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China: Salar Populated Places in the Qinghai region of Xinjiang

Contact:   Arienne M. Dwyer, The University of Kansas. Arienne Dwyer's Home Page
Usage Notes/Copyright Status:   This data is copyright © 2008 Arienne M. Dwyer
Date Created:   April 2009

Map Description:
Note: High-resolution basemap will not appear until map scale is 1:433k

This map depicts places populated by the Salar ethnic group. The Salars are most likely Oğuz-Turkic speakers who migrated from Transoxiana to Amdo Tibet in the 13th century. Settling on the banks of the Yellow River in what is today Qinghai province, they intermarried with Tibetans and later Muslim Chinese, incorporating many elements of these groups into their culture and language. Today, the Salars number over 90,000, but their unwritten language is rapidly giving way to the dominant languages, particularly to Chinese (Dwyer 2000).

The Salars are one of ethnic groups (along with Amdo Tibetans, Muslim Han Chinese, and Monguors) that participate in Hua'er(Mandarin Chinese Huā'ér 花儿), a Pan-Ethnic Chinese-language dialogic song form that is performed largely in spontaneous festivals on holy mountaintops and other sites in Amdo (Northern Tibet). These annual events attract 100-40,000 people.

More information on Hua'er meetings can be found below.

Other resources related to this project:
1994a. The Salars of China: from Central Asia to the Yellow River plateau. Multiethnic Studies (Uppsala Multiethnic Papers 32): 9–20.

Hua'er meetings: dialogic song during pilgrimage

See also the related map:
China: Hua'er Festivals and Deity Renewals in the Qinghai region of Xinjiang