BAIYUE (THE HUNDRED YUE), CHINA’S SOUTHERN BARBARIANS
Yue or Baiyue is the name by which the Han Chinese knew the tribes living in what is now southern China and the jungles of Southeast Asia. This was an umbrella term including many peoples with common traits as well as differences (something like the nomads of the steppes), and their ethno-linguistic diversity is still a matter of debate, although there is some consensus that at least part of them were Austronesian peoples. The northernmost Yue ended up assimilated into Han Chinese culture and their territory became today’s southern China, but the rest of the Yue evolved into the Vietnamese, the Thai, and the Khmers, among others, eventually adopting Hinduism and Buddhism and becoming Indianized. The Yue are also believed to have a common ancestry with insular Austronesians, and that means being related with Polynesian peoples such as the natives of Hawaii, the Maori of New Zealand or the Rapa Nui of Easter Island. In modern-day southern China, there was a Yue kingdom called Nanyue, ruled by a dynasty of Chinese descent and considerably more sinicised than any other Yue. Chinese influence in Nanyue began as soon as the Qin dynasty, the dynasty of China’s first emperor, so, by the time emperor Wu of Han (Wudi) conquered Nanyue, this was very much a mix of barbarian and Chinese cultures. Emperor Wu, famous for his Siberian campaign against the Xiongnu, the War of the Heavenly Horses against the Dayuan, and for having sent the envoy Zhang Qian to Hellenistic Bactria, also annexed Nanyue to the Han Empire. The tribes further south, the Hundred Yue or Baiyue, would be much more primal than the half Chinese / half barbarian Nanyue. The Chinese described the Yue in their original form as being completely tattooed, having their hair either short or untied (opposite to the Chinese who wore it in a bun), blackening their teeth, worshipping animal totems, practicing cannibalism, wearing clothes and armours made of plant fibres, and living in huts. The Yue were also described as skilled seafarers and sword-makers, knowing both bronze and iron metallurgy.
Thats cool, in the Totalwar three kingdoms game, their featured and referd to as the Nanman tribes.. and bare more paints than tatoos, feilding Elephants to the battle, but from what you discribe very similer to your description.. are these Nanman another tribe or the same people?