Maonan People

      Maonan is a member of the Kam-Sui group of the Kam-Tai language family. Maonan speakers are found in the counties of Huanjiang, Hechi, Nandan, Tian'e, Du'an, Yishan, Luocheng and Rong'an in the northwestern part of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China, with Huanjiang county being the concentrated area. A number of speakers who are administratively classified as Maonan are found in the counties of Pingtang, Huishui and Dushan in the southern part of Guizhou Province. Maonan, with a total population of about 100,000, is among the 56 officially recognized minority nationalities in China.
       It must be pointed out that Maonan as a reference term for the group is sometimes misleading. A small group which is officially recognized as 'Maonan' is found in Guizhou province. Speakers of this group are said to prefer to be grouped with Maonan. The self-designation of this group isAi Rau 'our people' orAi Tern 'people of (the place)'. They are called 'Yanghuang' by the local Chinese. The population of this Maonan group in Guizhou province is about 20,000.

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