Naxi Costume

Lijiang, Yunnan province

Our gracious and personable Naxi guide models the national costume of her people. Naxi people are descended from Tibetans - Lijiang is high on the plateau, near Tibet - and there are echoes of Tibet in the Naxi people's facial features, costume, religion, and culture.

It is often said, and truthfully, that religiously speaking, the Naxi believe in everything: Bon, totemism, shamanism, animism, Buddhism, Dao - a reflection of their long heritage as a cultural crossroads among the many peoples of Tibet, China, India, and Southeast Asia.

The Naxi are a matriarchal people by tradition, where women typically do the hard work, while men sit around gossiping or indulge in less physically demanding endeavors such as painting and music.