) 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
area), and in neighboring Guizhou
area) and Hunan
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.
is a way of using cormorant
birds for fishing and is practiced among the Bai fishermen.