The Tujia have a long history of 2,000 years when their ancestors first immigrated to the western parts of Hunan and Hubei. With the population of more than 8 million now, the Tujia are an ethnic minority in the provinces of Hunan, Hubei, Sichuan, and Guizhou.
The language of Tujia people is very similar to which is used in Tibet and Burma, but it has no written form. The cultures of the Tujia include the Nuo drama. Derived from a god-worshipping ceremony, it combines drama, poetry, music and dance into a complicated art and is famed as a living fossil.
One unique customs that Tujia possesses is Crying Wedding. It is a custom when several days before a wedding that the bride has to cry as touching as she could with her relatives and friends to show her feelings. Thus she will enjoy a happy marriage and fruitful life.
Traditional cloth, woven by the Tujia women includes bedspread known as Xilangkapu. They make it colorful with over one hundred patterns. People wear short coat with loose sleeves and flowery chiffons, and men's are also short. Only during grand festivals, will they wear traditional clothes and Tujia clothing for daily life is similar to that of the Han.
Their houses, known as Diaojiaolou are very functional and similar to those of the Miao. On the lower floor, there is livestock; while the girls' bedrooms are kept upstairs. This design focuses on the use of small rooms but is also well ventilated, damp-proof and clean.
The Tujia believe in the power of ancestors and gods, and hold sacrificial ceremonies during festivals. White tigers are highly revered and are thought to prevent evil. Their grandest festival is the Tujia Year which is called Gannian or Diaonian Meeting. It is celebrated one day before the lunar New Year of the Han people. On that day, people prepare for sumptuous dinners and dance together. They also celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival, and Sheri, which falls on the second day of the second lunar month and so on.