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The Miao are a group of linguistically-related peoples living in Southern China and Southeast Asia, who are recognized by the government of China as one of the 56 official ethnic groups. The Miao live primarily in southern China's mountains, in the provinces of Guizhou, Yunnan, Sichuan, Hubei, Hunan, Guangxi, Guangdong, and Hainan. Some sub-groups of the Miao, most notably the Hmong people, have migrated out of China into Southeast Asia (Myanmar, Northern Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand). Following the communist takeover of Laos in 1975, a large group of Hmong refugees resettled in several Western nations, mainly in the United States, France, and Australia.
Hmong / Hmub / Xongb / ab Hmaob
m̥oŋ˦˧ / m̥ʰu˧ / ɕoŋ˧˥ / a˥˧m̥ao˥˧
|Regions with significant populations|
|United States||299,000 (2015)|
|Hmongic languages, Kim Mun language, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Tai–Kadai languages (Lao and Thai), French|
|Miao folk religion Minorities: Taoism, Atheism, Irreligion, Christianity, Buddhism|
Miao is a Chinese term, while the component groups of people have their own autonyms, such as (with some variant spellings) Hmong, Hmu, Xong (Qo-Xiong), and A-Hmao. These people (except those in Hainan) speak Hmongic languages, a subfamily of the Hmong–Mien languages including many mutually unintelligible languages such as the Hmong, Hmub, Xong and A-Hmao.
Not all speakers of the Hmongic languages belong to the Miao. For example, the speakers of the Bunu and Bahengic languages are designated as the Yao, and the speakers of the Sheic languages are designated as the She and the Yao.
The Kem Di Mun people in Hainan, despite being officially designated as Miao people, are linguistically and culturally identical to the Kim Mun people in continental China who are classified as a subgroup of the Yao.