Yugur nationality has a long history that can be traced back to the year 3 B.C. They live in the mountainous areas, mainly by stock raising, and are typical nomads. Now about 90 percent of the total Yugur people live in Sunan Yugur Autonomous County in Gansu Province. The Yugur people believe in Lamaism, the Yellow Religion. Other forms of spirit worship are also cherished by them, such as an original belief called the God Khan.
Only one dinner is eaten every day of which their staple foods are primarily rice, wheat and some mixed grain. As the Yugur people live by stock raising, they usually eat beef, mutton, and pork, as well as chicken and camel meat. Due to the special climatic conditions, fresh vegetables are rare, and only some potherbs such as the wild shallot, and leek can be found. Fresh mushrooms are the main vegetables in the fall. In addition, milk tea, which is usually mixed with fried noodles, plays a crucial role in the Yugur people's daily life.
Yugur people are renowned for their hospitality. Whenever guests arrive, they will feast them with great kindness. Fragrant tea or milk tea will be immediately presented that lets each guest feel the Yugur people's friendliness. Singing and dancing performed by the local people will follow accompanied by wines and toasts by every member of the family. When festivals come, each family will bring their best food to treat their honored guests. Among all the delicious food, baked-mutton is the most special.
The Yugur people are deft at weaving and embroidering. They weave beautiful patterns on their carpets, pockets, checkreins and so on. Women are good embroiderers. A variety of patterns are elaborately designed with flowers, insects, grasses, and other pictures embroidered on their collars and sleeves.
The Yugur people have a special way of dressing. Men usually wear high-collared long gowns buttoned on the left, with red or blue waistbands. Women usually wear high-collar gowns overlain with a short waistcoat, and bound with red, purple or green waistbands on which colorful handkerchiefs are tied on the left. They also love to wear a trumpet-shaped red hat, with earrings, bracelets, and rings.
Many traditional outstanding cultures are greatly preserved by the Yugur people including legends, folk tales, proverbs, epics, allegories and ballads. In addition, their folk songs expressing their affections are of unique and graceful tunes and are sung by Yugur people of all ages.