Last Reindeer Herder in China – Oroqen and Their Health Issues


The Oroqens, with a population of 8,196, mainly live in the northeast of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region in Oroqen Autonomous Banner, Zhalantun, Molidawa Banner and Arong Banner and in the Heilongjiang province in Tahe county, Huma county, Xunke county, Jiayin county and Heihe city. They make their homes in the Greater and Lesser Hinggan Mountains, which form the backbone of the Northeast China and the Heilongjiang River Basin.

Its name “Oroqen” is called by the nationality itself. One of my reasons that am interested in this group is because there are two meanings of its name: “the people inhabiting on mountains” and “the people employing reindeer”. I never thought about people in a ethic group can still using shotguns legally in China and become a reindeer herder.

As one of the smallest minorities in China, I haven’t have a lot information about this group and I am very willing to share the information and translated into English because I can’t find any information about the health issues in Oroqen when I google it. I am delighted to be the first one to organize it.

Based on the information on Chinese Website, I have found major health issues that Oroqens have: Tuberculosis (TB), Keshan disease or endemic cardiomyopathy, Kaschin-Beck, Alcohol related disorders and Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD).


The followings are hyperlinks about Oroqen health issues and Medication:

Wiki Keshan disease 

Alcohol Related Disorders (Chinese)

Academic Research Projects on ALL health issues (Chinese)

History and Medication of Oroqen (Chinese)

News about disease prevention on officialT site (Chinese)

Medication (Chinese)



Google Map of Oroqen in China (Very General)

The highlight part on the northeast of China is the inhabit area for Oroqen. It’s very close to both Mongolia and Russia.

General Map of Oroqen in China or Google Map of General Oroqen in China

On this map, you can clearly see that the Oroqens live in between of Heilongjiang Province and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Google Map of “Close up” Oroqen

Daxin’an Mountains is near by the Oroqen.

Local Map from Chinese National Geography (Chinese)

Though it’s a Chinese Map, it’s very easy to understand. As you can see, the green dots are where major inhabit regions of Oroqens and the black dots are cities near by. The orange lines are the boundaries of the provinces. The blue lines are the rivers and on the top right is the Heilong River which is the main source of water to Oroqens.


 If you want to know more about Oroqen:

Cultural China with pictures of aircrafts 

China Organization

Facts and Details (Highly Recommend)

Science Museums of China

China Culture about customs of Oroqen

China Culture about the nationality of Oroqen

Tales From China’s Forest Hunters: Oroqen Folktales (University of Pennsylvania)

Southern Mongolian Human Rights information Center

Language of Oroqen