The Bai (endonym ) are one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China. They numbered 1,858,063 as of 2000.

The Bai People hold the white colour in high esteem and call themselves "Baizi", "Baini" or "Baihuo", which means white people. In 1956, of their own will they were named the Bai Nationality by Chinese Authorities.


Bai people live mostly in the provinces of Yunnan (Dali area), and in neighboring Guizhou (Bijie area) and Hunan (Sangzhi area) provinces. Of the 2 million Bai people, eighty percent live in concentrated communities in the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province.


An estimated 1,240,000 (as of 2003) of the Bai speak the Bai language in all its varieties. The tongue is either a member of the Sinitic branch or the Tibeto-Burman branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family or possibly part of an independent branch of this family.

Cormorant Fishing

Cormorant fishing is a way of using cormorant birds for fishing and is practiced among the Bai fishermen.


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