Much of the traditional lifestyle of the Uygur is under threat.
Current Uygur Issues are:
Lack of water in the Tarim River Basin and along the southern edge of the Taklamakan Desert.
Parhat, a Muslim of ethnic Uighur descent, is accused of attending a terror training camp in Afghanistan at the time of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He however won a court appeal claiming that he was improperly labeled an "enemy combatant" by the Pentagon.
There is no information on traditional Uygur People architecture and housing.
Traditional Dress :
The Uygur traditional garment for men is a long sleeved long gown. The women traditionally wear a vest over a one piece gown. Uygur of all ages wear varieties of embroidered caps.
Diet / Food :
The Uygur of China (P.R.C.) are most famous for their kitchen, especially their love of "Kebab" or Barbequed Mutton and Beef, often topped with some red pepper powder. Apart from this, the main staple diet is flour.
Today the Uygur of Xinjiang mainly practice agriculture. Due to the harsh climate and lack of water in their home regions agricultural efforts focus on oasis farming and gardening. Agricultural products include various types of Melons, Grapes and more.
Lifestock are also raised, mainly sheep and goats and some cows.
The earliest Uygur already practised Islam during their arrival within the territories of Western China (P.R.C.). Today's Uygur are not much different. The main Uygur Religious Festivals include the lesser Bairam and Qurban Festival. The Festivals are merry occassions where the local Folk engage in song and dance, and their are many ethnic sports practised such as the hunting of sheep and (male) wrestling, but also winter sports such as skiing and ice-skating.
Uygur Ethnic Culture in China :
The Uygur have their own language and script, the Uygur Language. They are especially rich in Literature and Arts and as do many (former) Nomadic Peoples have a strong Oral Tradition. The Uygur culture is rich in narrative poems, folklores and folk songs. Both Uygur Men and Women are traditionally good at dancing and singing.
Guangxi Autonomous Region (Guangxi Zhuangzu Zizhiqut) of China :
As for the ....
The Hui, Ningxia and Islam in China :
As for the Hui, the first major Muslim settlements in China consisted of Arab and Persian merchants who had traveled eastward along the pathways and trade routes of the Silk Road to end up in Tang Dynasty Chinese Territory. The Hui Chi tribe which was located in Western China and had contacts with these islamic settlements through trade learned about Islam and later accepted it as their Faith. The current day reference to the huihui or the Hui, a muslim ethnic minority of considerable size, derives from the name of the Hui Chi Tribe.
The Uygurs (回鶻) and Islam in China :
The Uygurs are the largest Islamic Minority group in China.
In 1964 AD, there were 4 million and 400 Uygurs counted in China. In 1982 AD the number of Uyghurs had increased by 49% to 5 million 963 thousand 461.
In the Year 2000 AD National Census, no less than 8 million 399 thousand and 400 Uygur's were counted in China.
The Uygur Nationality mainly reside in Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region of far Western China where they can be found living along the Northern and Southern Rim's of the Taklamakan Desert. Other Uygur live further North, in the Regions west and East of Urumqi. Still other Uygur have spread further throughout China and can be found in Gansu Province, Qinghai Province and China's large cities where they have become labor migrants and often operate small restaurants.
The Uygur's are of Turkmenic Central Asian descent.
The word Uygur means "Unity" or "Alliance" in the Uygur Language.
The greater majority of Chinese Muslims, if not all, fall under the Sunni definition of Islam, its culture and its beliefs although especially the Dongxiang practice aspects of Sufism and some sects have adopted aspects of Buddhism as well.
Hui's and Han's enjoying themselves posing for China Report at the Market of Dunhuang, Gansu Province in November 2007.
The Salar are found in Qinghai Province, where they mainly reside inside the Xunhua Salar Autonomous County of Qinghai Province. Other Salar reside in their communities in Hualong Autonomous County of the Hui Nationality, and in Gansu Province in Jishishan Autonomous County where they live together with the Bonan, Dongxiang and Salar Nationalities. Last there are Salar Communities in Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region inside the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture.
In the 1990 National Census there were reportedly 87,900 Salar in China. By 1995 AD the number of Salar had risen to 92,900. According to the Year 2000 National Census there were 104.500 Salar in China.
The Salar originally made their living by hunting, forestry and livestock farming. However today the Salar's main lifestyle is agricultural and self-sustaining while living in a semi-desert area. The Salar also keep sheep for wool and their favored dish of mutton. Some Salar extend their activities to gardening, leather working and processing and in gardening and forestry.
Alternative names for the Sala are Salar, Salacu and Salahui, the latter referring to their cultural assimilation with the Hui. The Salar name themselves as Salar'Er.
A Full and complete Map of China (PRC) identifying all Language Areas big and small in all Provinces and Autonomous Regions of China.
Map includes Turkic Languages (Uygur, Kazakh, Kirghiz, Salar & Uzbek), Mongolian Language and Sub-Divisions (Mongol, Tu, Daur and Dongxian), Tungusic Peoples (Oroqen, Evenki and Xibe) and Languages, Korean, Tajik (Tadzhik), Mon-Khmer (Kawa + Puman (or Pulang)), Hui, Uygur (Uighur), Tibeto-Bhurman Languages, Tai and Miao, Yao and She' Language Area's and Borders. Main Area's and sub-divisions of Han Languages (Northern Mandarin, Eastern Mandarin, South-Western Mandarin and Cantonese) further included. This color-coded ethno-linguistic Map (of 1967 AD) identifies at a glance most ethnic minority regions in China
Map China Ethno-Linguistic / Language Distribution China
During this period their Nomadic lifestyle brought them to migrate to the Chinese Western Regions where in due time they asimilated with other local Islamic Tribes.
Later during the 12Th Century Reign of the Yuan Dynasty (1271 AD - 1368 AD) due to the exceptions offered to the Islamic Peoples of the Empire, Uygur Muslims were able to settle for prolonged periods leading to a further spread of Uyghur in West-China.
During the Cultural Revolution Era (1966 AD - 1976 AD) the Chinese Central Government attempted to dilute the Muslim population of Xinjiang by settling masses of ethnic Han Chinese there, and replacing the local Muslim leaders with those willing to cooperate fully with "the Beijing Line".
Since 1978, the Chinese government has markedly liberalised its policies toward Islam and Muslims and other minorities. New legislation gave all minorities the freedom to use their own spoken and written languages, develop their own culture and education and practice their religion. In practice however, equality means that some are more equal than others and as was recently shown in Tibet under the surface large tensions between ethnic groups and Han remain.
Over the generations the Uygur led a Nomdaic lifestyle. However, somewhere midway the 9Th Century AD they settled in Western China shifting their economic base and livelihood towards agriculture. As do many of the ethnic groups living in remote regions, the Uygur are basicly self-sustaining and they are very adapt various handicrafts. Among the Uygur specialities are handwoven carpets and tapestries, embroidery on clothing and caps with uygur patterns, jade carving - a tradition directly derived from the silk road era, and the making of musical instruments.
They main symbol of Male Status in traditional Uygur society as well as the main survival tool when traveling their barren lands is the knife, so naturally the Uygur are skilled blacksmiths very adapt at producing and trading their knives.
Apart from their Nomadic origins and their small scale agricultural lifestyle the Uygur have a rich trading tradition, perfected for centuries along the vital pathways of the ancient Silk Road in China.
Schematic Map of the many sub-pathways of the Silk Road in China clearly showing the one-unavoidable pathway of the Hexi Corridor.
Qilian Mt Range
Sound Bonus: Uygur Traditional Song - "Woy Bala" (Hey, Kid).