Miao people rely heavily on agriculture and for the most part are a typical agrarian society. However, hunting also plays an important, albeit minor, role. Miao arts and crafts are beautifully colored and renowned at home and abroad. Crafts such as cross-stitch, embroidery, brocade, wax printing, paper cutting, and general adornment creation are cultural staples. Among these, Miao wax printing has over 1000 years of history, while Miao clothing incorporates hundreds of styles in varying arrays of color. Headdress is common, often using flowers to accent vibrant patterns. The Miao are generally adept singers and dancers and specialize in love songs and songs for toasting.
The Bai costume has a long history. As long as 1,800 years ago, the Bai wove a kind of cloth known as "Tonghua.” During the Nanzhao Regime and the Dali Kingdom, the Bai created their own styles of clothing. Now, the clothes of the Bai people are bright and well-matching in colors, delicate and fine in embroideries, and plain and simple in style.
Bai clothing is usually adorned with camellia flowers because they view these flowers as a symbol of beauty. The Bai enjoy their lives and love flowers. They like to wear a red scarf on their shoulders and a white outer upper garment, a combination that resembles blooming camellias.
The Dong have a signalling custom, called, for reasons which will become obvious in the following, a "multi-mark". Marking is often done with grass or other plants which are pulled up and knotted, then placed in a conspicuous place (alternatively, in a particularly relevant location) in order to serve as a sign of love (alternatively, as a sign of warning). As the multi-mark name suggests, marking can convey any of several different meanings, generally depending on where the multi-mark is placed. Besides signalling love, the multi-mark may signify danger such as a hazardous spot on a bridge, a slippery precipice, the presence of hunting traps (eg, on a forest path) that have been set, etc.
Many Mongols live in modern urban housing for a part of the year, but switch to the ger (called a yurt in Turkish, a related Altaic language, it is the characteristic domed round tent, which is the traditional dwelling of the Mongol.)at other times of the year in order to tend to domestic animals (sheep, goats, etc.). The Mongolian ger is practical in every way: it is quickly collapsible and packs away to almost nothing, making it easy to transport; its ground-hugging base and its conical top - which also sheds rain instantly - help keep the ger snug to the ground, even in strong winds; and inside, it is very roomy and ventilated. The Mongolian ger consists of a wooden, lattice frame, sometimes in sections.
Tibetan people believe in Lamaism. The believers must recite or chant Buddhism scriptures very often. For illiterate people, what they can do is to turn prayer wheels, with scriptures inside. Turning the prayer wheel is equivalent to chanting some scriptures and it has become routine work for Tibetan people. A lot of Tibetans keep portable prayer wheels at home. Prayer wheels are of different sizes and quality. But there is one thing in common, that is they all have scriptures inside. Followers of Yellow sect turn the wheel clockwise, while followers of Black sect turn it anticlockwise.
Major Chinese Ethnic Minorities Map (Click on the map to view the local minority introduction)