Baima People


Baima People

The Baima people(白馬人), also called Baima Tibetan (白馬藏人), is a subgroup of Tibetans living in the southeast of Gansu province and the northwest of Sichuan province of China, especially in Pingwu (平武) county, Jiuzhaigou (九寨溝) county of Sichuan and Wen(文) county of Gansu.

The language of the Baima people is similar to the Khams dialect of Tibetan and the Qiang language. Like the Songpan (松潘) and Kampa (康巴. 康, Khams) people of Tibet, Baima people call themselves "Bai". Unlike the Tibetan language, the Baima dialect ordinarily does not use a written script, although a hieroglyphic system is used in religious practice. In religion, they still keep ancient nature worship and totem worship, which practices were later influenced by the prehistorical Tibetan religion of Bon (苯教), and in some degree they also believe Buddhism and Daoism, but there are no temples or lamas (monks). To many of the Baima, the Mountain God is the highest god. The most important religious event for them is Caogai (曹蓋, which means domino in Baima language) dance.

The Baima people are said to be the descendants of Baima Di (白馬氐) and after Songtsän Gampo established the Kingdom of Tubo (吐蕃, Tibet) they gradually became part of the Tibetan people. Di (氐) is an ancient large ethnic group living in west China which is sometimes considered to be part of Qiang (羌), also called Diqiang (氐羌). The area Baima people live in is the region that was previouly called Jiandi Dao (湔氐道) before the Kingdom of Tubo was established.


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