The Nu nationality has a population of only 27,000.
They stay mainly in Lushui, Fugong, Gongshan, and Lanping counties
of Nujiang Prefecture. Those in northern Fugong and Gongshan
called themselves "Along" and "Anu", and had kinship with the
Dulong nationality in ancient times. Those living in southern
Fugong and Gongshan areas called themselves "Nusu" and were
regarded as the descendants of the Lu-lu people of the Tang
Dynasty, who were called "Luman" in the Yuan dynasty and "Nuren"
in the Ming and Qing dynasties. The ancestors of these two tribes
lived in the same regions together for a long tome in the Nujiang
Cangyou, and combined to form one nationality as time passed by.
The language of the Nu nationality belongs to the Tibeto-Burman
Branch of sino-Tibetan Language family. Since they have been
living together in the same area with the Lisu people, most of
them can speak the Lisu langgage. But they use the Han writing
system. the majority of them believe in primitive religion, and
worship their ancestors, but some believe in Lamaism and
The Nu people are good at playing
musical instruments. their major musical instruments are pipa,
kouxuan, dizi (Chinese flute) and hulusheng. Young people express
their love by means of pipa and kouxan. On these occasions, lovers
use music instead of words to communicate with each other.
Both men and women wear linen clothes. The Nu men usually wear
long linen gowns with blue broche patterns. When they go out, they
always bring their cutting swords, bows and fur arrow-bags. The
women in Lushui and Fugong counties usually wear coats with
buttons on the right, and ling skirts decorated with colorful
laces. They wear coral and plastic beads on their heads and chests
as ornaments. But the women in Gingshan only wear chest ornaments.