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Ethnic groups Li, Miao & Hui Culture

Besides the Han, China's majority, the Li, Miao and Hui are also natives of Hainan, with the Li being the earliest inhabitants on the island. As a consequence of Hainan's development since 1950, the other 33 ethnic groups moved in successively. Most of the Li, Miao and Hui people settled in central and south Hainan, while the Han people inhabit northeast and north Hainan as well as the coastal areas.

There are many unique customs and traditions remaining within the original ethnic groups of Hainan. Impressive ethnic art, beautiful costumes and amazing traditional dance and "famous things to eat and drink" are all still apart of the various minority & indigenous cultures of Hainan island that attract both domestic and international tourists to the island for the chance to experience some of the more unique and rare cultural elements of the Hainan and the Chinese nation. 

The Li people are considered to be the earliest settlers of Hainan. In the past, Li women always had geometric tattoos on their faces and hands, which identified them by village and family, however this practice has died out, and there are now only a few elderly Li women with traditional tattoos. Traditional Li houses were constructed of bamboo and mud, with a thatched roof, but now most Li people live in modern housing. Li's beliefs include ancestor worship and the belief that the land, rivers, and trees had their own spirits. The Li people are known for developing the earliest and most advanced weaving technology in China, and their weaving, embroidery, dying, and sewing skills have made Li textiles in a special kind. The Li patterns are colorful and unique, and Li weavings are now a popular Hainan souvenir. The Li also have traditional music and musical instruments, such as bamboo nose flutes. A popular Li dance involves hopping through a grid of rhythmically moved bamboo poles, and you can see this dance performed and even try it for yourself at the many shows and performances of Li culture around Hainan.

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