Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/112

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A WAYFARER IN CHINA

in the western part of Szechuan and Yunnan, being perhaps most numerous in the neighbourhood of the Anning and Yalung rivers, where an appreciable proportion of the population is of aboriginal or mixed aboriginal and Chinese stock. Accepting Chinese rule does not generally mean accepting Chinese customs. They hold to their own language and religion, one a dialect akin to Tibetan, and the other a form of animism. It is very easy to distinguish conquerors and conquered, for the Lolos are darker as well as taller and better formed than the Chinese. Their features are good and they have a frank, direct expression which is very attractive. In dress also they have not conformed to the ways of their masters. Instead of a queue the men wear the hair in a horn above the forehead, while the women hold firmly to the feminine petticoats, surrounded though they are by the trousered Chinese women. Nor do they bind their feet, but stride bravely along on the feet nature gave them.

What these people really are is one of the unsettled ethnological problems of the East, but probably they are of the same stock as the Shans and Burmese. Even their proper appellation is in doubt. The Chinese call them Lolos, which means simply "barbarians" or "wild men." By the people themselves the term is regarded as insulting, and one should avoid using it before them; but they are not agreed