Numunaii is how the Lisu minority group call the Nujiang River
( the Salween River )
Nujiang Grand Canyon, stretching some 300km from Cawalong, a village in Tibet, to Liuku of Nujiang Prefecture in Yunnan, is home to minority groups like Lisu, Nu, Durung, Tibetan. Their ancestors migrated from the east of Biluo Jokul. The high mountains have separated the valley from the outer world. It can only be reached by several ancient trails in the mountain.
In tcentury, Christian and Catholic missionaries arrived here to spread the gospel. The Christian missionaries created Lisu written language based on Latin, and made several hymns in the local musical tradition, in order to spread the religion.
When I went to the valley for the first time in July 2003, a debate about building a dam was upgrading. I realized that fundamental changes were taken place in the valley. The dam was not build at last, but the valley is no longer alienated from the rest of world.
Tradition and modernity, East and West, belief and reality collide in the valley. The residents are experiencing the greatest changes in hundreds of years. The change started one or two decades later here than the outer world, but at a higher speed, which makes the locals a bit disoriented. What happens in Nujiang Grand Canyon today is an epitome of what China as a whole has experienced in the past decades.