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Chinese Nation - Baoan nationality

Bao’an nationality is one of the ethnic groups with a small population in China. Its national language is Bao’an language, belonging to the Mongolian language family of the Altaic language family. Due to its long-term communication with the surrounding Han and Hui Nationalities, there are many Chinese Loanwords in Bao’an language, which is commonly used in Chinese, and Chinese is used as a tool for social communication.


“Bao’an” is the name of our family. Dahlia, where Baoan people live together, is scattered in other counties of Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture, Lanzhou City, Qinghai, and Xinjiang.


Baoan nationality embroidery



Baoan nationality is one of the ethnic minorities who believe in Islam in China. As early as when they lived in Tongren, Qinghai, Baoan people believed in Islam. Islam has had a great influence not only on the spiritual field of Baoan people but also on their politics, economy, culture, and daily life, especially on the formation of Baoan people and national cohesion. The Islam of Bao’an nationality mainly includes the old religion and the Protestant religion, belonging to the Gadilinya and the Ihwani. All factions are basically consistent in their dogma. About the early Qing Dynasty, Islam appeared in the development of the northwest area “Menhuan”. In the Baoan nationality area, there are two main Clans: Yatou clans and Gaozhao clans, which belong to the Gadilinye sect.


The mosque is the center of Muslim religious activities. Bao’an Muslims also hold worship, preach and preach in mosques, engage in religious education, train teaching staff, and hold religious activities. Most of the mosques of the Baoan nationality are Chinese palace-style classical buildings, which are equipped with the main hall, minaret, bathroom, Dean’s room, Scripture room, and Manila room. In Jishishan County, mosques are built in all-natural villages inhabited by Muslims, and Baoan Sanzhuang, inhabited by Baoan ethnic group, has its own mosques (Meipo temple, Dadun temple, and Ganhetan Temple). Bao’an people worship in the same mosque regardless of religious sects, officials, and nationalities, which is a remarkable feature of their religious belief.


On the one hand, the living customs of Bao’an nationality are restricted by the Islamic belief, on the other hand, due to the long-term contacts with Han, Hui, Mongolian, Tibetan, Turkish, and other ethnic groups, they interact with each other in varying degrees, on this basis, they have formed their own national culture with their own characteristics.


Bao'an nationality waist knife



Baoan people’s daily diet is mainly made of wheat, highland barley, corn, beans, and other processed pasta.


The meat food of Bao’an people is mainly beef and mutton. They do not eat the meat of pigs, horses, donkeys, mules, and other ferocious animals. They do not eat the meat and blood of all self-dead animals. They must be slaughtered by imams or elders of Islam. Like stewing, such as hand grasps mutton, bowl dish (cooked beef and mutton cut into pieces, add carrots, potatoes, vermicelli, stewed with beef and mutton soup) and so on, the whole lamb mat is the most famous. In the past, there were few vegetables, but now there are many kinds of vegetables. Bao’an people like to drink tea. Before the founding of new China, they drink more Fu tea and Gaiwan tea. After the founding of new China, they usually drink more spring tea from Yunnan. Guests are treated with “Sanxiang tea” (tea, rock sugar, longan, red jujube, raisin, almond, etc. in Gaiwan tea). Bao’an people should not drink or smoke.


Bao'an nationality food



Erde Festival, Guerbang Festiva,l, and Shengji Festival are not only religious festivals but also national festivals of Baoan nationality.


Eid al Adha is also known as Eid al Fitr and Rouzi Festival. Islam stipulates that adult Muslims should fast for one month in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar every year. In this month, those who are 12 years old for men and 9 years old for women are not allowed to eat from dawn to sunset, which is called “closed fasting”. Erde Festival is the grandest and joyful festival of Baoan nationality, which is generally celebrated for three days. People should put on the most beautiful clothes, relatives and friends treat each other, say “match two eyes” to each other, and with the best of life and a happy holiday.


Gurbani Festival, also known as the festival of Xiaoerde, Eid al Adha, and redemption, is called “Eid al Adha” in Chinese. It will be held on the 70th day after the festival, that is, December 10 of the Huili calendar. Baoan people slaughter cattle and sheep according to their family’s economic situation when they celebrate the festival. Baoan people think that slaughtering cattle and sheep at the festival has the greatest “Saibaibu” (benefit), and distribute the slaughtered beef and mutton equally, which is called “meat element”. The celebration will also last three days.


The holy season commemorates the birth and death of the Prophet Muhammad. Muhammad is the founder of Islam. He was born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on March 12 in 570 A.D., and died in Medina 62 years later. Muslims call this day “holy season”. Bao’an people recite the Koran, praise Muhammad, and carry out collective commemoration activities on the day of “holy year”.


Bao'an nationality carton wedding picture


Clothes & Accessories

Bao’an nationality first lived close to the Mongolian nationality, and their costumes were similar to those of the Mongolian nationality.


In the later period of Tongren’s residence in Qinghai (the late Yuan Dynasty), influenced by the Tibetan and Tu nationalities, their clothes changed: men and women wore long shirts and top hats in spring, summer, and autumn, and some men wore white short coats with high collars and black shawls. Women wear embroidered shoes with bright colors.


In the Xianfeng and Tongzhi years of the Qing Dynasty, Bao’an nationality moved to the dahlia area in Jishishan County, Gansu Province. They had close contact with Hui, Dongxiang, and Han nationalities, and their costumes had obvious changes for the needs of production and life. At ordinary times, men and women like to wear white or cyan rimshots hats, white cloth shirts, and green cloth jackets. During festivals, men usually wear top hats and black velvet robes, which are slightly shorter than those worn by Tibetans. They are decorated with different widths and colors of “selvages”. They wear belts, waist knives, and high boots. Women wear knee-length gowns with dark camisoles and lace.


Nowadays, Bao’an men usually wear a white hat (a kind of round top cloth hat made of white or black cloth), white shirt, black shoulder, and blue or gray trousers; when visiting relatives and friends or going out, they often wear Zhongshan suit, military casual suit or jacket. Women like to wear brightly colored right Lapel top, trousers, jacket, and shoulder, with lace inlaid; they usually wear headsets, green ones for girls, black ones after marriage, and white ones for the elderly.

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