The Hani people are an ethnic group. They form one of the 56 nationalities officially recognized by the People's Republic of China. They also form one of the 54 officially recognized ethnic groups of Vietnam. There are 12,500 Hanis living in the Lai Chau and Lao Cai provinces of Vietnam. Over ninety percent of the Hani live in the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan, scattered across the Ailao Mountains between the Mekong River and the Red River (Yuanjiang). The origins of the Hani are not precisely known, though their ancestors, the ancient Qiang tribe, are believed to have migrated southward from the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau prior to the third century AD. The Hani oral traditions state that they are descended from the Yi people, and that they split off as a separate tribe fifty generations ago. One of their oral traditions is the recital of the names of Hani ancestors from the first Hani family down to oneself.
Contributions by Takeaway, Badagnani, and Babelfisch.