are attracting more attention around the anniversary.

Most Ewenki people live a half-nomadic life wandering and hunting in the forest. Reindeer are their closest friends. With the animals' number decreasing, the Ewenkis are promoting reindeer conservation to the outside world.

The Ewenkis had no written script but a spoken language before they learned how to write in Manchu script and today they use both Mandarin and Mongolian.

With a relatively small population of around 30,000, Ewenki people are favorably bestowed with forests, farmland as well as mineral resources.

The Ewenkis are an honest, warmhearted and hospitable people. Guests in the pastoral areas are often served milk as it is a precious food in their ethnic culture.

While believing in animism, Ewenki people also worship their dead ancestors, and lingering influences of bear worship can still be found among Ewenki hunters. When a bear is killed, they do not say it is "dead", but "sleeping" instead.

 

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