Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture

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Liangshan (Chinese: 凉山; Yi: ꆃꎭ Niep Sha, pronounced [nɛ̀ʂā]), officially the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, is an autonomous prefecture occupying much of the southern extremity of Sichuan province, People's Republic of China; its seat is Xichang. Liangshan has an area of 60,423 km2 (23,329 sq mi) and over 4.5 million inhabitants (2010). It is also has the largest population of ethnic Yi nationally. Liangshan Li contains a number of isolated villages high up on its cliffs, often known as "cliff villages".[1]

Yi people came into Chinese and western history books as "罗罗" (Lolo) and "" (Yi) in the beginning. After the Chinese Communist Party came into power in mainland China, the government changed the spelling of the name from "" to "" since the old character was derogatory.

The appellations of Lolo, Lolopu, etc. are related to the Yi people’s worship of the tiger, as lo in their dialects means "tiger". Lo is also the basis for the Chinese exonym Luóluó 猓猓, 倮倮, or 罗罗. The original character, 猓, with the "dog radical" 犭and a guǒ 果 phonetic, was considered condescending,[2] comparable to the Chinese name guǒran 猓然 "a long-tailed ape".

Writing reform in the People’s Republic of China replaced the 猓 character in Luóluó twice: first by Luó 倮, with the "human radical" 亻and the same phonetic, but that was a graphic variant for luǒ 裸 "naked"; and later by Luó 罗 "net for catching birds". However, the stigma remained and resulted in negative remarks when people of the prefecture visited other cities, so the government changed the name of the prefecture.

Xichang has the Xichang Qingshan Airport and the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The prefecture also features a substantial network of railways for both passengers and freight.

Liangshan Prefecture
凉山州 · ꆃꎭꍏ
Autonomous prefecture
凉山彝族自治州 · ꆃꎭꆈꌠꊨꏦꏱꅉꍏ
Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture
Huidong, Liangshan, Sichuan, China - panoramio (3).jpg
Location of Liangshan Prefecture in Sichuan

Location of Liangshan Prefecture in Sichuan
Coordinates: 27°53′N 102°16′E / 27.883°N 102.267°E
Country People's Republic of China
Province Sichuan
Prefecture seat Xichang
Area
 • Total 60,423 km2 (23,329 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 • Total 4,532,809
 • Density 75/km2 (190/sq mi)
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Website www.lsz.gov.cn
Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 凉山彝族自治州
Traditional Chinese 涼山彝族自治州
Transcriptions
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu Pinyin Liángshān Yízú Zìzhìzhōu
Commonly abbreviated as "Liangshan Prefecture"
Simplified Chinese 凉山州
Traditional Chinese 涼山州
Transcriptions
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu Pinyin Liángshān Zhōu
Yi name
Yi Script: ꆃꎭꆈꌠꊨꏦꏱꅉꍏ
Romanisation: niep sha nuo su zyt jie jux dde zho

Terrain and climate

The Anning River, which runs into the Jinsha River (Yangtze River headwaters), is the main river in the area.

Owing to its low latitude and high elevation, Liangshan has a mild climate. Under the Köppen system, the prefecture belongs to the humid subtropical zone (Köppen Cwa). Winters feature mild days and cool nights, while summers are very warm and humid. Monthly daily mean temperatures range from 9.6 °C (49.3 °F) in January to 22.3 °C (72.1 °F) in July. Unlike much of the province, which lies in the Sichuan Basin, humidity levels in winter are rather low, but like the rest of the province, rainfall is concentrated in the months of June through September, and the prefecture is virtually rainless in winter.

Cliff villages

Also see Zhaojue County

Due to the mountainous terrain, many villages that lie among the mountain cliffs of Liangshan Yi are isolated from the rest of Sichuan. They are called cliff villages as they tend to be isolated and lie at vertical heights of about 800 metres.[3] Access to these cliff villages tends to be through vines of trees along the cliffs and steep ladders made of ropes. In 2016, the state run Beijing News reported one such village called Atule'er (阿土列尔村) where children climbed up a rope ladder for two hours to reach their home from school, often leading to falls and deaths.[4] The Mail Online dubbed it "The world's most dangerous school run".[5] In light of this, the local government constructed a special steel ladder (dubbed "Stairway to heaven") in November 2016 for people to climb up and down in a safer manner.[6]

The Atule'er village is home to 72 families. Access from the outside world to Atule'er is through 17 vertical vine ladders.[1]

Subdivisions

Liangshan directly controls one county-level city, 15 counties, and 1 autonomous county.

Map
Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Yi Population
(2010 Census)
Area (km²) Density
(/km²)
Xichang City 西昌市 Xīchāng Shì ꀒꎂꏃ 712,434 2,655 268.33
Yanyuan County 盐源县 Yányuán Xiàn ꋂꂿꑤ 350,176 8,388 41.74
Dechang County 德昌县 Déchāng Xiàn ꄓꍣꑤ 214,405 2,284 93.87
Huili County 会理县 Huìlǐ Xiàn ꑌꄷꑤ 430,066 4,527 95.00
Huidong County 会东县 Huìdōng Xiàn ꉼꄏꑤ 362,944 3,227 112.47
Ningnan County 宁南县 Níngnán Xiàn ꆀꆆꑤ 170,673 1,667 102.38
Puge County 普格县 Pǔgé Xiàn ꁌꐭꑤ 155,740 1,905 81.75
Butuo County 布拖县 Bùtuō Xiàn ꀭꄮꑤ 160,151 1,685 95.04
Jinyang County 金阳县 Jīnyáng Xiàn ꏁꇉꑤ 165,121 1,587 104.04
Zhaojue County 昭觉县 Zhāojué Xiàn ꏪꐦꑤ 251,836 2,699 93.30
Xide County 喜德县 Xǐdé Xiàn ꑝꅇꑤ 165,906 2,206 75.20
Mianning County 冕宁县 Miǎnníng Xiàn ꍿꆈꑤ 351,245 4,423 79.41
Yuexi County 越西县 Yuèxī Xiàn ꃺꄧꑤ 269,896 2,257 119.58
Ganluo County 甘洛县 Gānluò Xiàn ꇤꇉꑤ 195,100 2,156 90.49
Meigu County 美姑县 Měigū Xiàn ꂿꈬꑤ 221,505 2,573 86.08
Leibo County 雷波县 Léibō Xiàn ꃀꁧꑤ 223,885 2,932 76.35
Muli Tibetan Autonomous County 木里藏族自治县 Mùlǐ Zàngzú
Zìzhìxiàn
ꃆꆹꀒꋤꊨꏦꏱꅉꑤ 131,726 13,252 9.94

Ethnic groups in Liangshan, 2010 census

Nationality Population Percentage
Yi 2,226,755 49.13%
Han Chinese 2,155,357 47.55%
Tibetan 60,679 (2000) 1.49% (2000)
Mosuo and Mongol 27,277 (2000) 0.67% (2000)
Hui 18,385 (2000) 0.45% (2000)
Miao 11,912 (2000) 0.29%
Lisu 9,121 (2000) 0.22% (2000)
Buyei 5,459 (2000) 0.13% (2000)
Nakhi 5,199 (2000) 0.13% (2000)
Others 8,751 0.22%

References

  1. ^ a b Chi, Ma (25 May 2016). "Kids climb vine ladder in 'cliff village' in Sichuan". China People's Daily. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  2. ^ Ramsey, Robert S. (1987). The Languages of China, p. 160. Princeton University Press.
  3. ^ Chi, An (21 November 2016). ""Ladders of heaven" gives new path to cliff village in China's Sichuan". Xinhua. Beijing News. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  4. ^ "Steel replaces vine ladders in China's "Cliff Village"". Sina News. 21 November 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  5. ^ Williams, Sophie (10 May 2016). "China's 'cliff village' builds a huge steel ladder for children enduring the 'world's most dangerous school run'". Mail Online. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  6. ^ Wang, Serenetie; Hunt, Katie (26 October 2016). "China: Cliff-top village builds steel ladder for children to go to school". CNN News. Retrieved 22 November 2016.

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