The Xibes, with a population of 83,629, mainly live in Liaoning, Jilin provinces, and Qapqal Xibe Autonomous County of 111 Prefecture, Xinjiang.
Beilen is a traditional Xibo dance.
The Xibe people believe themselves to be descended from the Sienpis, who were initially herdsmen hunting and fishing in the eastern foothills of the Greater Hinggan Mountains. In the 16th centuty, after these people were brought under the Eight Banner system, their social organi¬zation changed dramatically as farming became the chief occupation. In the mid-18th century .the Qing government had some Xibes transferred to the south bank of the Hi River to strengthen the garrison forces in Xinjiang, and that split the Xibes into two major groups.
Many ancient customs remain among the Xibos. For example.old Xibo people greet each other with bows.
With the continuous efforts of the diligent Xibes, the Qapqal Cannel running more than 100 kilometers was built on the deserted land. The valuable water turned the former barren desert into productive farms and beautiful orchards.
A Xibo woman.
The Xibes are noted for their valiant spirit, equestrian and archery skills. Today, some Xibes emerge as excellent archers. The Xibe language belongs to the Manchu-Tungusic group of the Altaic family. They have long absorbed the cultural creams of other nationalities by way of serious translation. Even several hundred years ago, the Xibo version of the famous novels such as the Romance of Three Kingdoms and Pilgrims to the West were very popular.
Making bows and arrows.
Though some Xibes are Shamanists and some are Lamaists, they both offer sacrifices to their ancestors. The 18th day of the fourth month in the Lunar Year is the commemoration day of the Xibes in Xinjiang, marking the arrival at this northwest border after a long journey from the east.