Living as a Hani in Xishuangbanna
Nature Worship

A hill tribe, the Hani put nature at the centre of their beliefs, songs and dances. On Hani soil, living beings and objects alike have a soul deserving of respect. They practise rice worship and venerate Aoma, the goddess of the sky and creator of all things. Ama-atcha, the spirit of the dragon tree, is the protector of the human species. The Hani always ask the nature spirits for permission before using the natural resources.


The Hani build their hillside homes from bamboo, stone and mud. These are two-storey constructions: food and domestic animals are on the ground level, family lives in upstairs rooms. This helps them stay dry in case of flooding and keeps the mosquitoes at bay.

Clothing and Dance

The Hani are recognizable by their dark, indigo blue or black clothing and by the women’s ornate headdresses decorated with feathers, old coins, silver balls and silk or wool threads.

hani people

A woman Hani with her child. Photo: Exhibit in the Friendship pavilion of the Dream Lake of Montreal

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