Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Salar Women Of China...

(Image: google)

The Salars have been in Qinghai
 Province, China since the Mongol Yuan period. The word Salur meant "those who wave swords, spears and hammers everywhere." Their ancestors were migrating Oghuz Turks who intermarried with Han Chinese,Tibetans, and Hui. 
They are patrilineal, and exogamous, encouraging clan members to marry out, with marriage amongst clan members being banned.

The typical clothing of the Salar very similar to other Muslim peoples in the region. The young single women are accustomed to dressing in Chinese dress of bright colors. The married women utilize the traditional veil in white or black colors. They are famous for a musical instrument called the Kouxuan. It is a string instrument manufactured in silver or in copper and only played by the women.

They speak Salar  which has heavy Chinese and Tibetan influence.  For centuries they've maintained their Oghuz language remarkably similar to Turkmen. It was originally Turkic, but major linguistic structures have been absorbed from Chinese. Around 20% of the vocabulary is of Chinese origin, and 10% is also of Tibetan origin. Yet the official Communist Chinese government policy deliberately covers up these influences in academic and linguistics studies, trying to emphasize the Turkic element and completely ignoring the Chinese in the Salar language. The Salar use the Chinese writing system since they do not have their own.

Culturally they have strictly conformed to the Naqshbandi ways of their Hui coreligionists. Many of their nomadic Turkmen traditions have been lost, and Turkmen music was forbidden. 

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