Bo people (China)

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The Bo people (Chinese: ; pinyin: rén) are a small minority population in Southern China, famous for their hanging coffins.[1]

The Bo people dominated their area for some four centuries, but were massacred by the Ming army and were thought to be extinct. However, some descendants of the Bo were found in 2005 in Xingwen County, Sichuan.[2][3][4][5]


Hanging coffins carved from a single log and bronze drums are widely found in the areas once inhabited by Bo people.[1][6][7]

Contemporary peoples[edit]

According to Edmondson (2003:165), the Lachi people of Vietnam and China may be descended from the Bo, based on the archaic exonym Labo (喇僰) in Chinese records.[8] The Lachi language belongs to the Kra subgroup of the Kra-Dai language family.

The Ku (ku55) of Bainitang 白泥塘, Qiubei County, Yunnan, China may be descended from the Bo (Hsiu 2013).[9] The Ku of Qiubei County currently speak a Loloish language, and still practice hanging coffin traditions. According to their own records, the Ku people's ancestors had migrated from Yibin, Sichuan province a few centuries ago in order to escape wars.


  1. ^ a b "Suspended Coffins of the Bo People". Archived from the original on 2008-08-30. Retrieved 2008-12-13. 
  2. ^ "Bo Descendants Found in Xingwen" (in Chinese). 2005-04-05. Retrieved 2008-12-13. 
  3. ^ 悬棺之谜 Archived July 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ 珙县僰人悬棺[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ 僰人后裔有新说 Archived July 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ 僰为越论
  7. ^ 兴文县境内民族 Archived September 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Edmondson, Jerold A. and Shaoni Li. 2003. "Review of 'Lajiyu Yanjiu' by Li Yunbing." In Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, 26, no. 1: 163-181.
  9. ^ Hsiu, Andrew. 2013. "New endangered Tibeto-Burman languages of southwestern China: Mondzish, Longjia, Pherbu, and others". Presentation given at ICSTLL 46, Dartmouth College.