5. Chinese Nationalities (Uyghur Minority) -- Minorities by Descending Populations

Uyghur Gentleman Uyghur Gentleman Uyghur Gentleman
Uyghur Gentleman Uyghur Blacksmith and his Apprentice Son Uyghur Gentleman

Uyghur Minority

The Uyghur are a Turkic people who ran a major empire on what is now Mongolia from 744 to 840. The Uyghur converted to Islam over several centuries. The history of the Uyghur can be traced back as far as the Huihe of the Tang dynasty. Most Uyghurs farm fields watered by snowmelt. Others work in state-run crafts and cooperatives, textile factories, or carpets mills. The Silk Road threading through Xinjiang's deserts and mountains carried China's trade westward and eventually opened the way for Islam's expansion eastward. Seven of the 12 minorities here are Muslim, most speak Turkic languages and for centuries used Arabic script. The Uyghur, once called "high carts" raise fruit, wheat, cotton, and rice by extensive irrigation. Their faces combine Indo-Iranian and Mongoloid features. The Uyghur are found in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. They are part of the Altaic Turkic ethno linguistic group.


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