The Hani, known as Aka, live in the northern part of Thailand and southern part of China. They are the second biggest ethnic group with a population of 170,000 and are the most common ethnic group in Yunnan. They live in Honghe Hani Prefecture and the middle areas of Lancang River . Aini people evolved from the Qiang, an ancient ethnic people of China. They live nomadic lives. As early as around 1100 years ago they moved into Xishuangbanna from Honghe and Mojiang. Aini are animist and worship ancestors. They believe everything has a soul. Aini ladies have 3 kinds of headwear respectively flat, top and round. They speak a charming spoken language, but have no written systems. The most distinctive difference from other ethnic groups is that the Aini has no fixed family names. The family names of the next generation are the fathers giving name.
Aini people main festival
Gantangpa means renaissance of everything in the Aini language. This festival is the Aini people’s New Year. It falls in the same period as the Chinese New Year and lasts 4 days. They slaughter cows, pigs and play games. They hold an archery competition which is an indispensable part of New Year celebrations. Villages also have their traditional dances and songs.
Aini bamboo-trunk festival Aini bamboo-trunk festival
As the second biggest festival, it comes in June. Every Aini village sets up a big swing. Playing on the swing embodies courage and wisdom.
Swing-playing Festival Happy Festival