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China's Minority Peoples - The Primis


The Primis, with a population of 29.657, mainly live in the Laojun Mountain of Lanping and the foothills of the Maoniu Mountain of Ninglang in the northwest of Yunnan Province. A small number can be found in Lijiang, Yongsheng, Weixi, Zhongdian, and Yanyuan. Mull of Sichuan Province living side by side with other ethnic groups.

A Primi old woman is weaving.

The Primis call themselves "Puyingmi", "Purimi" or "Peimi". meaning "white people". Historical records referred to them as the Xifans or the Bajus. After the founding of new China, they were officially called the Primi Nationality with their approval.

Though dress of the Pnmis living Iri Laojun Mountains of Lanping rssambtas thai of the neighboring Bais, there is a distinct diversity ol customs between the two. Here a Primi woman is going to show her vocal imitation skills tftth a piece of tender rattan.

The Primi language belongs to the Qiang branch of the Tibeto-Burman group of the Sino- Tibetan family. Dialect variations are usually slight. Many Primis speak the Chinese, Tibetan, Bai and Naxi languages. In history, the Primis living in Ninglang and Mull used the Tibetan script to transliterate their legends, tales, and songs. However, this written form was only adopted by sorcerers to compose scriptures. At present, Chinese has become widespread among the Primis.

The Primi people living in Ninglang area celebrate their annual Changxin Festival

The Primi religion combines animism with deep respect for ancestors. A few are Taoists and Lamaist Buddhists. The primary festivals of the Primis are the Spring Festival, Dashiwu (on the 14th day of the last month in the lunar year), and the Changxin Festival.

Coming back from a fair.