Most of the Oroqens live in the 55,000-square-kilometer Oroqen Autonomous Banner in the Greater Hinggan Mountains. Others have their home in several localities in Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang Province. Situated in Inner Mongolia’s Hulunbuir League, the Oroqen Autonomous Banner is 97 per cent forested land. The seat of the autonomous government is Alihe, a rising town with highways, railways, cinemas, hotels, department stores, restaurants, electric lighting and other modern amenities.
Major areas of Distribution: Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang
Language: Oroqen and Han
People of the Oroqen ethnic minority group dwell in the forests of the Greater and Lesser Hinggan Mountains in Northeast China which abound in deer and other wild beasts the Oroqens hunt with shot-guns and dogs. The Oroqens, who lived in a primitive communal society four and a half decades ago, have leap-frogged several historical stages to a socialist society in the years following the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949.
With no written script of their own, the Oroqens have a spoken language belonging to the Tungus branch of the Manchu-Tungusic group of the Altaic language family. Most of them have learned to read and write the language of the Hans, the biggest ethnic group in China.
The Oroqen population, which stood at 4,000 in 1917, dropped to 3,700 in 1943. A census taken in 1953 showed that their number had plummeted to 2,250. The population has started to grow slowly but steadily since, and the census in 1982 showed that their number has reached 4,100. The 1990 national census showed 7,000.