The Manchu People

Contributor: Roxann Penny. Lesson ID: 12367

Do you have a nickname? Does your ethnic group have a nickname? There is an ethnic group in China that has a cute-sounding nickname but ruled the land for centuries. Learn about their ancient history!


World, World Cultures

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Take a look at the image above, then try to answer the following question.

The Manchu People of Northeastern China are sometimes referred to as:

  1. the red-tasseled Manchus.
  2. the flower tassel people.
  3. people with tassels.

For the correct answer, take a look at the Get It! section of this lesson; but first, consider this question: If you could time travel back to the Qing Dynasty, what would you like to learn about the Manchu? Would you try their food or learn about archery? There is much to discover about the Manchu, so keep on reading to uncover more!

Looks like you are ready to discover more about the Manchu, but before we dig deeper into this topic, lets revisit the trivia question:

The Manchu people of northeastern China are sometimes referred to as:

  1. the red-tasseled Manchus.
  2. the flower tassel people.
  3. people with tassels.

If you chose "1," then give yourself a pat on the back because you are exactly right. The Manchu people are sometimes referred to as "the red-tasseled Manchus." Can you guess why? If you need a hint, take a look at the picture of the woman below. What do you observe?

Manchu headpiece

The woman in the picture is wearing a very elaborate headpiece that has two tassels at the sides. This is an example of a traditional hat sometimes worn by Manchu women. The tassels like the ones pictured are why the Manchu were called "the red-tasseled Manchus." Can you think about another culture whose traditions included special headwear?

Now, before you move on with this lesson, take a minute or two to look at the list of words below:

  1. ethnicity
  2. minority
  3. dynasty
  4. multi-cultural
  5. populous

Do any of these words sound familiar? Can you guess the meanings? You will encounter these words throughout this lesson, so take some time to familiarize yourself with their pronunciations and definitions using this interactive. Say each word out loud and try making a sentence with the word:

Are you ready to move on?

Excellent! There is so much more to discover about the Manchu; but first, let's figure out what part of the world the Manchu first settled. Take a look at the map below. It shows where China is located. Early Manchu settlers lived in northeastern China and other surrounding areas of eastern Asia. China is a very populous country with many ethnic groups.

China on the map

For more than two-hundred and fifty years, the Manchu ruled ancient China and established the last known Chinese dynasty: the Qing Dynasty. The Qing Dynasty was a very powerful multi-cultural society. Today, the area in which the Manchu once ruled is commonly known as Manchuria.

The following interactive will help you become further acquainted with this ethnic group:

When you are done reviewing the interactive, consider the following questions and share your thoughts with your instructor:

  • Why do you think the early Manchu people settled in this part of China?
  • What are some of the challenges you think they faced living in such a mountainous area?
  • Why do you think they raised silkworms?

You may move on to Got It? when you have completed your discussion.

Elephango's Philosophy

We help prepare learners for a future that cannot yet be defined. They must be ready for change, willing to learn and able to think critically. Elephango is designed to create lifelong learners who are ready for that rapidly changing future.