Miao, Northern Qiandong


A language of China

Alternate Names
Black Miao, Central Miao, Chientung Miao, East Guizhou Miao, Gha Ne, Gha Ne Dlai, Heh Miao, Hei Miao, Hmu, Northern East Guizhou Miao, Northern Hmu

1,250,000 (Wang Fushi and Mao Zhongwu 1995), decreasing.


East and south Guizhou Province, Majiang, Danzhai, Leishan, Taijiang, Huangping, Shibing, Jianhe, Zhenyuan, Sansui, Fuquan, Pingba, Zhenning, Xingren, Anlong, Guanling, Zhenfeng, and Ziyun counties, Kaili and Qingzhen municipalities; northwest Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Longlin county.

Language Status

5 (Developing). Language of recognized nationality: Miao.


Inherently unintelligible of other Miao varieties. Corresponds more or less to Ma’s Central Miao and Purnell’s Eastern Miao. At least 4 dialects (vernaculars). The official standard variety of Qiandong Miao is based on Yanghao, but with some similarities to other varieties. A member of macrolanguage Hmong [hmn].

Language Use

Most domains. All ages. Youth move to the city and abandon more of their culture and language. Positive attitudes in countryside; neutral to negative attitudes in city. Children often learn standard Mandarin [cmn] in school, but speak Miao at home.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Low. Literacy rate in L2: Many literate in Chinese [cmn], but many older women are illiterate. Large-scale literacy programs stopped but supportive attitude toward literacy promoters. Taught in primary schools. A few village schools still use Miao to teach Mandarin. 1 or 2 offer Miao classes. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1934.

Bopomofo script [Bopo], no longer in use.

Other Comments

Traditional religion.