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A Brief Introduction of 56 Ethnic Groups
China is a united multi-ethnic nation of 56 ethnic groups. As the majority of the population is of the Han ethnic group (accounting for 91.6 percent of the national total population), China's other 55 ethnic groups are customarily referred to as the national minorities. According to the fifth national census in 2000, the national minorities which have a population of over one million include the Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uygur, Yi, Tujia, Mongolian, Tibetan, Bouyei, Dong, Yao, Korean, Bai, Hani, Li, Kazak and Dai, totaling 18 ethnic groups. Among them the Zhuang ethnic group has the biggest population of 16.179 million. There are 17 ethnic groups with a population of between 100,000 and one million, including She, Lisu, Gelo, Lahu, Dongxiang, Va, Shui, Naxi, Qiang, Tu, Xibe, Mulam, Kirgiz, Daur, Jingpo, Salar and Maonan.
图片关键字 A Panorama of Chinese Garments

Clothes of Chinese ethnic minorities are flowery and colorful, extremely exquisite, and highly characteristic. They constitute an important part of the rich history and culture of the nationalities.  

Every aspect of their garments, such as raw materials, textile technology, fashion and decoration, retains a distinct character of the nationality and the locality. The Mongolians, Tibetans, Kazakstans, Khalkhases, Yugurs, etc., who are mainly engaged in stockbreeding, make their apparel mostly from animal skin and hair. On the other hand, farming ethnic minorities usually take the locally produced cotton or hemp thread as raw material to spin cloth and silk and make clothes.  

Ethnic minorities' techniques of spinning and weaving, tanning, felting and so on have undergone a long history. There are numerous designs and forms in the clothing of Chinese ethnic minorities. On broad lines, they can be classified into two types: long gowns and short clothes. Those who are in gown usually wear a hat on the head and boots on the feet while those who are in short clothes usually wear a handkerchief and shoes. The forms of the gowns are various too: the high-collar and big-front type worn by the Mongolian, the Man, the Tu and so on; the collarless tilted-front type worn by the Tibetan, the Moinba and so on; the tilted-front type worn by the Uygur and other nationalities; the kanjian-type long gown...As for short clothes, they fall into the following two types: trousers and skirts.  

Han Clothing, worn by Han Chinese people from the semi-legendary Xia Dynasty (21st century BC - 16th century BC) to the Ming Dynasty,has a recorded history of more than 3000 years.Qipao and Tangzhuang, although usually regarded as traditional Chinese clothing, are not regarded as Hanfu by advocates of Hanfu revival. This is because these were introduced by the Manchus, whom revival advocates accuse of having stamped out Hanfu in the first place. Qipao and Tangzhuang are also relatively recent clothing styles, and cannot represent the entire history of Chinese clothing.
The organization of political power mainly consisted of the rulers of the Manchu ethnic minority in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), so the customs of Manchu affected those of the Central Plains. The traditional dress code that had been handed down for several thousand years was damaged because of the invasion of the Eight Banners soldiers. It might be said that this innovation was another improvement of China's traditional dress code. It was the third obvious revolution after the Mongol Costumes for Arrow Shooting on Horseback.
The Tibetan ethnic minority is mainly distributed in Tibet Autonomous Region, Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan, Yunnan provinces and their nearby provinces. The Tibetan ethnic minority is one of the age-old ethnic minorities in China and its chief agricultural crop is highland barley, but there are also other crops such as wheat, rape and pea, etc.

The Tibetan style of clothing and adornment can be roughly classified into four major types in terms of the four regions: East Tibet, South Tibet, Middle Tibet and North Tibet.

The Dai are valley-dwelling rice cultivators of China's southwest frontier. The name "Dai" has been used officially since 1953 to replace "Tai" or "Thai." There are three major subgroups: Dail(who used to be called "Shui Baiyi" by the Han, meaning "Dai living near the water"); Daina (Han Baiyi or Han Dai, Chinese Baiyi or Dai); and Daija (Huayao Dai, "the Dai wearing bright-colored blouses"). Within each subgroup there are regional units such as Daide, Daipeng, Daila, Dailian, and Pudai. Neighboring groups "Lahu, Hani, Jingpo, Benglong, Wa, Bulang, and Achang" call the Dai "Bitso", "Siam", or "La Sam".