Hainan,China’s second largest island afterTaiwan, is the home of the Li ethnic group with a population of about 1,247,614. Most of them live in and around Tongze, capital of the Hainan Li-Miao Autonomous Prefecture, and Baoting, Ledong, Dongfang and other counties under its jurisdiction; others live among people of the Han and Hui ethnic groups in other parts of Hainan.
Lying at the foot of the Wuzhi Mountains, the Li area is a tropical paradise with fertile land and abundant rainfall. Li people mostly live in groups and they build their villages and stockades near mountains and rivers. The traditional houses are fenced and its shape is like a boat with covering.
Li women wear buttonless blouses and tight-fitting long skirts. Women in some places wear pullovers. Men wear jacket buttoned down on the front as well and they knot their hair on the neck together and wrap the head.
The Lis are good at singing and dancing. When festival or meeting arrives, they sing in loud voice and dance to their heart’ content day and night. Banboo-striking dance is common dance there. The dancers jump and turn as the bamboo set apart and get close again.
The main foods of the Lis are rice, tomatoes and maize. Everyday the boiled or soaked rice is the most popular food. Areca is always in mouth no matter when they are working, relaxing, talking or visiting. In addition, field mice, snakes, frogs, locust, bee pupae, ant eggs are often sources of food for the Li people.
The Lis believe that everything has its spirit, and all things in the nature are living temples of holly things, Ghost or gods. Most of the festivals of the Lis are same as the Hans’ like the Spring Festival, Tomb-sweeping Day, Boat Festival, Ghost Festival, Mid Autumn Festival and so on.