Family Portraits of all 56 ethnic groups in China

| December 6th, 2009

[ChinaGate] This is a “Family Portrait” of China’s 56 ethnic groups. Chen Haiwen, a photographer, recently lead a team of 14 photographers to create a book entitled, “Harmonious China: A Sketch of China’s 56 Ethnicities.” The team spent one year travelling all over China to complete the project. They ended up taking over 5.7 million photographs.

Thanks Mike, Helena, and Diana!



















































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230 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. says:

    They ended up taking over 5.7 million photographs. where we can see the renaming pics

  2. Karl says:

    I would never guess that in China live also ethnic groups from middle Asia like Kazaks, Kirgizs, Tajiks, Ozbeks.

  3. “The team spent one year travelling all over China to complete the project. They ended up taking over 5.7 million photographs. ”

    Must have taken longer to sort through the photos than it took to take them! What a magnificent record of a society.

  4. xino says:


    are they the same family!?

    real or fake?

    very impressive! so many ethnics in China! in fact too many!

  5. 57 etnichities? WOW. Really good pictures. I’ve always had the hots for chinese culture but never really knew how many ethnicities China consists of.

    Thanks for the fantastic pictures.

  6. My grandfather traveled a lot in China and I have a number of photographs that he took. What I did not get a great sense of was the diversity of culture – seemed that it was one single unified culture. These wonderful photographs correct my erroneous impression in a most startling way. I would like to know a lot more about the culture behind these different ethnic groups: but the book is a great starting place.

  7. Simon says:

    China is an amazing country and its people are equally fascinating. I don’t understand how some people can disrespect an innocent post with photos of different Chinese tribes with racist comments. You would think this post would not arouse arguments on race. These photos are factual – there’s nothing to argue about them really.

  8. Roy says:

    There are some beautiful photographs in here for which I am most grateful. These Chinese ethnic groups provide a rich culture and heritage of which China should be proud.

  9. none says:

    Thai or Tai (in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and the Tai in Burma known as the Shan), Laotians (in Laos, Vietnam and Thailand) are all listed under the Dai ethnic family group in China in the area called Dai/Yunnan valley. Do a research on google under the different ethnic group of China, Vietnam, Laos and Burma to find out where THAIS AND LAOS come from. Even the professionals states that before the 14th century there was no or not enough evidence to support that the THAIS were in southern part of asia where they are today. If there were then, it’s probably due to a very small migration that took place during the hardship of the invasion of the Mongols.

    • zoossh says:

      Tai and laotians are not listed UNDER the dai ethnic groups in China. They are similar to each other, but not under each other. It is wrong to list another country’s people under one own’s minority, regardless of origin or migration pattern.

  10. Turk says:

    Nice pictures. I noticed china has a large turk population. Though they live under bad conditions. For decades china force turks to degenerate, loose their indentity.

    Culturally, religiously and politically many things are forbidden for them. In my eyes they treat not only turks but also others such as tibetians or I don’t know maybe even mongolians like animals.

    But since turks have a large population and are predominantly muslim, they are a deep thorn in china’s flesh for some reason.

    I pity turks and am deeply concerned. I wonder what will happen to them in future…I am so afraid. Yet I do not know what to do…I am so unhappy feeling my brothers and sisters living in humiliation and pain 🙁

    • zoossh says:

      Ethnic issues are a genuine problem in china but before u make such remarks that ethnic groups that resist chinese rules are being treated like animals, please substantiate. Assumptions with no basis or ill intentioned remarks against china may mask true efforts of humanitarian activists mediating such issues for china. For example, u can support such clause by supporting rebiya’s movie for her love of her country or even support china’s own hero Liu xiaobo, rather than make inflammatory remarks here

    • vic2u says:

      You have a problem with living as an Amerikan?

      You will have to be grey and eat beacon like all Amerikans one day soon.

  11. tmlclone says:

    pictures by Chinese?
    probally fake…………

  12. Thomas says:

    Where can i buy this book?

  13. Ironman says:


  14. Korean Dude says:

    @Zoossh Thanks for your intelligent answer. The problem is as you stated so eloquently is that the PRC doesn’t intentionally make the clear distinction that these ethnicities are just minority citizens of a state as opposed to carrying some racial conotation. Hence, that’s why I brought up the question why aren’t Russians and Mongolians included into this group. These people also have been in China proper for many years as well. Their exclusion to me speaks volumes about the PRC’s idea of globalization.

    I’ve met Choson-juks (Koreans from China) and more than any other Korean diaspora, they as a group don’t seem to know their history beyond the Chinese borders that they were raised in. I’ve also met many other Korean diaspora from say x-country who don’t know their history but they were very few compared to Choson-juks. To me that is very significant and explains a lot how Choson-juks also see themselves differently compared to other Koreans and Korean diaspora.

    • Voice of China says:


      another one to add to the Korean family who frequent Chinahush. I’ve kind of lost count of the gooks here:

      – Korean_guy
      – Korean_sentry
      – Real_korean

      and now

      – Korean_dude

      I’m sure I’m forgetting a few more but its just funny how you gooks keep coming back to read about China. LOL!

      • Korean Dude says:

        Calling us “gooks” is derogatory and is just as offensive as calling you a “chink”. Should I call you a chink with the same joviality you seem to have with us? LOL!

        • I agree — that comment by voice of china was offensive and uncalled for.

          BTW – i am not chinese and reading on chinahush. Want to make fun of me too?! Bring it on.

  15. I think Chinese culture is very beautiful

  16. KirilReutnaev says:


  17. Martin says:

    Wow, and yah know If it wasn’t for the Manchu conquering china and going crazy with it a good portion of those ethnicities wouldn’t be in there. Also I think it’s cool that there are Tatars and Russians in China because that means those guys are literally everywhere from eastern Europe to eastern Asia.

  18. SCROLL UPyou're miss the photos says:

    *facepalm* Well perhaps these comments will be useful for my friend’s psychology project… Just trying to look on the bright-side…just trying…

  19. Victoria says:

    What a nice collection of photos!

  20. cindy says:

    My goodness, these photos are so beautiful.

  21. Mike says:

    Thanks to the people who put so much effort into the above photo’s. I am intrigued by the customs and cultures through out China.
    China’s history goes back a long way and the Chinese people have been instrumental in building the railroads in America, Tanzania and did a lot of work in South Africa. They are now developing the Zambian infrastructure.
    All countries have their skeletons and things which they are not so proud of. However, they also have so many more things of which they are proud.
    There may be poor people in China, however, they are not as poor and hungry as the majority of the people in Africa.

  22. Fairytale says:

    I like the way its being collected. It beautiful 🙂

  23. Louis CK says:

    The ethnic Han are wearing clothes based on Manchurian fashion. Retards.

  24. tijax says:

    This is a great project. I would prefer if the photos were in a more natural context so it didn’t feel so Disney-China, but still, what a good idea for a photo project.

  25. samuel says:

    beautiful photos and folks

  26. Qomo says:

    Just wanna add some further info, the Hidden Harmonies China Blog has some article about the awesome project of Chen HaiWen 陈海汶

    陈海汶 (Chen HaiWen): Pictures of China’s 56 Ethnic Groups

    陈海汶 (Chen HaiWen) lead a team of 14 photographers, traveling over 100,000 km from 2008 through 2009, photographing all 56 ethnic groups making up China. They took roughly 570,000 photos during this period. It was a massive undertaking. Over 150 people, including historians and cultural experts worked with Chen to come up with the final compilation, “和谐中华——中国56个民族剪影” (“Harmonious China – Silhouette of China’s 56 Ethnic Groups”), officially released in the Shanghai Book Fair on August 18, 2009.

  27. Alyson says:

    Where are the Hakka?!?!

  28. Melia says:

    Where are the Hakka?!

  29. Melia says:

    Where are the Hakka?

  30. Long Duc Dong says:

    Aghhhh no more yanky my wanky the Donger need food!

  31. Korena says:

    Now I know mien are really original from.china and suppose to be wonder we are call the amazing!! Love it!!

  32. Korena says:

    Now I know mien are really originaly from china and suppose to be wonder we are call the amazing!! Love it!!

  33. Mudang Loder says:

    So similar with the tribes of my state Arunachal

  34. Mudang Loder says:

    So similar with the tribes of my stateAof Arunachal

  35. Huey says:

    there are actually 9 ethnic minority groups in taiwan.
    I don’t think it’s respectful using one group to represent all. The photo didn’t even credit the group correctly. I can’t remember which group that is but certainly not called “ethnic minorities in taiwan”

  36. Callie says:

    Why is there no Teochew people? 🙁

  37. rob says:

    yep hmong are the original! those are all our designs!! on their clothing…

    to bad chinks racist and almost genocide and betrayed us.

  38. clashofclans says:

    Im miao/hmong and I just want to say … can we have our country back now … we need our own country … I need it so I can tell everybody in my clan I have a country sniff sniff …. but I cant wait for that movie about the miao people to come out … whats it call again hero something

  39. saya says:

    Nooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!! Han’s clothing is WRONG!! qipao is for manzu =..= wth?

  40. Ta-ch'uan Hsiao says:

    All the groups wear their own traditional clothings, yet only the Han wear Manchu and Western style clothings……

  41. post is amazing
    login to your hotmail account by following this link

  42. Angela Maher says:

    Beautiful photographs! …and a real insight into the varied ethnic dress of these fascinating peoples.

  43. Thank you for this. Really nice piece of work. Creation of backlinks made easy because of you. Thanks!
    All the contents you mentioned in post is too good and can be very useful. I will keep it in mind, thanks for sharing the information keep updating, looking forward to more posts. Thanks




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