The Nakhi are an ethnic group inhabiting the foothills of the Himalayas in the northwestern part of Yunnan Province, as well as the southwestern part of Sichuan Province in China. The Nakhi are thought to have come originally from Tibet and, until recently, maintained overland trading links with Lhasa and India. They were brought to the attention of the world by two men: the American botanist Joseph Rock and the Russian Taoist doctor Peter Goullart, both of whom lived in Lijiang and travelled throughout the area during the early 20th century. Peter Goullart's book Forgotten Kingdom describes the life and beliefs of the Nakhi and neighbouring peoples, while Joseph Rock's legacy includes diaries, maps, and photographs of the region. The Nakhi form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China. The official Chinese government classification classes the Mosuo as part of the Nakhi people.
Contributions by Mr Tan, Mel Etitis, and Desktiger.