Ethnic Minority
Search for a Tour
  • Kunming
  • Dali
  • Lijiang
  • Shangrila
  • Yuanyang
  • Jinghong
  • Beijing
  • Xian
  • Shanghai
  • Guilin
  • Chengdu
  • Guangzhou
Start City
Search for a Tour
Wechat: Adventure-China
Have a question? Ask us here
Yunnan Tour Feedbacks
Ashima of the Sani people

Ashima is a character in Yi folk legend, and she is the heroine in the long folk narrative poem-"Ashima". It is said that she grew up in a common family, and had a brother Ahe (they are not brother and sister but lovers in some legend). They were very clever, diligent and kind since childhood. When Ashima grew up and became a beautiful girl, the ruler Rebubala wanted her to marry his son, but he was refused. Rebubala was shamed into anger and kidnapped Ashma away taking advantage of his power, but Ashima would rather die than submit.

In order to rescue Ashima, brother Ahe fight fiercely against Rebubala and his families with outstanding wisdom and bravery, and Ashima was released finally. But on the way back home, Rebubala instigated the Rock God to draw off water and Ashima was drowned. From then on, Ashima became an echo which "doesn't disappear even if the sun disappear, and doesn't stop even if clouds stop", and reverberates in the lofty ridges and towering mountains of the Sani region forever. She has lived in heart of generations of Sanis. Since 1950's, "Ashima" has been translated into Chinese, Russian, French, English, Japanese, etc and published. It was also revised into film. Nowadays, the name Ashima has spread all over the country and become well-known all over the world.

Ashima is spread in the Yi Autonomous County in Shilin of Yunnan Province. It is a long narrative poem of the Sani people who are a tributary of the Yi ethnic group. Generations after generations of the Sani people narrate or sing the story of Ashima with oral poem language.

The story goes like this: 
Ashima, a clever, kind, beautiful and diligent farmhouse girl falls in love with a brave and good-natured sheepherder who is called Ahei. Azhi, the son of a headman also admires Ashima, but was resolutely refused by the latter. Then, Azhi sent someone to compel Ashima into marriage with him, however, again refused firmly. So Azhi sent some people to rob Ashima when Ahei was away from home. Later, Ahei heard of the news and rushed home and saved Ashima. Azhi proposed to hold a song competition with Ahei, thereby, determines who the winner is. The result turns out that Azhi failed out. But he was still not willing to admit the failure. Taking advantage of the chance when Ashima and Ahei were resting by the side of a stream, he raised the floodgate and drowned Ashima. Ahei sadly called the name of Ashima, but she had become a lofty stone statue. Now, the legend has become a part of the daily life, wedding and funeral ceremonies and other customs of the Sani people, thus, sang from generation to generation among the people.

The long poem Ashima adopts romantic poetic technique and rich figures of speech to highlight the kindness and beauty, wisdom and power, diligence and braveness of the character. It is affectionately called by the Sani people as "the song of our ethics", and Ashima even becomes the antonomasia of the women of the Yi ethics. It demonstrates the human ideal that light will final substitute darkness, and kindness and beauty will eventually triumph over infamy. It reflects the national character and spirit of pursuing freedom of the Sani people of the Yi ethnics. At present, the story of Ashima has been translated into more than 20 languages and issued at home and abroad. In addition, the story was adopted and shot into Ashima, the first color film of the People's Republic of China.

Yunnan Attractions | Yunnan Festivals | Yunnan Hotels | Yunnan Pictures | Travel News | Yunnan Birding Tours | Yunnan Flowers Tours | Yunnan Golf | Maps of Yunnan | Why Yunnan | Feedback | FAQ | West China Tours


You will only receive emails that you permitted upon submission and your email address will never be shared with any third parties without your express permission.

CONTACT US          ↑TOP
Emergency Call:0086-13529022630
Skype: Adventure-China
Lifang Building-B, Xianggeli Avenue, Gucheng District, Lijiang, Yunnan, China 674100
Copyright © 2015-2018 All Rights Reserved.
Follow us on: