The Miao group consists of about 9,000,000 people, which is large for a minority group in China. They live mainly in the Guizhou, Yunnan, Hunan, Hubei, and Hainan Provinces, and in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Prefecture. Some of the branches that make up the Miao are Black Hmong, White Hmong, Striped Hmong, etc.
They are very skilled at handicrafts and girls are taught at as young as seven to embroider by their mothers and sisters, and as teenagers they are skilled artisans in the special arts of embroidering, weaving, paper-cutting, batik, and jewelry casting. Miao embroidery and silver jewelry are delicate and beautiful.
They believe that everything in nature has a spirit, which incombination are mighty enough to control their lives. Every time there are disasters, they will invite a wizard to perform ceremonies designed to drive out the devil ghost.
Their language, which belongs to the Miao-Yao group of the Sino-Tibetan phylum, has developed into three dialects: western Hunan Province, the one of eastern Guizhou Province and the one of ChuanQianDian, but they also speak the Chinese, Dong and Zhuang languages. They have been writing their own Miao language based on Latin since 1956.