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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(self-designation, Kungnung), a people living in the Peichiang, Nantan, and Hoch’ih districts of the Kwangsi-Chuang Autonomous Region in China. Population, 18,000 (1953 census).

The Maonan are related ethnically to the Tai-speaking population of southern China. By the ninth century A.D. they already formed an independent ethnic group. The Maonan language is unwritten; it is related to the Sino-Tibetan language family. The Maonan also speak Chinese. Maonan religious beliefs are syncretistic. The majority of the Maonan preserve their traditional beliefs, which include various animistic cults and ancestor worship. Some Maonan are Catholics. Among the Maonan’s festive occasions, the festival celebrating the end of agricultural work is particularly important.

In their level of social and economic development, the Maonan do not differ from other neighboring peoples. Farming is the chief occupation. Rice is cultivated in irrigated fields; corn, barley, sweet potato, legumes, and commercial crops (cotton, ramie) are grown on bogara. Slash-and-burn farming is still practiced in some regions. The Maonan breed livestock (cattle, chickens, ducks). In domestic handicrafts, the spinning, weaving, and dyeing of fabrics are regarded as female activities, while bamboo weaving is considered men’s work. The Maonan dwell in stone houses; the main pillars, floor, and ceilings of their dwellings are made of wood and the roofs are usually tiled.


Narody Vostochnoi Azii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1965.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Learning from expert folk artists of the Maonan minority, visitors at the resort will have the opportunity to weave their own handicrafts such as straw hats, baskets and even small animals.
Chen et al., "Corneal endothelial cell density and morphology and central corneal thickness in Guangxi Maonan and Han adolescent students of China," International Journal of Ophthalmology, vol.
For instance, in the southwest of China, groups including the Miao, the Buyi and the Maonan, make block-style patchwork and applique quilt covers.