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China’s last hunting tribe visits Harbin

Updated : 2017-12-27

By Yang Min ( chinadaily.com.cn )

A delegation led by Maria Suo, the matriarch of the only reindeer-husbandry tribe in China, visited Harbin at the invitation of the AOLUGUYA Hotel from Dec 25 to 26.

Suo met guests at the hotel during the two-day visit, sharing stories about her life and expressing her gratitude to people who care about the tribe.

Aoluguya, which means “the place of lush poplar trees” in the language of the Ewenki ethnic group, is an Ewenki tribe that still practices reindeer husbandry.

The Aoluguya tribe is located in Genhe, one of China's most northerly county-level administrative districts in Inner Mongolia autonomous region; a road sign reads "Latitude 50 N". This is the site of China’s lowest ever recorded temperature of -52.6 Celsius.

The tribe used to make a living by hunting and raising reindeer, but, in order to protect wild animals, people in the tribe decided to turn in their guns to the government and pledged not to hunt anymore.

Now in her late 90s, Suo still encourages her tribe to stick to the old ways and traditions of reindeer husbandry, far removed from modern life in the big cities. There are about 200 people in her tribe, raising around 1,200 reindeer.

Suo expressed her hopes that more people will learn about the culture of her tribe in an interview with Chinanews.com.

Fortunately, the AOLUGUYA Hotel is working hard to make Suo’s dreams a reality.

The hotel is the only forest-themed hotel in China, and is inspired by the culture of Aoluguya. It has adopted many elements of the Aoluguya tribe in its interior design. From its layout, decoration, and style, to the art on display, all strive to leave an impression of harmony between man and nature.

In keeping with the hotel’s theme, all staff members wear the traditional clothing of the Ewenki ethnic group; and hotel rooms, which have an average area of 60 square meters, are named after “cuoluozi” –– the traditional name for an Ewenki home.

During the traditional festivals of the ethnic group, such as the Sebin Festival (June 18) and the New Year festival, classic traditional performances by members of the ethnic group will be staged in the hotel to add to the festive atmosphere.

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 Maria Suo (L), the matriarch of the Aoluguya tribe, pays a visit to the AOLUGUYA Hotel in Harbin, Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province on Dec 25.[Photo/Chinanews.com]

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A performance featuring traditional dancing by members of the Aoluguya tribe, is staged at the AOLUGUYA Hotel in Harbin, Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province on Dec 25.[Photo/Chinanews.com]

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A member of the Aoluguya tribe performs at the AOLUGUYA Hotel in Harbin, Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province on Dec 25.[Photo/Chinanews.com]

 

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