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Sichuanese people

Sichuanese people
巴蜀人 巴蜀民系
Regions with significant populations
China People's Republic of ChinaSichuan
Taiwan Republic of China (on Taiwan)As part of Mainlander population
Historically Ba-Shu Chinese, also known as Old Sichuanese.
Presently Sichuanese dialects of Southwestern Mandarin.
Mahayana Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Chinese folk religion
Related ethnic groups
other Han Chinese

The Sichuanese, Sze Chuan or Si Ch'uan (previous romanize spelling) people (Sichuanese: 巴蜀人 Ba1su2ren2; IPA: [pa55su21zən21]; alternatively 川人, 川渝人, 四川人 or 巴蜀民系) are a subgroup of Han Chinese living in mostly Sichuan province and Chongqing municipality of China.


A river towing party of Sichuanese coolies, 1920.

Beginning from the 9th century BC, Shu (on the Chengdu Plain) and Ba (which had its first capital at Enshi City in Hubei and controlled part of the Han Valley) emerged as cultural and administrative centers where two rival kingdoms were established. Although eventually the Qin dynasty destroyed the kingdoms of Shu and Ba, the Qin government accelerated the technological and agricultural advancements of Sichuan making it comparable to that of the Yellow River Valley. The now-extinct Ba-Shu language was derived from Qin-era settlers and represents the earliest documented division from what is now called Middle Chinese.

During the Yuan and Ming dynasties, the population of Sichuan where Chengdu-Chongqing dialect is now spoken at was reduced through wars and the bubonic plague and settlers arrived from the area of modern Hunan, Hubei, Guangdong and Jiangxi, replacing the earlier spoken Chinese dialect with a new standard.[1][2][3]

Recent history

Many migrant workers from rural Sichuan have migrated to other parts of the country, where they often face discrimination in employment, housing etc.[4] A common stereotype about Sichuanese people is that they are hot tempered.[5]


Locations of present-day Sichuanese speakers.

The Sichuanese once spoke their own variety of spoken Chinese called Ba-Shu Chinese, or Old Sichuanese before it became extinct during the Ming dynasty. Now most of them speak Sichuanese Mandarin. The Minjiang dialects are thought by some linguists to be a bona fide descendant of Old Sichuanese due to many characteristics of Ba-Shu Chinese phonology and vocabulary being found in the dialects,[6] but there is no conclusive evidence whether Minjiang dialects are derived from Old Sichuanese or Southwestern Mandarin.


Sichuan is well known for its spicy cuisine and use of Sichuan peppers due to its more arid climate.

Notable people

Well known Sichuanese people are such as:


  1. ^ James B. Parsons (1957). "The Culmination of a Chinese Peasant Rebellion: Chang Hsien-chung in Szechwan, 1644–46". The Journal of Asian Studies. 16 (3): 387–400. doi:10.2307/2941233.
  2. ^ Yingcong Dai (2009). The Sichuan Frontier and Tibet: Imperial Strategy in the Early Qing. University of Washington Press. pp. 16–. ISBN 978-0-295-98952-5.
  3. ^ Entenmann, Robert Eric (1982). Migration and settlement in Sichuan, 1644-1796. Harvard University.
  4. ^ Handbook of Chinese Migration: Identity and Wellbeing
  5. ^ Iredale, Robyn R.; Guo, Fei. Handbook of Chinese Migration: Identity and Wellbeing.
  6. ^ 试论宋代巴蜀方言与现代四川方言的关系》">刘晓南(2009年第8卷第6期),《试论宋代巴蜀方言与现代四川方言的关系——兼谈文献考证的一个重要功用:追寻失落的方言》,语言科学