The Yao are noted for elaborately decorated turbans. PHOTO BY PAUL AND BERNICE NOLL.
The Yao are ethnic Chinese living mainly in high mountain valleys of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of south China. Although the Yao are linguistically diverse and have a rich oral literary tradition, they had no formal written language until 1982. Yao today are known as expert weavers, dyers, and singers, and their population has doubled since….