The Bai people have a long history
and well-developed culture. They had close comtacts
with the Han people as early as the Qin and Han dynasties,
creating a brilliant national culture. 80% of the population
of 1.39 million live in the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture
around the Erhai Lake with exquisite scenery. The Bai
people have their own spoden language but do not have
a written one.
Dali, home of the Bais, is one os the oldest origins
of culture in Yunnan province. The Nan Zhao and Dali
Kingdoms were established in the Tang and Song Dynasties,
being the center of politice, economy and culture in
Yunnan. The Dali ThreePagodas, Dehua Stone Tablet, Shibaoshan
Mountain Grottoes in Jianchuan county and Jizushan Mountain
Temple Compex in Bingchuan county enjoy universal fame
around the world. Dali is listed among the historic
cultural towns in China. The scroll painting of"History
of Nanzhao Zhong Zingguo"in 899 AD and the scroll
painting of "Dali" in 1172 AD are known worldwide.
The Bai people hold white color in
esteem and it is the honorable color of their native
costume. Excellent in agriculture, the Bai people are
also very good at marble mining, producing handicrafts
and wood and stone carving.
The Bai native residential architecture
is of a unique style. Three houses and one screen wall
are arranged around a courtyard with another four small
yards at each corner. The houses are primitively simpl,
graceful and concordant with upturned eaves and bucket
arches, colorful paintings and delicate carvings. They
are traditional in style.
The Bai people are experts in singing and
dancing. The March Fair, Raoshanling, and Torch Festival are
all grand gatherings wigt a richness of content. The Rattling
Stick, Octagoanl Drum, Dragon Lantern Dance and Bai Melody
are all strongly traditional performance.