Jiuzhaigou people, language, and religion

As the name Jiuzhaigou indicates, which means the “Valley of the Nine Villages”, this area is the home for nine villages, and among them only two are not inhabited anymore; Guo Du and Hei Jiao. Other villages, such as He Ye, Shu Zheng and Ze Cha Wa are very friendly to tourists, and here you may find various handcrafts, souvenirs and snacks. Besides them, there are also Re Xi, Jian Pan, Pan Ya and Ya Na villages. Population in these villages is over 1,000 in total. A small Buddhist monastery, located in the Zharu Valley, testifies the religious beliefs of the locals, who usually practice the pre-Buddhist Bön religion. Not just monastery, but also shrines and prayer-wheels that are located everywhere, speak a lot of the local belief.

Regarding the fact that the locals are Tibetan, it is quite easy to conclude that they spoke Tibetan language, with a dialect which is very different of the Tibetan dialects in the capital of Tibet Lhasa or Amdo, which is one of the three ancient regions of Tibet. These dialects are so different that communication between people speaking those dialects is very hard, almost impossible.

Agriculture has a long history in this area. However, people of Jiuzhai Valley now make money mostly from tourism, because agriculture is no longer permitted due to National Park status of the area.