Waxiang people

Last updated
Waxiang people
Total population
about 400,000
Regions with significant populations

Hunan, China:

Waxiang Chinese, Southwestern Mandarin, Xiang Chinese
Buddhism, traditional religions
Related ethnic groups
Miao people, Yao people, Han Chinese

The Waxiang people are an unrecognized ethnic group in Hunan, China. They call themselves Huaxiang people (IPA::/wa33 ɕioŋ55/) and they speak Waxiang Chinese. Compared to the Han, Miao and Tujia people of the region, they are very different in terms of clothing, food, living, farming and other cultural norms.

Several ethnic groups of the People's Republic of China are not officially recognized. Taken together, these groups number more than 730,000 people; if considered as a single group, they would constitute the twentieth most populous ethnic group of China. Some scholars have estimated that there are over 200 distinct ethnic groups that inhabit China. There are in addition small distinct ethnic groups that have been classified as part of larger ethnic groups that are officially recognized. Some groups like the Hui of Xinjiang with the Hui of Fujian are geographically and culturally separate except for the shared belief of Islam. Han Chinese being the world's largest ethnic group has a large diversity within it, such as in Gansu, the Han here may have genetic traits from the assimilated Tangut civilization. Although they are indigenous to Hainan island and do not speak a Chinese language, the Limgao (Ong-Be) people near the capital are counted as Han Chinese.

Hunan Province

Hunan is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze watershed in South Central China; it borders the province-level divisions of Hubei to the north, Jiangxi to the east, Guangdong and Guangxi to the south, Guizhou to the west, and Chongqing to the northwest. With a population of just over 67 million as of 2014 residing in an area of approximately 210,000 km2 (81,000 sq mi), it is China's 7th most populous and the 10th most extensive province-level by area.

China Country in East Asia

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.


Population and distribution

The Waxiang people are an unrecognized ethnic group in China, with a population of about 400,000. Currently, the views of scholars and the Chinese government are usually that Waxiang Chinese, the main language used by Waxiang people, is in the Mandarin subdivision of the Chinese language. [1] The Waxiang people are usually situated in the Hunan province of China.

Waxiang Chinese language

Waxiang is a divergent variety of Chinese, spoken by the Waxiang people, an unrecognized ethnic minority group in the northwestern part of Hunan province, China. Waxiang is a distinct language, very different from its surrounding Southwestern Mandarin, Xiang and Qo Xiong languages.

Mandarin Chinese major branch of Chinese spoken across most of northern and southwestern China

Mandarin is a group of related varieties of Chinese spoken across most of northern and southwestern China. The group includes the Beijing dialect, the basis of Standard Mandarin or Standard Chinese. Because Mandarin originated in North China and most Mandarin dialects are found in the north, the group is sometimes referred to as the Northern dialects. Many local Mandarin varieties are not mutually intelligible. Nevertheless, Mandarin is often placed first in lists of languages by number of native speakers.

Chinese language family of languages

Chinese is a group of related, but in many cases not mutually intelligible, language varieties, forming the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Chinese is spoken by the ethnic Chinese majority and many minority ethnic groups in China. About 1.2 billion people speak some form of Chinese as their first language.

Ethnic group designation

Many of the Waxiang people are designated as Miao, while some are designated as Tujia or Han. However, no matter the designated ethnic group, most of them have recognition to the Waxiang ethnic group, and hope to edit the ethnic group category, in addition to establishing a Waxiang autonomous region.

Miao people ethnic group in China

The Miao is an ethnic group belonging to South China, and is recognized by the government of China as one of the 55 official minority groups. Miao is a Chinese term and does not reflect the self-designations of the component groups of people, which include Hmong, Hmub, Xong (Qo-Xiong), and A-Hmao.

Tujia people Ethnic minority group in China

The Tujia, with a total population of over 8 million, is the eighth-largest ethnic minority in the People's Republic of China. They live in the Wuling Mountains, straddling the common borders of Hunan, Hubei and Guizhou Provinces, and Chongqing Municipality.

The Han Chinese, Hanzu, Han people, are an East Asian ethnic group and nation native to China. They constitute the world's largest ethnic group, making up about 18% of the global population. The estimated 1.3 billion Han Chinese people are mostly concentrated in mainland China and in Taiwan. Han Chinese people also make up three quarters of the total population of Singapore.

Notable people

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Xiang Chinese primary branch of Chinese spoken in southern China

Xiang or Hsiang, also known as Hunanese, is a group of linguistically similar and historically related varieties of Chinese, spoken mainly in Hunan province but also in northern Guangxi and parts of neighboring Guizhou and Hubei provinces. Scholars divided Xiang into five subgroups, Chang-Yi, Lou-Shao, Hengzhou, Chen-Xu and Yong-Quan. Among those, Lou-shao, also known as Old Xiang, still exhibits the three-way distinction of Middle Chinese obstruents, preserving the voiced stops, fricatives, and affricates. Xiang has also been heavily influenced by Mandarin, which adjoins three of the four sides of the Xiang speaking territory, and Gan in Jiangxi Province, from where a large population immigrated to Hunan during the Ming Dynasty.

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  1. Reference 《中國語言地圖集》A1“中國語言圖”,A2“中國漢語方言圖”,B8“東南漢語方言圖”,B11“江西省和湖南省的漢語方言” (in Chinese)