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The Hezhe Nationality: Past and Present

The Hezhe nationality mainly lives in Heilongjiang Province. The Hezhe people speak Hezhe, a language with no written form, which belongs to the Altaic language family.

According to the historical record, the Hezhe minority may date back to more than 6,000 years ago, when it was called “Sushen” in the pre-Qin period, “Heishui” in the Han and Wei Dynasties, and “Nvzhen” in the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. The tern of “Hezhe” first appeared in “the Factual Records of the Qing Dynasty” complied in the 2nd year of the Kangxi Period (1662).

The dog-drawn sled is a traditional Hezhe mode of transport. A well-trained dog can draw 70 kilograms and run 100 to 150 kilometers a day. As a good assistant of the Hezhe people, the dog has played an important role in the aspects of transport, hunting, house watching and master protection, so the people were called a “dog-using tribe”. Over time, Hezhes have changed a lot in their style of life and production. They have moved into spacious houses, engaged in farming and tourism, and got rich in a happy family life together with all other nationalities in China.

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