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A Nationality with the Smallest Population

The Lhoba PeopleThe Lhoba ethnic minority has the smallest population of all nationalities in China. Numbering 2312, the Lhoba people mainly live in the Luoyu area between Chayu in the east and Menyu in the west, in Tibet. Miling, Motuo, Chayu, Longzi and Langxian are most densely populated.

The Lhoba nationality includes many tribes, mainly "Bogar," "Ningbo," "Bangbp," "Degeng," "Ado," and "Tajin." The Tibetans call them "Lhoba," which means "southerners." After the founding of the PRC, they were formally named as "Lhoba nationality" according to their own wish and the actual situation.

The Lhobas speak a distinctive language, which belongs to the Tibetan-Myanmar language branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. A small part of them know the Tibetan language and Tibetan letters. Having no written script, Lhoba people have kept their primitive way of keeping records by notching wood or tying knots.

Most of the Lhobas live in the high mountains and deep vales near the big turning of the Brahmaputra River. The area is sparsely populated and the forest is thick, which makes the traffic very difficult. The Luobas are adept at building trestles and log bridges, and climbing "Tianti (a very steep ladder)," "Liusuo (sliding cable)" and rattan nets. They were still in a primitive society, though at the end of it, by the mid 20th century. Till now, they still keep the primitive way of agriculture and distributing big game in hunting.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the British began to invade the Lhoyu region of Tibet. They took various excuses to peep into China and attempted to steal the boarder territory. This aroused the revolt of the Lhobas, who had made great contributions to the defense of the nation.

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