Uyghur people

Uyghur people

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Encyclopedia
The Uyghur are a Turkic ethnic group
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

 living in Eastern and Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

. Today, Uyghurs live primarily in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

. An estimated 80% of Xinjiang's Uyghurs live in the southwestern portion of the region, the Tarim Basin
Tarim Basin
The Tarim Basin is a large endorheic basin occupying an area of about . It is located in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China's far west. Its northern boundary is the Tian Shan mountain range and its southern is the Kunlun Mountains on the northern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. The...

.

The largest community of Uyghurs outside Xinjiang in China is in Taoyuan County
Taoyuan County, Hunan
Taoyuan County is located in Changde, Hunan Province of the People's Republic of China. The Yuanjiang river, a tributary of Yangtze, flows through Taoyuan. Taoyuan covers 4441 square kilometer area, among which the arable land is 895 square kilometers...

, in south-central Hunan
Hunan
' is a province of South-Central China, located to the south of the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and south of Lake Dongting...

 province. Outside of China, significant diasporic communities of Uyghurs exist in the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

, Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan , officially the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the world's six independent Turkic states . Located in Central Asia, landlocked and mountainous, Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east...

, and Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

. Smaller communities are found in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, and Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

.

Name


Uyghur is often pronounced ˈwiːɡər by English speakers, though the most acceptable English pronunciation is ooy-goor. Several alternate romanizations also appear: Uighur, Uygur and Uigur. The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region provincial government recommends that the generic ethnonym
Ethnonym
An ethnonym is the name applied to a given ethnic group. Ethnonyms can be divided into two categories: exonyms and autonyms or endonyms .As an example, the ethnonym for...

 [ʔʊjˈʁʊː], adopted in the early 20th century for this Turkic
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

 people, be transcribed as "Uyghur".

The meaning of the term Uyghur is unclear. Chinese Tang dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 annals refer to them by the ethnonyms Huí Hú or Huí Hé . The etymology cannot be accurately determined, for historically the groups it denoted were not ethnically fixed, since it denoted a political rather than a tribal identity, or was used originally to refer to just one group among several, the others calling themselves Toquz-oghuz or Toqoguz.
Tokuz-Oguzes
Toquz Oghuz is a political alliance of nine Turkic tribes. Toquz Oghuz consolidated within the Turkic Kaganate , and after its fragmentation preserved their union...

 According to Yin Weixian, the Turkic runic inscriptions record a word uyɣur, which was first transcribed into Chinese as Huí Hé(回紇), but later, in response to a Uyghur request, changed to Huí Hú (回鶻) in 788 or 809.
The earliest record of an Uyghur tribe is from the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534 AD). At that time the ethnonym Gaoche to the Tiele
Tiele people
The Tiele or Tele , were a confederation of nine Turkic peoples living to the north of China and in Central Asia, emerging after the disintegration of the Xiongnu confederacy...

 tribes. Later, the term Tiele itself was used.. The first use of Uyghur as a reference to a political nation occurred during the interim period between the First and Second Göktürk Khaganates (630-684 CE). In modern usage, Uyghur refers to settled Turkic urban dwellers and farmers of Kashgaria or Uyghurstan who follow traditional Central Asian sedentary practices, as distinguished from nomadic Turkic populations in Central Asia. The Bolsheviks reintroduced the term Uyghur to replace the previously used Turk or Turki
Turki
The Turki language is a Türkic literary language active from the 13th to the 19th centuries, used by different Türkic peoples...

 

Identity



Throughout history, the term Uyghur has taken on an increasingly expansive definition. Initially signifying only a small coalition of Tiele
Tiele people
The Tiele or Tele , were a confederation of nine Turkic peoples living to the north of China and in Central Asia, emerging after the disintegration of the Xiongnu confederacy...

 tribes in Northern China, Mongolia, and the Altay Mountains
Altay Mountains
The Altai Mountains are a mountain range in East-Central Asia, where Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan come together, and where the rivers Irtysh and Ob have their sources. The Altai Mountains are known as the original locus of the speakers of Turkic as well as other members of the proposed...

, it later denoted citizenship in the Uyghur Khaganate. Finally it was expanded to an ethnicity, whose ancestry originates with the fall of the Uyghur Khaganate in the year 842 AD, which caused Uyghur migration from Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

 into the Tarim Basin. This migration assimilated and replaced the Indo-European
Indo-European
Indo-European may refer to:* Indo-European languages** Aryan race, a 19th century and early 20th century term for those peoples who are the native speakers of Indo-European languages...

s of the region to create a distinct identity, as the language and culture of the Turkic migrants eventually supplanted the original Indo-European influences. This fluid definition of Uyghur and the diverse ancestry of modern Uyghurs are a source of confusion about what constitutes true Uyghur ethnography
Ethnography
Ethnography is a qualitative method aimed to learn and understand cultural phenomena which reflect the knowledge and system of meanings guiding the life of a cultural group...

 and ethnogenesis
Ethnogenesis
Ethnogenesis is the process by which a group of human beings comes to be understood or to understand themselves as ethnically distinct from the wider social landscape from which their grouping emerges...

.

Uyghur activists identify with the Tarim mummies
Tarim mummies
The Tarim mummies are a series of mummies discovered in the Tarim Basin in present-day Xinjiang, China, which date from 1900 BC to 200 AD. Some of the mummies are frequently associated with the presence of the Indo-European Tocharian languages in the Tarim Basin, although the evidence is not...

, but research into the genetics of ancient Tarim mummies
Tarim mummies
The Tarim mummies are a series of mummies discovered in the Tarim Basin in present-day Xinjiang, China, which date from 1900 BC to 200 AD. Some of the mummies are frequently associated with the presence of the Indo-European Tocharian languages in the Tarim Basin, although the evidence is not...

 and their links with modern Uyghurs remain controversial, both to Chinese government officials concerned with ethnic separatism, and to Uyghur activists concerned that research could affect their claims of being indigenous to the region. In comparing the DNA of the mummies to that of modern day Uyghur peoples, Victor H. Mair
Victor H. Mair
Victor Henry Mair is a Philologist specializing in Sinitic and Indo-European languages, and holds the position of Professor of Chinese Language and Literature in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, United States...

's team found some genetic similarities with the mummies, but "no direct links", concluding that the mummies are Caucasoid, and that "the Uighur peoples arrived after the collapse of the Orkon Uighur Kingdom, largely based in modern day Mongolia, around the year 842."

The first use of Uyghur as a reference to a political nation occurred during the interim period between the First and Second Göktürk Khaganates (AD 630-684).

Origin of modern nationality


The term "Uyghur" was not used to refer to any existing ethnic group in the 19th century; the "Uigur" people were referred to in the past tense, as an "ancient" people who no longer existed. For instance, a late 19th-century encyclopedia said that "Chinese Tartary" (Xinjiang) was at the time "occupied by a mixed population of Turk, Mongol, and Kalmuk". The inhabitants of Xinjiang were not called Uyghur before 1921/1934. Westerners called the Turkic speaking Muslims of the Oases "Turki
Turki
The Turki language is a Türkic literary language active from the 13th to the 19th centuries, used by different Türkic peoples...

", and the Turkic Muslims in Ili were known as "Taranchi
Taranchi
The term Taranchi denotes the Muslim sedentary population living in oases around the Tarim Basin in today's Xinjiang, whose native language is Turkic Karluk, and whose ancestral heritages include Iranic and Tocharian populations of Tarim and the later Turco-Mongol immigrants of the Qarluq, Uyghur,...

". The Russians and other foreigners used the names "Sart", "Turk", or "Turki" for them. These groups of peoples identified themselves by the oases they came from, not by an ethnic group. Names such as Kashgarliq to mean Kashgari were used. The Turkic people also just used "Musulman", which means "Muslim", to describe themselves.

The name "Uyghur" reappeared after the Soviet Union took the ninth-century ethnonym, from the Uyghur Khaganate, and reapplied it to all non-nomadic Turkic Muslims of Xinjiang, following a 19th-century proposal from Russian historians that modern-day Uyghurs were descended from the Turpan Kingdom and Kara-Khanid Khanate
Kara-Khanid Khanate
The Kara-Khanid Khanate was a confederation of Turkic tribes ruled by a dynasty known in literature as the Karakhanids or Ilek Khanids, . Both dynastic names represent titles with Kara Kağan being the most important Turkish title up till the end of the dynasty.The Khanate ruled Transoxania in...

, which had formed after the dissolution of the Uyghur Khaganate. Historians generally agree that the adoption of the term "Uyghur" is based on a decision from a 1921 conference in Tashkent
Tashkent
Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan and of the Tashkent Province. The officially registered population of the city in 2008 was about 2.2 million. Unofficial sources estimate the actual population may be as much as 4.45 million.-Early Islamic History:...

, which was attended by Turkic Muslims from the Tarim Basin (Xinjiang). There, "Uyghur" was chosen by them as the name of their own ethnic group, although the delegates noted that the modern groups referred to a "Uyghur" were distinct from the old Uyghur Khaganate. According to Linda Benson, the Soviets and the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 intended to foster a Uyghur nationality in order to divide the Muslim population of Xinjiang, whereas the various Turkic Muslim peoples themselves preferred to identify as "Turki", "East Turkestani", or "Muslim". According to Dru Gladney
Dru C. Gladney
Dru C. Gladney, recent President of the Pacific Basin Institute at Pomona College, is currently Professor of Anthropology at Pomona College. Gladney is the author of four books and more than 100 academic articles and book chapters on topics spanning the Asian continent. He received his Ph.D. in...

, the modern Uyghur nationality is not directly descended from the old Uyghur Khaganate, in spite of the name.

On the other hand, the ruling regime of China at that time, the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

, grouped all Muslims, including the Turkic-speaking people of Xinjiang, into the "Hui nationality
Hui nationality
The Hui nationality refers to two different ethnic classifications used in China's history* One of the Five Races Under One Union under which all Muslims by religion were grouped, regardless of race, under the Republic of China, no longer in use...

". They generally referred to the Turkic Muslims of Xinjiang as "Chan Tou Hui" (turban-headed Muslim). Westerners traveling in Xinjiang in the 1930s, like George W. Hunter, Peter Fleming, Ella K. Maillart, and Sven Hedin
Sven Hedin
Sven Anders Hedin KNO1kl RVO was a Swedish geographer, topographer, explorer, photographer, and travel writer, as well as an illustrator of his own works...

 all referred to the Turkic Muslims of the region not as Uyghur, but as "Turki", in their books. Use of the term "Uyghur" was unknown in Xinjiang until 1934, when the governor Sheng Shicai
Sheng Shicai
Sheng Shicai was a Chinese warlord who "ruled" Xinjiang province from April 12, 1933 to August 29, 1944....

 came to power in Xinjiang. Sheng adopted the Soviets' ethnographic classification rather than the Kuomintang one, and became the first to officially promulgate the use of the term "Uyghur" to describe the Turkic Muslims of Xinjiang. After the Communist victory, the Chinese Communist Party under Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

 continued the Soviet classification, using the term Uyghur to describe the modern ethnic group.

Another ethnic group, the Buddhist Yugur
Yugur
The Yugurs ,or Yellow Uyghurs as they are traditionally known,are one of China's 56 officially recognized nationalities, consisting of 13,719 persons according to the 2000 census. The Yugur live primarily in Sunan Yugur Autonomous County in Gānsù Province. They are Buddhists, unlike the Xinjiang...

 of Gansu
Gansu
' is a province located in the northwest of the People's Republic of China.It lies between the Tibetan and Huangtu plateaus, and borders Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, and Ningxia to the north, Xinjiang and Qinghai to the west, Sichuan to the south, and Shaanxi to the east...

, by contrast, have consistently been called by themselves and others the "Yellow Uyghur" (Säriq Uyghur). Scholars like Joana Breidenbach say that the Yugur
Yugur
The Yugurs ,or Yellow Uyghurs as they are traditionally known,are one of China's 56 officially recognized nationalities, consisting of 13,719 persons according to the 2000 census. The Yugur live primarily in Sunan Yugur Autonomous County in Gānsù Province. They are Buddhists, unlike the Xinjiang...

's culture, language, and religion are closer to the original culture of the original Uyghur Karakorum state than is the culture of the modern Uyghur people of Xinjiang. Linguist and ethnographer S. Robert Ramsey has argued for inclusion both the Yugur and the Salar as subgroups of Uyghur (based on similar historical roots for the Yugur, and perceived linguistic similarities for the Salar). These groups are recognized as separate ethnic groups, though, by the Chinese government.

In current usage, Uyghur refers to settled Turkic urban dwellers and farmers of the Tarim Basin
Tarim Basin
The Tarim Basin is a large endorheic basin occupying an area of about . It is located in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China's far west. Its northern boundary is the Tian Shan mountain range and its southern is the Kunlun Mountains on the northern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. The...

 and Ili
Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture
Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture , in northernmost Xinjiang, is the only Kazakh autonomous prefecture of the People's Republic of China.-Geography and coordinates:The following figures excludes both Tacheng Prefecture and Altay Prefecture....

 who follow traditional Central Asian sedentary practices, as distinguished from nomadic Turkic populations in Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

.

History



Uyghur history can be divided into four distinct phases: Pre-Imperial (300 BC – AD 630), Imperial (AD 630–840), Idiqut (AD 840–1200), and Mongol (AD 1209–1600), with perhaps a fifth modern phase running from the death of the Silk Road in AD 1600 until the present.
After the collapse of the Uyghur Khaganate in AD 840, Uyghur resettled from Mongolia to the Tarim Basin
Tarim Basin
The Tarim Basin is a large endorheic basin occupying an area of about . It is located in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China's far west. Its northern boundary is the Tian Shan mountain range and its southern is the Kunlun Mountains on the northern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. The...

, assimilating the Indo-European population, which had previously been driven out of the region by the Xiongnu.

The ancestors of the Uyghur tribe were Turkic pastoralists called Tiele
Tiele people
The Tiele or Tele , were a confederation of nine Turkic peoples living to the north of China and in Central Asia, emerging after the disintegration of the Xiongnu confederacy...

, who lived in the valleys south of Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal is the world's oldest at 30 million years old and deepest lake with an average depth of 744.4 metres.Located in the south of the Russian region of Siberia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast, it is the most voluminous freshwater lake in the...

 and around the Yenisei River
Yenisei River
Yenisei , also written as Yenisey, is the largest river system flowing to the Arctic Ocean. It is the central of the three great Siberian rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean...

.


The Uyghur Khaganate stretched from the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. The sea has a surface area of and a volume of...

 to Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

 and lasted from AD 745 to 840. It was administered from the imperial capital Ordu-Baliq
Ordu-Baliq
Ordu-Baliqalso spelled Ordu Balykh, Ordu Balik, Ordu-Baliq, Ordu Balig, Ordu Baligh , also known as Mubalik, was the capital of the first Uyghur Empire, built on the site of the former Göktürk imperial capital, 17 km north-to-northeast of the later Mongol capital, Karakorum...

, one of the biggest ancient cities built in Mongolia. In AD 840, following a famine and civil war, the Uyghur Khaganate was overrun by the Kirghiz, another Turkic people. As a result the majority of tribal groups formerly under Uyghur control migrated to what is now northwestern China, especially to the modern Xinjiang
Xinjiang
Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2...

 Uyghur Autonomous region.

Following the collapse of the Uyghur Khaganate, the Uyghurs established kingdoms in three areas: present day Gansu
Gansu
' is a province located in the northwest of the People's Republic of China.It lies between the Tibetan and Huangtu plateaus, and borders Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, and Ningxia to the north, Xinjiang and Qinghai to the west, Sichuan to the south, and Shaanxi to the east...

, Xinjiang
Xinjiang
Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2...

, and the Chu River
Chu River
"Chui River" redirects here. For the South American Chuí or Chuy River, on the Brazil-Uruguay border and Brazil's southernmost point, see Chuí River. For the Nam Sam River or Chu River, on the Lao-Vietnam border, see Nam Sam River....

 the West of Tian Shan
Tian Shan
The Tian Shan , also spelled Tien Shan, is a large mountain system located in Central Asia. The highest peak in the Tian Shan is Victory Peak , ....

 (Tengri-Tag) Mountains.
Yugor, the easternmost of the three Uyghur states, was the Ganzhou Kingdom (AD 870–1036), with its capital near present-day Zhangye
Zhangye
-Administration:Zhangye has 1 urban district, 4 counties, 1 autonomous county, 97 towns, and 977 villages.-Demographics:Zhangye has a total population of 1,260,000, only 260,000 being urban residents...

 in the Gansu
Gansu
' is a province located in the northwest of the People's Republic of China.It lies between the Tibetan and Huangtu plateaus, and borders Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, and Ningxia to the north, Xinjiang and Qinghai to the west, Sichuan to the south, and Shaanxi to the east...

 province of China.
Karakhoja, the most central of the three Uyghur states, was the Karakhoja Kingdom (created during AD 856–866), also called the "Idiqut" ("Holy Wealth, Glory") state. The Idiquts (title of the Karakhoja rulers) ruled independently until the 1120s, when they submitted to the Qara Khitai, then continued as vassal rulers under the Mongols from 1209.

Kara-Khanids
Kara-Khanid Khanate
The Kara-Khanid Khanate was a confederation of Turkic tribes ruled by a dynasty known in literature as the Karakhanids or Ilek Khanids, . Both dynastic names represent titles with Kara Kağan being the most important Turkish title up till the end of the dynasty.The Khanate ruled Transoxania in...

, or the Karakhans (Great Khans) Dynasty, was the westernmost of the three Uyghur states.
Both the Idiqut and the Kara-Khanid states eventually submitted to the Kara Khitais. After the rise of the Seljuk Turks in Iran, the Kara-Khanids became nominal vassals of the Seljuks as well. Later they would serve the dual-suzerainty
Suzerainty
Suzerainty occurs where a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary vassal state some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a...

 of the Kara-Khitans to the north and the Seljuks to the south. All three states became vassals to Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

 in 1209. The Uighur Idiqut, Barchukh, voluntarily submitted Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

 (r.1206-1227) and was given his daughter, Altani (ᠠᠯᠲᠠᠨ). From 1260s onwards, they were directly controlled by the Yuan Dynasty of the Great Khagan Kublai (r.1260-1294). However, Mongol princes from Central Asia repeatedly launched raids into Uighurtsan to take the control from the Yuan. Most of the Uighurs including the ruling dynasty fled to Gansu (under Yuan Dynasty) due to the conflict between the Mongols.

The Chagatai Khanate was a Mongol ruling khanate controlled by Chagatai Khan
Chagatai Khan
Chagatai Khan was the second son of Genghis Khan and first khan and origin of the names of the Chagatai Khanate, Chagatai language and Chagatai Turks....

, second son of Genghis Khan. Chagatai's ulus, or hereditary territory, consisted of the part of the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

 which extended from the Ili River (today in eastern Kazakhstan) and Kashgaria (in the western Tarim Basin) to Transoxiana
Transoxiana
Transoxiana is the ancient name used for the portion of Central Asia corresponding approximately with modern-day Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, southern Kyrgystan and southwest Kazakhstan. Geographically, it is the region between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers...

 (modern Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

 and Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan , formerly also known as Turkmenia is one of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Until 1991, it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic . Turkmenistan is one of the six independent Turkic states...

). The exact date that the control of Turfan and other areas of Uighurtsan was transferred to another Mongol Dynasty, Chagatai Khanate
Chagatai Khanate
The Chagatai Khanate was a Turko-Mongol khanate that comprised the lands ruled by Chagatai Khan , second son of the Great Khan Genghis Khan, and his descendents and successors...

, is unclear.). Many scholars claim Chagatai Khan (d.1241) inherited Uighurstan from his father, Genghis Khan, as appanage
Appanage
An apanage or appanage or is the grant of an estate, titles, offices, or other things of value to the younger male children of a sovereign, who would otherwise have no inheritance under the system of primogeniture...

 in the early 13th century. By 1330s, the Chagatayids exercised the full authority over the Uighur Kingdom in Turfan.

After the death of the Chagatayid ruler Qazan Khan in 1346, the Chagatai Khanate was divided into western (Transoxiana) and eastern (Moghulistan/Uyghuristan) halves, which was later known as "Kashgar and Uyghurstan," according Balkh historian Makhmud ibn Vali (Sea of Mysteries, 1640). The Chagatayid Mongols of Moghulistan converted to Islam in 1359.

The Qing dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 conquered East Turkestan in the 18th century.

In Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

, a community of Uyghurs was clustered around the Mosque near the Forbidden City, having moved to Beijing in the 1700s.

In the Dungan revolt (1862–1877) of 1864, the Uyghurs were successful in expelling the Qing Dynasty officials from East Turkestan
East Turkestan
East Turkestan is a controversial political term with multiple meanings depending on context and usage...

, and founded an independent Kashgaria kingdom, called Yettishar (English: "country of seven cities"). Under the leadership of Yakub Beg
Yakub Beg
Muhammad Yaqub Bek was a [Turkic peoples] adventurer who became head of the kingdom of Kashgaria.-Spelling variants:In English-language literature, the name of Yaqub Beg has also been spelt as Yakub Beg , Yakoob Beg , or Ya`qūb Beg...

, it included Kashgar
Kashgar
Kashgar or Kashi is an oasis city with approximately 350,000 residents in the western part of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. Kashgar is the administrative centre of Kashgar Prefecture which has an area of 162,000 km² and a population of approximately...

, Yarkand, Hotan, Aksu, Kucha
Kucha
Kuchaor Kuche Uyghur , Chinese Simplified: 库车; Traditional: 庫車; pinyin Kùchē; also romanized as Qiuzi, Qiuci, Chiu-tzu, Kiu-che, Kuei-tzu from the traditional Chinese forms 屈支 屈茨; 龜玆; 龟兹, 丘玆, also Po ; Sanskrit: Kueina, Standard Tibetan: Kutsahiyui was an ancient Buddhist kingdom...

, Korla
Korla
-Economy:Korla has long been the biggest centre in the region after Karashahr itself, having abundant water and extensive farmlands, as well as controlling the main routes to the south and west of Karashahr. Due to the discovery of oil in the Taklamakan Desert, Korla is now both more populous and...

 and Turpan.
Large Qing Dynasty forces under Chinese General Zuo Zongtang
Zuo Zongtang
Zuo Zongtang , spelled Tso Tsung-t'ang in Wade-Giles and known simply as General Tso in the West, was a Chinese statesman and military leader in the late Qing Dynasty....

 attacked Kashgaria in 1876. After this invasion, East Turkestan
East Turkestan
East Turkestan is a controversial political term with multiple meanings depending on context and usage...

 was renamed "Xinjiang" or "Sinkiang", which means "New Dominion" or "New Territory".

In 1912, the Qing Dynasty was replaced by the Republic of China
History of the Republic of China
The History of the Republic of China begins after the Qing Dynasty in 1912, when the formation of the Republic of China put an end to over two thousand years of Imperial rule. The Qing Dynasty, also known as the Manchu Dynasty, ruled from 1644 to 1912...

. By 1920, Pan-Turkic Islamists had become a challenge to Chinese warlord Yang Zengxin
Yang Zengxin
Yang Zengxin , born in Mengzi, Honghe, Yunnan in 1859, was the ruler of Xinjiang after the Xinhai Revolution in 1911 until his assassination in 1928.-Life:...

 (杨增新) who controlled Siankiang.

Uyghurs staged several uprisings against Chinese rule. Twice, in 1933 and 1944, the Uyghurs successfully regained their independence(backed by the Soviet Communist leader Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

): the First East Turkestan Republic
First East Turkestan Republic
The First Eastern Turkestan Republic , or Turkish Islamic Republic of East Turkestan , or, Republic of Uyghurstan, was a short-lived breakaway would-be Islamic republic founded in 1933...

 was a short-lived attempt at independence of land around Kashghar
Kashgar Prefecture
Kashgar Prefecture or Kashi Prefecture is located in mid-western Xinjiang, China. It has an area of 112,057 km² and 3,979,362 inhabitants at the 2010 cenus with a population density of 36 inhabitants/km² )....

, and it was destroyed by Chinese Muslim
Hui people
The Hui people are an ethnic group in China, defined as Chinese speaking people descended from foreign Muslims. They are typically distinguished by their practice of Islam, however some also practice other religions, and many are direct descendants of Silk Road travelers.In modern People's...

 army under General Ma Zhancang
Ma Zhancang
Ma Zhancang was a Chinese muslim general of the 36th Division , who served under Generals Ma Zhongying and Ma Hushan. At the Battle of Kashgar , he repulsed an attack of Uighurs led by the Syrian Arab Tawfiq Bay, wounding Tawfiq...

 and Ma Fuyuan at the Battle of Kashgar (1934)
Battle of Kashgar (1934)
The Battle of Kashgar was a military confrontation that took place in 1934 during the Xinjiang Wars. Turkic Muslim Uighur and Kirghiz fighters under Emir Abdullah Bughra and the other Turkic separatists began four separate attacks over a six-day period on Hui and Han Chinese soldiers led by General...

. The Second East Turkistan Republic was a Soviet puppet Communist state which existed from 1944 to 1949 in what is now Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture
Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture
Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture , in northernmost Xinjiang, is the only Kazakh autonomous prefecture of the People's Republic of China.-Geography and coordinates:The following figures excludes both Tacheng Prefecture and Altay Prefecture....

.

Mao declared the founding of the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 on October 1, 1949.
He turned the Second East Turkistan Republic into the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture
Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture
Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture , in northernmost Xinjiang, is the only Kazakh autonomous prefecture of the People's Republic of China.-Geography and coordinates:The following figures excludes both Tacheng Prefecture and Altay Prefecture....

, and appointed Saifuddin Azizi as the region's first Communist Party governor. Many Republican loyalists fled into exile in Turkey and Western countries.
The name Xinjiang was changed to Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where they are the largest ethnic group and Uyghurs are mostly concentrated in the southwestern Xinjiang. (see map, right)

Uyghur nationalism


The Uyghur identity remains fragmented, as some support a Pan-Islamic
Pan-Islamism
Pan-Islamism is a political movement advocating the unity of Muslims under one Islamic state — often a Caliphate. As a form of religious nationalism, Pan-Islamism differentiates itself from other pan-nationalistic ideologies, for example Pan-Arabism, by excluding culture and ethnicity as primary...

 vision, exemplified in the East Turkestan Islamic Movement
East Turkestan Islamic Movement
The East Turkestan Islamic Movement The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) (also known as the Turkistan Islamic Movement (TIM), and other names; is a Waziri based mujahideen organization. Its stated goals are the independence of East Turkestan and the...

, others support a Pan-Turkic
Pan-Turkism
Pan-Turkism is a nationalist movement that emerged in 1880s among the Turkic intellectuals of the Russian Empire, with the aim of cultural and political unification of all Turkic peoples.-Name:...

 vision, as in the East Turkestan Liberation Organization
East Turkestan Liberation Organization
The East Turkestan Liberation Organization is a secessionist Uyghur organization that advocates an independent state called "East Turkestan" in the Western Chinese territory known as Xinjiang...

 and a third group would like a "Uyghurstan
-stan
The suffix -stan is Persian for "place of", a cognate to Pashto -tun and to Indo-Aryan -sthāna , a Sanskrit suffix with a similar meaning...

" state, as in the East Turkestan independence movement
East Turkestan independence movement
The East Turkestan independence movement is a broad term that refers to advocates of an independent, self-governing East Turkestan in the region now known as Xinjiang, an autonomous region in the People's Republic of China.-Historical background:...

. As a result, "No Uyghur or East Turkestan group speaks for all Uyghurs, although it might claim to", and Uyghurs in each of these camps have committed violence against other Uyghurs who they think are too assimilated to Chinese or Russian society or not religious enough. Mindful not to take sides, Uyghur leaders like Rebiya Kadeer
Rebiya Kadeer
Rebiya Kadeer is a prominent Uyghur businesswoman and political activist from the northwest region of Xinjiang Autonomus Region of the People's Republic of China...

 mainly try to garner international support for the "rights and interests of the Uyghurs", including the right to demonstrate, although the Chinese government has accused her of orchestrating the deadly July 2009 Ürümqi riots.

Franceso Sisci stated in an editorial for La Stampa
La Stampa
La Stampa is one of the best-known, most influential and most widely sold Italian daily newspapers. Published in Turin, it is distributed in Italy and other European nations. The current owner is the Fiat Group.-History:...

 that "In reality, there is a contradiction between the two definitions of China. The Uygurs are part of the “ZhongGuo” but surely they are not part of the huaren, the “Chinese civilization”."

Uyghurs of Taoyuan, Hunan


Around 5,000 Uyghurs live around Taoyuan County
Taoyuan County, Hunan
Taoyuan County is located in Changde, Hunan Province of the People's Republic of China. The Yuanjiang river, a tributary of Yangtze, flows through Taoyuan. Taoyuan covers 4441 square kilometer area, among which the arable land is 895 square kilometers...

 and other parts of Changde
Changde
Changde is a city in the north of Hunan Province, China, with a population of 5,717,218 inhabitants at the 2010 census whom 1,232,182 in the built up area made of 2 urban districts .-History:...

 in Hunan
Hunan
' is a province of South-Central China, located to the south of the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and south of Lake Dongting...

 province. They are descended from a Uyghur leader, Hala Bashi, from Turpan, sent to Hunan by the Ming Emperor in the 14th century, to crush the Miao rebels during the Miao Rebellions (Ming Dynasty)
Miao Rebellions (Ming Dynasty)
The Miao Rebellions were a series of Rebellions of the aboriginal Miao and other aboriginal tribes of southern China. The Ming Dynasty crushed the rebels with overwhelming force...

. Along with him came Uyghur soldiers from whom the Hunan Uyghurs also descend. The 1982 census records 4,000 Uyghurs in Hunan. They have genealogies which survive 600 years later to the present day. Genealogy keeping is a Han Chinese custom which the Hunan Uyghurs adopted. These Uyghurs were given the surname Jian by the Emperor. There is some confusion as to whether they practice Islam or not. Some say that they have assimilated with the Han and do not practice Islam anymore, and only their genealogies indicate their Uyghur ancestry. Chinese news sources report that they are Muslim.

The Uyghur troops led by Hala were ordered by the Ming Emperor to crush Miao
Miao people
The Miao or ม้ง ; ) is an ethnic group recognized by the government of the People's Republic of China as one of the 55 official minority groups. Miao is a Chinese term and does not reflect the self-designations of the component nations of people, which include Hmong, Hmu, A Hmao, and Kho Xiong...

 rebellions and were given titles by him. Jian is the predominant surname among the Uyghur in Changde, Hunan. Another group of Uyghur have the surname Sai. Hui
Hui
-China:* Hui people, a Chinese ethnic group* Huizhou Chinese, a subdivision of spoken Chinese* Hui , a Chinese term referring to a secret brotherhood* Hui County, Gansu, China...

 and Uyghur have intermarried in the Hunan area. The Hui are descendants of foreign ancestry such as Persians, Arabs, Central asians, Mongols and Han Chinese who intermarried, and they share the Islamic religion with the Uyghur in Hunan. It is reported that they now number around 10,000 people. The Uyghurs in Changde are not very religious, and eat pork. Older Uygurs disapprove of this, especially elders at the mosques in Changde, and they seek to draw them back to Islamic customs.

In addition to eating pork, the Uyghurs of Changde
Changde
Changde is a city in the north of Hunan Province, China, with a population of 5,717,218 inhabitants at the 2010 census whom 1,232,182 in the built up area made of 2 urban districts .-History:...

 Hunan practice other Han Chinese customs, like ancestor worship at graves. Some Uyghurs from Xinjiang visit the Hunan Uyghurs out of curiosity or interest. Also, the Uyghurs of Hunan do not speak the Uyghur language, instead, they speak Chinese as their native language, and Arabic for religious reasons at the mosque.

Genetics


Uyghurs are a population presenting an admixture of Eastern and Western anthropometric traits. Uyghurs are indisputably the product of mixing of two ancestral components, East Asian and Caucasian, or Mongoloid
Mongoloid race
Mongoloid is a term sometimes used by forensic anthropologists and physical anthropologists to refer to populations that share certain phenotypic traits such as epicanthic fold and shovel-shaped incisors and other physical traits common in East Asia, the Americas and the Arctic...

 and Caucasoid. However, various scientific studies disagree about the size of each component. A paper by Xu and Jin found that Uyghurs have 60% European ancestry and 40% East Asian ancestry. Two explanations of the admixture suggested by scholars include a continuous gene flow from populations of European and Asian descent and a hybrid isolation model. Under the assumption of a hybrid isolation model, they estimated that the possible admixture event occurred about 126 generations ago, or 2520 years ago assuming 20 years per generation. Another paper by Li and Kidd found only about 30% European admixture.

Genetic history



Culture


Most Uyghurs are Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

, and practice Sufism
Sufism
Sufism or ' is defined by its adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a '...

. The relics of the Uyghur culture constitute major collections in the museums of Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

, St. Petersburg, and New Delhi
New Delhi
New Delhi is the capital city of India. It serves as the centre of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi. It is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union Territory. The total area of the city is...

. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, scientific and archaeological expeditions to the region of Xinjiang's Silk Road
Silk Road
The Silk Road or Silk Route refers to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa...

 discovered numerous cave temples, monastery ruins, and wall paintings, as well as valuable miniatures, books, and documents.

Education


Uyghurs in China, unlike the Salar and Hui
Hui people
The Hui people are an ethnic group in China, defined as Chinese speaking people descended from foreign Muslims. They are typically distinguished by their practice of Islam, however some also practice other religions, and many are direct descendants of Silk Road travelers.In modern People's...

 who are also mostly Muslim, generally do not oppose coeducation
Coeducation
Mixed-sex education, also known as coeducation or co-education, is the integrated education of male and female persons in the same institution. It is the opposite of single-sex education...

 (grouping male and female students together).

Literature


Most of the early Uyghur literary works were translations of Buddhist and Manichean religious texts, but there were also narrative, poetic, and epic works original to the Uyghurs. Some of these have been translated into German, English, Russian, and Turkish. Among hundreds of important works surviving from that era are Qutatqu Bilik (Wisdom Of Royal Glory) by Yüsüp Has Hajip (1069–70), Mähmut Qäşqäri's Divan-i Lugat-it Türk- A Dictionary of Turkic Dialects(1072), and Ähmät Yüknäki's Atabetul Hakayik. Perhaps the most famous and best loved pieces of modern Uyghur literature are Abdurehim Otkur
Abdurehim Ötkür
Abdurehim Tileshüp Ötkür was a popular Uyghur author and poet.Ötkür was born in Kumul, Xinjiang. He graduated from Xinjiang University in 1942. He then worked as the editor of the newspaper Altay Geziti till 1949...

's Iz, Oyghanghan Zimin, Zordun Sabir
Zordun Sabir
Zordun Sabir is a popular Uyghur author. His most famous work is the historical novel "Anayurt".-Books:*Zordun Sabir, Anayurt, Almaty: Nash Mir...

's Anayurt and Ziya Samedi
Ziya Samedi
Ziya Samedi was a Uyghur author who emigrated to Kazakstan.Ziya was born in Yarkand County, near Almaty, Kazakhstan. After having gone to Soviet elementary and middle schools, he moved to Ghulja...

's (former minister of culture in Sinkiang Government in 50's) novels Mayimkhan and Mystery of the years.

Ferdinand de Saussure
Ferdinand de Saussure
Ferdinand de Saussure was a Swiss linguist whose ideas laid a foundation for many significant developments in linguistics in the 20th century. He is widely considered one of the fathers of 20th-century linguistics...

: "Those who preserved the language and written culture of Central Asia were the Uyghurs."

Medicine


The Uyghurs had an extensive knowledge of medicine and medical practice. Chinese Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

 (906–960) sources indicate that an Uyghur physician named Nanto traveled to China and brought with him many kinds of medicine unknown to the Chinese. There were 103 herbs used in Uyghur medicine recorded in a medical compendium by Li Shizhen
Li Shizhen
Li Shizhen , courtesy name Dongbi , was one of the greatest Chinese herbologists and acupuncturists in Chinese history. His major contribution to medicine was his 27-year work, which is found in his epic book the Bencao Gangmu...

 (1518–1593), a Chinese medical
Traditional Chinese medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine refers to a broad range of medicine practices sharing common theoretical concepts which have been developed in China and are based on a tradition of more than 2,000 years, including various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage , exercise , and dietary therapy...

 authority. Tatar scholar, professor Reşit Rahmeti Arat in Zur Heilkunde der Uighuren (Medical Practices of the Uyghurs) published in 1930 and 1932, in Berlin, discussed Uyghur medicine. Relying on a sketch of a man with an explanation of acupuncture, he and some Western scholars suspect that acupuncture was not a Chinese, but an Uyghur discovery.

Today, traditional Uyghur medicine can still be found at street stands. Similar to other traditional medicine, diagnosis is usually made through checking the pulse, symptoms, and disease history, and then the pharmacist pounds up different dried herbs, making personalized medicines according to the prescription. Modern Uyghur medical hospitals adopted Western medical science and medicine and adopted Western pharmaceutical technology to discover new and produce traditional medicines.

Art



There are 77 rock-cut
Rock cut architecture
Rock-cut architecture is the practice of creating buildings and other physical structures by carving natural rock. In India the term 'cave' is often applied, and in China 'cavern,' but one must differentiate natural caves from rock-cut architecture which is man-made and designed along the...

 caves at the site. Most have rectangular spaces with rounded arch
Arch
An arch is a structure that spans a space and supports a load. Arches appeared as early as the 2nd millennium BC in Mesopotamian brick architecture and their systematic use started with the Ancient Romans who were the first to apply the technique to a wide range of structures.-Technical aspects:The...

 ceiling
Ceiling
A ceiling is an overhead interior surface that covers the upper limit of a room. It is generally not a structural element, but a finished surface concealing the underside of the floor or roof structure above....

s often divided into four sections, each with a mural
Mural
A mural is any piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other large permanent surface. A particularly distinguishing characteristic of mural painting is that the architectural elements of the given space are harmoniously incorporated into the picture.-History:Murals of...

 of Buddha
Gautama Buddha
Siddhārtha Gautama was a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. In most Buddhist traditions, he is regarded as the Supreme Buddha Siddhārtha Gautama (Sanskrit: सिद्धार्थ गौतम; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual teacher from the Indian...

. The effect is of an entire ceiling covered with hundreds of Buddha murals. Some ceilings are painted with a large Buddha surrounded by other figures, including Indians, Persians and Europeans. The quality of the murals vary with some being artistically naive while others are masterpieces of religious art.

Music




Muqam
Muqam
A muqam is the melody type used in Uyghur music, that is, a musical mode and set of melodic formulas used to guide improvisation and composition....

 is the classical musical style. The 12 Muqams are the national oral epic of the Uyghurs. The muqam system developed among the Uyghur in northwest China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 and Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 over approximately the last 1500 years from the Arabic maqama
Maqama
Maqāma are an Arabic literary genre of rhymed prose with intervals of poetry in which rhetorical extravagance is conspicuous. The 10th century author Badī' al-Zaman al-Hamadhāni is said to have invented the form, which was extended by al-Hariri of Basra in the next century...

t modal system that has led to many musical genres among peoples of Eurasia
Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

 and North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

. Uyghurs have local muqam systems named after the oasis towns of Xinjiang
Xinjiang
Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2...

 (Eastern Turkestan), such as Dolan
Dolan people
Dolan refers to a people or region of what is now Xinjiang Province, China. People who call themselves Dolan can be found in the Yarkand River valley, the Tarim River valley and the Lop Nur region of present-day Xinjiang...

, Ili, Kumul and Turpan. The most fully developed at this point is the Western Tarim
Tarim Basin
The Tarim Basin is a large endorheic basin occupying an area of about . It is located in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China's far west. Its northern boundary is the Tian Shan mountain range and its southern is the Kunlun Mountains on the northern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. The...

 region's 12 muqams, which are now a large canon of music and songs recorded from the traditional performers Turdi Akhun
Turdi Akhun
Turdi Akhun , sometimes spelled Turdu Ahun, was a traditional Uyghur folk musician in the Xinjiang region. He was born into a family with a rich musical history and could perform his music completely from memory, even into his 70s...

 and Omar Akhun
Omar Akhun
Omar Akhun is a noted Uyghur composer and musical performer. He is best known for his Muqam melodies, often composing in 12 muqams. He was responsible along with Turdi Akhun in the 1950s in recording songs using this form and making it more systematic....

 among others in the 1950s and edited into a more systematic system. Although the folk performers probably improvised their songs as in Turkish taksim
Taqsim
Taqsim is the name of a melodic improvisation style that could be metric or non-metric, which usually precedes a composition in Arabic, Turkish, Greek, and other Middle Eastern music. The taqsim is usually performed by a solo instrument, yet sometimes the soloist can be backed by a percussionist...

 performances, the present institutional canon is performed as fixed compositions by ensembles.

Each of the 12 muqams (named Rak, Čäbbiyat, Segah, Čahargah, Pänjigah, Özhal, Äjäm, Uššaq, Bayat, Nava, Mušavräk, and Iraq), consists of a main section that begins with a long free rhythm introduction, followed by pieces with characteristic rhythmic patterns that gradually increase in speed. These pieces are arranged in the same sequence in each muqam, although not all muqams have the same pieces. These parts are known as täzä, nuskha, small säliqä, jula, sänäm, large säliqä, päshru, and täkit. Some have an associated instrumental piece known as a märghul ("decoration") following it. Although each named piece has its characteristic rhythmic pattern, the melodies differ, so each piece is generally known by the muqam and the piece: for example, "the Rak nuskha" or "the Segah jula".

After the main section, there are two sections, originally associated with other musical traditions, but included in muqams by performers such as Turdi Akhun and therefore included in the present 12 muqam tradition. The Dastan section includes songs from several of the romantic dastan
Dastan
The Dastan , is an ornate form of oral history from Central Asia, the most famous of which is Dede Korkut - which may have been created as early as the beginning of the 13th century....

 narratives found widely in Central and South Asia and the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

. Each dastan song is followed by an instrumental märghul. The Mäshräp section consists of more lively dance songs that were originally connected with the performances of sama
Sama
Sama may refer to:* A verse from the Samaveda, one of the Vedas* Sama , a part of Harstad city in northern Norway* Sama, Asturias, a parish in the municipality of Langreo in northern Spain...

by dervish
Dervish
A Dervish or Darvesh is someone treading a Sufi Muslim ascetic path or "Tariqah", known for their extreme poverty and austerity, similar to mendicant friars in Christianity or Hindu/Buddhist/Jain sadhus.-Etymology:The Persian word darvīsh is of ancient origin and descends from a Proto-Iranian...

 musicians of Turkistan.

The Uyghur Muqam of Xinjiang has been designated by UNESCO as part of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Amannisa Khan
Amannisa Khan
Amannisa Khan, sometimes called Amanni Shahan, is credited with collecting and thereby preserving the Twelve Muqam, part of the Uyghur musical legacy. The Muqam of Xinjiang has been designated by UNESCO as part of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity.Amannisa Khan was the daughter of a forester...

, sometimes called Amanni Shahan, (1526–1560) is credited with collecting and thereby preserving the Twelve Muqam.

Russian scholar Pantusov writes that the Uyghurs manufactured their own musical instruments; they had 62 different kinds of musical instruments and in every Uyghur home there used to be an instrument called a "dutar
Dutar
The dutar is a traditional long-necked two-stringed lute found in Iran, Central Asia and South Asia...

".

Cuisine


Uyghur food (Uyghur Yemekliri) is characterized by mutton, beef
Beef
Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle. Beef can be harvested from cows, bulls, heifers or steers. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of the Middle East , Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and is also important in...

, camel
Camel
A camel is an even-toed ungulate within the genus Camelus, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as humps on its back. There are two species of camels: the dromedary or Arabian camel has a single hump, and the bactrian has two humps. Dromedaries are native to the dry desert areas of West Asia,...

, chicken
Chicken
The chicken is a domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the Red Junglefowl. As one of the most common and widespread domestic animals, and with a population of more than 24 billion in 2003, there are more chickens in the world than any other species of bird...

, goose
Goose
The word goose is the English name for a group of waterfowl, belonging to the family Anatidae. This family also includes swans, most of which are larger than true geese, and ducks, which are smaller....

, carrot
Carrot
The carrot is a root vegetable, usually orange in colour, though purple, red, white, and yellow varieties exist. It has a crisp texture when fresh...

s, tomato
Tomato
The word "tomato" may refer to the plant or the edible, typically red, fruit which it bears. Originating in South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler...

es, onion
Onion
The onion , also known as the bulb onion, common onion and garden onion, is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium. The genus Allium also contains a number of other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion The onion...

s, pepper
Pepper
- Plants and plant products :The genus Piper of the pepper family , including for example:* Black pepper, white and green pepper, Piper nigrum* Cubeb, Piper cubeba, also known as Java pepper* Long pepper, Piper longum...

s, eggplant, celery
Celery
Apium graveolens is a plant species in the family Apiaceae commonly known as celery or celeriac , depending on whether the petioles or roots are eaten: celery refers to the former and celeriac to the latter. Apium graveolens grows to 1 m tall...

, various dairy foods, and fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

s.

Uyghur-style breakfast is tea
Tea
Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world...

 with home-baked bread
Bread
Bread is a staple food prepared by cooking a dough of flour and water and often additional ingredients. Doughs are usually baked, but in some cuisines breads are steamed , fried , or baked on an unoiled frying pan . It may be leavened or unleavened...

, hardened yogurt, olive
Olive
The olive , Olea europaea), is a species of a small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea.Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the...

s, honey
Honey
Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans...

, raisin
Raisin
Raisins are dried grapes. They are produced in many regions of the world. Raisins may be eaten raw or used in cooking, baking and brewing...

s, and almond
Almond
The almond , is a species of tree native to the Middle East and South Asia. Almond is also the name of the edible and widely cultivated seed of this tree...

s. Uyghurs like to treat guests with tea, naan
Naan
Naan is a leavened, oven-baked flatbread. It is typical of and popular in South and Central Asia, in Iran, and in South Asian restaurants abroad. Influenced by the large influx of South Asian labour, naan has also become popular in Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states.Originally, naan is a...

 and fruit before the main dishes are ready.

Sangza
Sangza
Sangza is a popular snack in Xinjiang consisting of deep-fried noodles in a twisted pyramid shape. The snack is made by pulling wheat flour dough into thin ropes, which are deep-fried. Bunches of the ropes are then shaped into rings, which are stacked into a pyramid.Sangza is also eaten in other...

 (Uyghur
Uyghur language
Uyghur , formerly known as Eastern Turk, is a Turkic language with 8 to 11 million speakers, spoken primarily by the Uyghur people in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of Western China. Significant communities of Uyghur-speakers are located in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and various other...

: ساڭزا) are crispy and tasty fried wheat flour
Wheat flour
Wheat flour is a powder made from the grinding of wheat used for human consumption. More wheat flour is produced than any other flour. Wheat varieties are called "clean," "white," or "brown" if they have high gluten content, and they are called "soft" or "weak" flour if gluten content is low...

 dough twists, a holiday specialty. Samsa (Uyghur
Uyghur language
Uyghur , formerly known as Eastern Turk, is a Turkic language with 8 to 11 million speakers, spoken primarily by the Uyghur people in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of Western China. Significant communities of Uyghur-speakers are located in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and various other...

: سامسا) are lamb pie
Pie
A pie is a baked dish which is usually made of a pastry dough casing that covers or completely contains a filling of various sweet or savoury ingredients....

s baked using a special brick oven.
Youtazi
Youtazi
Youtazi is a type of steamed multi-layer bread. It is consumed within the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.-References:*...

 is steamed multilayer bread. Göshnan (Uyghur
Uyghur language
Uyghur , formerly known as Eastern Turk, is a Turkic language with 8 to 11 million speakers, spoken primarily by the Uyghur people in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of Western China. Significant communities of Uyghur-speakers are located in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and various other...

: گۆشنان) are pan-grilled lamb pies. Pamirdin
Pamirdin
Pamirdin is a type of pie, consumed within the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. The pie contains lamb, carrots and onion.-References:*...

 are baked pies with lamb, carrots, and onion inside. Xurpa
Xurpa
Xurpa is a type of lamb soup. It is consumed within the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China....

 is lamb soup
Soup
Soup is a generally warm food that is made by combining ingredients such as meat and vegetables with stock, juice, water, or another liquid. Hot soups are additionally characterized by boiling solid ingredients in liquids in a pot until the flavors are extracted, forming a broth.Traditionally,...

 (Uyghur
Uyghur language
Uyghur , formerly known as Eastern Turk, is a Turkic language with 8 to 11 million speakers, spoken primarily by the Uyghur people in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of Western China. Significant communities of Uyghur-speakers are located in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and various other...

: شۇرپا). Other dishes include Tohax
Tohax
Tohax is a type of baked bread. It is consumed within the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.-References:*...

, a different type of baked bread, and Tunurkawab
Doner kebab
Doner kebab is a dish made of roasted meat cooked on a vertical spit. It is also known regionally as gyro , shawarma, and al pastor . It consists of shaved lamb, goat, chicken, turkey, beef, or mixed meats roasted on a spit. Less common alternatives include fish and sausage...

.

See also

  • Uyghur language
    Uyghur language
    Uyghur , formerly known as Eastern Turk, is a Turkic language with 8 to 11 million speakers, spoken primarily by the Uyghur people in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of Western China. Significant communities of Uyghur-speakers are located in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and various other...

  • Tocharians
    Tocharians
    The Tocharians were the Tocharian-speaking inhabitants of the Tarim Basin, making them the easternmost speakers of Indo-European languages in antiquity. They were known as, or at least closely related to, the Yuezhi of Chinese sources...

  • List of Uyghurs
  • Kushan Empire
    Kushan Empire
    The Kushan Empire originally formed in the early 1st century AD under Kujula Kadphises in the territories of ancient Bactria on either side of the middle course of the Oxus in what is now northern Afghanistan, Pakistan, and southern Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.During the 1st and early 2nd centuries...

  • Uyghur timeline
    Uyghur timeline
    This timeline is a supplement of the main article Uyghur. Dealing with the centuries between 400 and 900 AD, it refers to a critical period in the cultural formation of the Uyghur nation, as they transitioned from a minor Turkic tribe to an empire....

  • Ugrians
    Ugrians
    The Ugrians were the ancestors of the present Hungarians of Hungary, the country being then known as Etelköz or Atelkuzu. In the 9th century, they moved into the Bessarabia region....

  • Meshrep
    Meshrep
    A meshrep is a traditional male Uyghur gathering that typically includes "poetry, music, dance, and conversation within a structural context". Meshreps typically include music of the Muqam variety and ad-hoc tribunals on moral questions. "Meshrep" may also refer to the Islamic youth groups that...


Further reading


  • Chinese Cultural Studies: Ethnography of China: Brief Guide at acc6.its.brooklyn.cuny.edu
  • Beckwith, Christopher I. (2009). Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-13589-2.
  • Findley, Carter Vaughn. 2005. The Turks in World History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-516770-8; 0-19-517726-6 (pbk.).
  • Hessler, Peter. Oracle Bones: A Journey Through Time in China. New York: Harper Perennial, 2006.
  • Hierman, Brent. "The Pacification of Xinjiang: Uighur Protest and the Chinese State, 1988-2002." Problems of Post-Communism, May/Jun2007, Vol. 54 Issue 3, pp 48–62
  • Human Rights in China: China, Minority Exclusion, Marginalization and Rising Tensions, London, Minority Rights Group International, 2007
  • Kamberi, Dolkun. 2005. Uyghurs and Uyghur identity. Sino-Platonic papers, no. 150. Philadelphia, PA: Dept. of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Mackerras, Colin. Ed. and trans. 1972. The Uighur Empire according to the T'ang Dynastic Histories: a study in Sino-Uyghur relations 744–840. University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 0-87249-279-6
  • Millward, James A. and Nabijan Tursun, (2004) "Political History and Strategies of Control, 1884–1978" in Xinjiang: China's Muslim Borderland, ed. S. Frederick Starr. Published by M. E. Sharpe. ISBN 978-0765613189.
  • Millward, James A. (2007). Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang. Columbia University Press, New York. ISBN 978-0-231-13924-3.
  • Rall, Ted. Silk Road to Ruin: Is Central Asia the New Middle East? New York: NBM Publishing, 2006.
  • Rudelson, Justin Ben-Adam, Oasis identities: Uyghur nationalism along China's Silk Road, New York: Columbia University Press, 1997.
  • Tyler, Christian. (2003). Wild West China: The Untold Story of a Frontier Land. John Murray, London. ISBN 0-7195-6341 0.
  • Islam in China, Hui and Uyghurs: between modernization and sinicization, the study of the Hui
    Hui people
    The Hui people are an ethnic group in China, defined as Chinese speaking people descended from foreign Muslims. They are typically distinguished by their practice of Islam, however some also practice other religions, and many are direct descendants of Silk Road travelers.In modern People's...

     and Uyghurs of China, Jean A. Berlie
    Jean Berlie
    Jean Berlie is a French socio-anthropologist specialising in Asia and China.-Background:...

    , White Lotus Press editor, Bangkok, Thailand, published in 2004. ISBN 9744800623, 9789744800626.


External links