North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region is known for vast grasslands, herds of horses and brave herdsmen. There are now 55 ethnic groups living in the region, with the major ones being of Han and Mongolian ethnicity. However, few people know about the ethnic groups with the least population in the region. They are the Oroqen, Ewenki and Daur.
The three groups mainly reside in Orgon autonomous banner, Ewenki autonomous Banne and Daur autonomous banner of Morin Dawa.
Orgon autonomous banner
Location: in the northeast of Hulunbuir, Inner Mongolia autonomous region
Area: 59,880 square kilometers
Population: 280,000 (of which, 2,754 are Oroqen people)
Oroqen people display their culture to a visitor during a exhibition in Beijing. [Photo/inews.nmgnews.com]
Oroqen has two meanings in their own language which are "reindeer" and "people living on mountains". They believe in Shamanism and worship nature.
They have its own language but no written characters
The Oroqen people like eating meat, mainly venison, bear meat and pork.
Oroqen people are honest and hospitable. Historically, the group used to live by hunting. Inheriting this tradition, they will hunt fresh food to treat guests.
An Oroqen woman dances at the opening ceremony of an ice and snow festival held in the banner on Dec 26, 2018. [Photo/IC]
Young people cannot call the names of their elders and children mustn't say bad or swear words.
During the Chinese Spring Festival, the people won’t give or accept New Year's greetings.
People dance and sing around a bonfire to celebrate the festival. [Photo/elc.gov.cn]
The Bonfire Festival is the only traditional festival of the Oroqen people. It falls on June 18. The people usually dance and sing around a bonfire to celebrate the festival.
Recommended Tourist Attractions
1. Gaxian Cave 嘎仙洞
Entrance of Gaxian Cave [Photo/elc.gov.cn]
Gaxian Cave is a large natural cave on a cliff with the entrance facing southwest. The cave is over 90 meters long from south to west and 27 meters from east to west. The ceiling is up to 22 meters high.
An inscription which can be dated back to 443 BC can be found 15 meters from the cave entrance. It proves that the land was the birthplace of the extinct Xianbei people.
2. Da'erbin Lake National Forest Park 达滨湖国家森林公园
Scenery at Da’erbin Lake [Photo/elc.gov.cn]
Da'erbin Lake National Forest Park is a national 4A-rated tourist attraction with forest coverage ratio up to 75.3 percent. The park is famous for green mountains, crystal-clear water and strange gorges. Every May, it will be decorated by blooming azaleas, making it a mysterious paradise.