The approximately 10,000 to 14,000 people counting the Baima ethnic group (白马 人), also Baima Tibetans (白马 藏人) called, lives in southeastern Gansu province in the northwest of Sichuan Province in the People's Republic of China. Their main settlement area are the circles Pingwu ( Mianyang City ) and Jiuzhaigou ( Autonomous District Ngawa ) in Sichuan and Wen (city Longnan ) in Gansu.
Officially, the Baima part of the nationality of the Tibetans. Although there is a strong identity movement among them, which in part the recognition as an independent nationality calls within China, they are so far recognized by the authorities only as a special subset of the Tibetans.
The Baima speak a language qiangische, the Baima, which is only distantly related to Tibetan.
The Baima have their own indigenous religion, which was partially influenced by the Tibetan Bön religion, partly by Buddhism and Daoism. For them there is neither monks nor temples or monasteries. For many of Baima Mountain Spirit is the supreme deity.
It is said that the Baima were descendants of the Baima Di (白马 氐), a branch of the di (氐). The Di were a people of western China, the large areas of the present provinces of Gansu, Qinghai, Shaanxi and Sichuan inhabited to the 6th century and in the 4th and 5th centuries founded several small states. The Di were closely related to the Qiang (羌). The development of the Baima away from the original di- language probably took place in the 7th century, when the ancestors of today's Baima came under the influence of Tibetan kingdom, that began to develop under Songtsen Gampo.