Learn about the Uyghur People

                                               Uyghur people


Name: The Uyghur pronounced Uy-ghur [?j????] in english,, ???(wei wu er )in simplified Chinese,  ?????? in Uyghur.

Ugyhurs are Turkic speaking ethnic group living in eastern and central Asia.

Today, Uyghurs live primarily in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China.estemated 12 to 14 million population in the world, An estimated 80% of Xinjiang's Uyghurs live in the southwestern portion of the region, the Tarim Basin.

Outside ofChina, significant diasporic communities of Uyghurs exist in the Central Asian countries of former Soviet Union, and also Uyghur communities are found in Europe andNorth America

History: The meaning of the term Uyghur is unclear. However, most of the Uyghur linguists, historians regard the word comes from Uyughur, Uyushmaq in modern Uyghur language, literally means united or people tends to come together, like tribal union.

The etymology can not 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.(Means nine Oghuz).finally the name Uyghur adopted by Toquz Oghuz Turkic people as political nation name occurred between AD630-684. The Uyghurs united whole Toquz Oghuz Turkic tribes and established first Uyghur Empire in AD740 in Mongolian pasture, controlled whole nomadic territories in north part ofChina, stretched from eastern modern dayMongoliauntil the Caspian Sea in the west including central Asia with its capital Ordu Baliq first city in history ofMongolia.

Before the all Toquz oghuz Turkic tribes united under the political name Uyghur, they were firstly called Dingling people ancient Siberians originally live inLenaRiverin the area west ofLakeBaikal, gradually moving southward toMongoliaand northChina4th century BC; they were subsequently part of Xiongnu (Hunnic) Empire. And these people adopted the name Tiele gradually 3rd century AD, and Tiele were the collections of the tribes of different Turkic origins, largely descendent from Dingling and Hunnic people and Tiele people were living in Mongolia and present day Xinjiang including Central Asia . Finally these Tiele tribes took power in nomadic territories in Mongolia and northern China under the tribal political name Uyghur in AD 740, territory stretched from eastern Mongolia to Caspian see in the west including central Asia,

Conclusion: Simply the Uyghur history can be divided into four distinct phases pre- Imperial formation of the nationality (300BC – AD 630), nomadic Imperial (AD630- AD840), Idiqut Uyghur Khanate (840 -1209) and Karakhanid Dynasty (840 -1212), and Mongol Period (1212-1600),

Collapse of first Uyghur Empire and Migration to the west: following the collapse of Uyghur empire in AD 840, Uyghur people living in Mongolia migrated to the west and established kingdoms in three area, one group of Uyghurs went south from Mongolia to the Chinese borders and gradually assimilated by Chinese, other three groups established kingdom in Gansu, Xinjing and central Asia,

The easternmost of the three Uyghur states, was the Ganzhou Uyghur Kingdom (AD 870–1036), with its capital near present-day Zhangyein the Gansu province ofChina.

 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 capital in Karakhoja city (Now days Gaochang ancient city in Turpan). 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, or the Karakhans (Great Khans) Dynasty, was the westernmost of the three Uyghur states, with its capital in Kashgar, dominating the centralAsiauntil 1209.

All three states became vassals to Genghis Khan in 1209.

Converting to Islam:  In Central Asia, Islam expanded from the 7th century onward, bringing a stop to Chinese westward expansion at the Battleof talas in 751,  further expansion of the Islamic Turks inCentral Asiafrom the 10th century finished disrupting trade in that part of the world, and Buddhism almost disappeared. For much of the Middle Ages, the Islamic Caliphate (centered in Middle East) often had a monopoly over much of the trade conducted across the Old World between east and west, because of Arab Caliphate’s religious influence to central Asia and Greater Iran ,first Islamic Persian empire was established in central Asia and greater Iran , Agriculture and trading were the economic basis of Samanid State. The Samanids were heavily involved in Silk Road trading - even withEurope, as thousands of Samanid coins that have been found in the Baltic and Scandinavian countries testify.

Another lasting contribution of the Samanids to the history of Islamic art is the pottery known as Samanid Epigraphic Ware: plates, bowls, and pitchers fired in a white slip and decorated only with calligraphy, often elegantly and rhythmically written. The Arabic phrases used in this calligraphy are generally more or less generic well wishes, or Islamic admonitions to good table manners.

Islamic architecture and Islamic-Persian culture was spread deep into the heart ofCentral Asiaby the Samanids. Following the first complete translation of the Qur'an into Persian, during the 9th century, populations under the Samanid Empire began accepting Islam in significant numbers.

And the mass conversion of the Turks to Islam eventually led to a growing influence of the Karakhanids, who would later rule the region.

The celebrated Uyghur emperor of Karakhanid dynasty Sultan Satuq Bughra Khan converted to Islam early in the 10th century and he is fourth king of Karakhanid dynasty which was established originally as Nestorian and Buddhist State in 840 but he was first king who converted to Islam by the influence of Samanid Persian prince Abu Nasr Samani, then officially the Islam became religion of the first ever Islamic state in Turkic world Karakhanid Islamic Uyghur dynasty, Turkic domination was began and Karakhanids overthrew the Samanid empire and kick them out of central Asia in 999,receiced the former lands of Samanids , Islamic Turkilization and culture began to spread out to all over central Asia and to whole Turkic tribes from Kashgar which was first Turkic Islamic city as the capital of Karakhanids , Karakhanids were controlled the central Silk Road ,the trade bridge between East and West . Being the capital of Karakhanid state, Kashgar was the important city in central Silk Road, transportation hub, both the north and south Silk Road from East were met up in Kashgar then goes west, The Uyghur people employed an alphabet based upon the Syriac and borrowed from the Nestorian, but after converting to Islam when Karakhanid dynasty widely used also an Arabic script, and still Uyghur people using that an Arabic script until now days

Uyghur Culture: Kara-Khanid culture is arguably the most enduring cultural heritage among coexisting cultures inCentral Asiafrom the 9th to the 13th century. The Karluk-Uyghur dialect spoken by the nomadic tribes and turkified sedentary populations under Kara-Khanid rule branched out into two major branches of the Turkic language family, the Chagatay and the Kypchak. The Kara-Khanid cultural model that combined nomadic Turkic culture with Islamic, sedentary institutions spread east into former Kara-Khoja and Tangut territories and west and south into the subcontinent, Khorasan (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Northern Iran).Uyghur people and society inherited most of the Karakhanis cultures ,

Language of Uyghur people: is a Turkic language with 12 to 14 million speakers, spoken primarily by the Uyghur people in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of Western China. Significant communities of Uyghur-speakers are located inKazakhstanandUzbekistan, and various other countries have Uyghur-speaking expatriate communities. Uyghur is an official language of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and is widely used in both social and official spheres, as well as in print, radio, and television, and is used as a lingua franca by other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. The Uyghurs are one of the 56 recognized ethnic groups in China, and Uyghur is an official language of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, along with Standard Chinese. As a result, Uyghur can be heard in most social domains in Xinjiang, and also in schools, government and courts. About 80 newspapers and magazines are available in Uyghur; five TV channels and ten publishers serve as the Uyghur media.

Uyghur belongs to the Uyghuric branch of the Turkic language family, which also includes languages such as Salar and the more distantly related Uzbek. Like many other Turkic languages, Uyghur displays vowel harmony and agglutination, lacks noun classes or grammatical gender, and is a left-branching language with subject–object–verb word order. More distinctly Uyghur processes include, especially in northern dialects, vowel reductionand umlauting. In addition to influence of other Turkic languages, Uyghur has historically been influenced strongly by Persian and Arabic,

Uyghur language began being written in the fifth century. Uyghur may be written in a number of different orthographies, the Arabic-derived system being the most common. Unlike most Arabic-derived scripts, the Uyghur Arabic alphabet has mandatory marking of all vowels. Two Latin and one Cyrillic alphabet are also used, though to a much lesser extent. The Arabic and Latin alphabets have 32 characters,

It is widely accepted that Uyghur has three main dialects, all based on their geographical distribution. Each of these main dialects has a number of sub-dialects which all are mutually intelligible to some extent.


Ce       Central: Spoken in an area stretching from Kumul towards south to Yarkand

§   Southern: Spoken in an area stretching from Guma towards east to Charqaliq

§   Eastern: Spoken in an area stretching from Charqaliq towards north to Chongköl


The Central dialects are spoken by 90% of the Uyghur-speaking population, while the two other branches of dialects only are spoken by a relatively small minority.

Vowel reduction is common in the northern parts of where Uyghur is spoken, but not in the south

Genetic origins of Uyghur people: Uyghur people 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 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.

Uyghur 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 apparently 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 Qä?qäri's (Mahmud Al Kashgari ‘s)Divan-i Lugat-it Türk- A Dictionary of Turkic Dialects(1072), and Ähmät Yüknäki's Atabetul Hakayik, these Giant literature works are highest peaks of literature of Uyghur and Turkic people’s history. Perhaps the most famous and best loved pieces of modern Uyghur literature are Abdurehim Otkur's Iz, Oyghanghan Zimin, Zordun Sabir's Anayurt ,these are the best novels of Uyghur people in 20th century,

Uyghur Medicine: Chinese Song Dynasty (906–960) sources indicate that an Uyghur physician named Nanto traveled toChinaand 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 (1518–1593), a Chinese medical authority.

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 modern medical science and medicine and adopted evidence-based pharmaceutical technology to traditional medicines.

Uyghur Music: Muqam 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 and Central Asia over approximately the last 1500 years from the Arabic maqamat modal system that has led to many musical genres among peoples of Eurasia and North Africa. Uyghurs have local muqam systems named after the oasis towns of Xinjiang, such as Dolan, Ili, Kumul and Turpan. The most fully developed at this point is the Western Tarim region's 12 muqams basen in Yarkand, which are now a large canon of music and songs record The Uyghur Muqam of Xinjiang has been designated by UNESCO as part of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Amannisa Khan, sometimes called Amanni Shahan, (1526–1560) is credited with collecting and thereby preserving the Twelve Muqam.[70] 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 Duttar

Some references are from Wikipedia.

Edited By Waheed



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