s of efforts from the government and locals,

groups gradually merged into two big tribal allian▓ces -- Chashan and Lima. They were headed by hereditary nobles called "shanguan." Fre▓emen and slaves formed another two classes. Deprived▓ of any personal freedom, the slaves bore the surname of t

Collect from /

ay regions.In Yumin County of Tacheng,

ing process was accompanied by raised productivity and a transition toward feudalism. Slave▓s revolted or ran away. All these factors▓ brought the slave system to a quick end in t▓he middle of last century.Population: 6.57 millionMajor ar▓ea of distr

melting snow caused flooding that destroy

ibution: Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangx▓iLanguage: YiReligion: PolytheismThe Yi ethnic group, with a population of 6,578,500, is mainly distributed over the provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou, and th▓e Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. There are more than one▓ million Yis in Sichuan Province, and mo▓st of them live in an area south of t▓he Dadu River and along the Anning River. T

raditionally, this area is subdivided into the Great▓er Liangshan Mountain area, which lies east of ▓the Anning River and south of the Huangmao Dyke, and the Lesser Liangshan Mountain area, whic

ing houses unlivable. 35 households

h covers the Jinsha River valley and the south bank of the Dadu River. There are over a million Yis in the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, which holds the single largest Yi community in China. Yunnan Province has more than three million Yis,

became homeless.Population: 119,300Major area

most of▓ whom are concentrated in an area hemmed in by the Jinsha and Yuanjiang rivers, and t▓he Ailao and Wuliang mountains. Huaping, Ninglang and Yongsheng in western Yu▓nnan form what is known as the Yunnan Le▓sser Liangshan Mountain area. In Guizhou, more than half a million Yis live in compact▓ communities in Anshun and Bijie. Several thousand Yis live in Longlin and Mubian count

ies in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.Most Yis a▓re scattered in mountain areas, some in frigid mountain area▓s at high altitudes, and a small number liv▓e on flat land or in valleys. The altitudinal differences of the Yi areas directly affect their climate and precipitation. Their striking differences have giv▓en rise to the old saying that "the weather

is d▓ifferent a few miles away" in the Yi area.▓ This is the primary reason why the Yis in various areas ▓are so different from one another in the ways they make a living.The Yi areas are rich in natural resources. The Jinsha River running through Sichuan▓ and Yunnan and its tributaries surging throu▓gh the Yi areas in northern and northeastern Yunnan are enormous sources of water pow?/p>

坋r. The Yi areas are not only rich in coal and iron, but are also among China's major producers of non-ferrous metals. Gejiu, China's famous tin center, reared the first generation of Yi industrial workers.▓ Various Yi areas in the Greater and Lesser Liangshan Mountains, western Guizhou, and eastern and southern Yu▓nnan abound in

dozens of mineral resources, including gold, silver, aluminum, manganese, a▓ntimony and zinc. Vast forests str

etch across the Yi areas, where Yunnan pine, masson pine, dragon spruce, Chinese pine and other timber trees, lacquer, tea, camphor, kapok and other trees of economic value grow in great numbers. The forests teem with wild animals and plants as well as pilose antler, musk, bear gallbladders and medicinal herbs such as poris cocos and pseudoginseng.Pork contamination spreads▓ to Northern IrelandS. Korea cabinet offer▓s resignation over U.S. beef rowSEOUL, J

une 10 (Xinhua)▓ -- The entire South Korean cabinet Tuesday offered its resignation to President Lee Myung-Bak ove▓r U.S. beef dispute, Yonhap news agency repor▓ted. The resignation offer came as a record 1 million people are expected to hold

of Yunnan, west of the Nuj

t exported to South Korea. However, hard-l▓ine civic activists and opposition parties still vowed to resist until Lee agrees ▓to renegotiate the beef import deal with Washington to completely ban imports of all dangerous cattle byproducts, includin