|130,607 (2010 census)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|China: provinces of Qinghai, Gansu, Xinjiang|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Other Turkic peoples|
|Part of a series on|
Islam in China
|Islamportal • Chinaportal|
The Salar people (Chinese :撒拉族; pinyin :Sālāzú; Salar : Salır) are a Turkic ethnic minority of China who largely speak the Salar language, an Oghuz language.
The Salar people numbered 130,607 people in the last census of 2010. They live mostly in the Qinghai-Gansu border region, on both sides of the Yellow River, namely in Xunhua Salar Autonomous County and Hualong Hui Autonomous County of Qinghai and the adjacent Jishishan Bonan, Dongxiang and Salar Autonomous County of Gansu and in some parts of Henan and Shanxi. There are also Salars in Northern Xinjiang (in the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture).
They are a patriarchal agricultural society and are predominantly Muslim.
According to Salar tradition and Chinese chronics, the Salars are the descendants of the Salur tribe, belonging to the Oghuz Turk tribe of the Western Turkic Khaganate. During the Tang dynasty, the Salur tribe dwelt within China's borders and lived since then in the Qinghai-Gansu border region.
According to a legend, two brothers Haraman and Ahman, possibly forefathers of the present day Salar tribe once lived in the Samarkand area. They were highly ranked at local Islamic mosques, which led to persecution from local rulers. The two brothers fled along with eighteen members of the tribe on a white camel with water, soil, and a Quran before heading east. The group trekked through the northern route of the Tian Shan mountain ranges into the Jiayuguan pass and passing through the present day Suzhou District, Ganzhou district, Ningxia, Qinzhou District, Gangu County, and eventually stopping at the present Xiahe County. Later, another forty people from Samarkand joined the group. The group passed through the southern route of the Tian Shan mountain ranges and entered Qinghai. They arrived at the present Guide County, and twelve of them settled there.
The Koran, the two brothers brought on their journey to China is to this day still preserved in Xunhua at Jiezi Mosque.The Nanjing Museum has repaired the Koran to protect it from decay.
The Salar clan leaders voluntarily capitulated to the Ming dynasty around 1370. The chief of the four upper clans around this time was Han Baoyuan and the Ming government granted him office of centurion, it was at this time the people of his four clans took Han as their surname.The other chief Han Shanba of the four lower Salar clans got the same office from the Ming government, and his clans were the ones who took Ma as their surname. The ethnogenesis of the Salar started from when they pledged allegiance to the Ming dynasty under their leader Han Bao. Han Bao's father was Omar, and Omar's father was Haraman, who led the Salars on their journey from Central Asia to China.
The Kargan Tibetans, who live next to the Salar, have mostly become Muslim due to the Salars. The Salar oral tradition recalls that it was around 1370 in which they came from Samarkand to China.
The Salars were permitted an enormous amount of autonomy and self-rule by the Ming dynasty, which gave them command of taxes, military, and the courts.
The Ming and Qing dynasties often mobilized Salars into their militaries as soldiers, with the Ming government recruiting them at 17 different times for service and the Qing government at five different times.
In the 1670s, the Kashgarian Sufi master Āfāq Khoja (and, possibly, his father Muhammad Yūsuf even earlier) preached among the Salars, introducing Sufism into their community.In the mid-18th century, one of Āfāq Khoja's spiritual descendants, Ma Laichi, spread his teaching, known as Khufiyya among the Salars, just as he did among their Chinese-speaking and Tibetan-speaking neighbors.
The Manchu Kangxi emperor incited anti-Muslim sentiment among the Mongols of Qinghai (Kokonor) in order to gain support against the Dzungar Oirat Mongol leader Galdan. Kangxi claimed that Chinese Muslims inside China such as Turkic Muslims in Qinghai (Kokonor) were plotting with Galdan, who he falsely claimed converted to Islam. Kangxi falsely claimed that Galdan had spurned and turned his back on Buddhism and the Dalai Lama and that he was plotting to install a Muslim as ruler of China after invading it in a conspiracy with Chinese Muslims. Kangxi also distrusted Muslims of Turfan and Hami.
Throughout the 1760s and 1770s, another Chinese Sufi master, Ma Mingxin, was spreading his version of Sufi teaching, known as Jahriyya throughout the Gansu province (which then included Salar's homeland in today's Qinghai). Many Salars became adherents of Jahriyya, or the "New Teaching", as the Qing government officials dubbed it (in opposition to the "Old Teaching", i.e. both the Khufiyya Sufi order and the non-Sufi Gedimu Islam). While the external differences between the Khufiyya and the Jahriyya would look comparatively trivial to an outsider (the two orders were most known for, respectively, the silent or vocal dhikr , i.e. invocation of the name of God), the conflict between their adherents often became violent.
Sectarian violence between the Jahriyya and Khufiyya broke out repeatedly until the major episode of violence in 1781.In 1781, the authorities, concerned with the spread of the "subversive" "New Teaching" among the Salars, whom they (perhaps unfairly) viewed as a fierce and troublesome lot, arrested Ma Mingxin and sent an expedition to the Salar community of Xunhua County to round up his supporters there. In the Jahriyya revolt sectarian violence between two suborders of the Naqshbandi Sufis, the Jahriyya Sufi Muslims and their rivals, the Khafiyya Sufi Muslims, led to a Jahriyya Sufi Muslim rebellion which the Qing dynasty in China crushed with the help of the Khafiyya Sufi Muslims.
The Jahriyya Salars of Xunhua, led by their ahong (imam) nicknamed Su Sishisan ("Su Forty-three", 苏四十三), responded by killing the government officials and destroying their task force at the place called Baizhuangzi, and then rushed across the Hezhou region to the walls of Lanzhou, where Ma Mingxin was imprisoned.
When the besieged officials brought Ma Mingxin, wearing chains, to the Lanzhou city wall, to show him to the rebels, Su's Salars at once showed respect and devotion to their imprisoned leaders. Scared officials took Ma down from the wall, and beheaded him right away. Su's Salars tried attacking the Lanzhou city walls, but, not having any siege equipment, failed to penetrate into the walled city. The Salar fighters (whose strength at the time is estimated by historians to be in 1,000-2,000 range) then set up a fortified camp on a hill south of Lanzhou.Some Han Chinese, Hui, and Dongxiang (Santa) joined the Salar in the rebellion against the Qing.
To deal with the rebels, Imperial Commissioners Agui and Heshen were sent to Lanzhou. Unable to dislodge the Salars from their fortified camp with his regular troops, Agui sent the "incompetent" Heshen back to Beijing, and recruited Alashan Mongols and Southern Gansu Tibetans to aid the Lanzhou garrison. After a three months' siege of the rebel camp and cutting off the Salars' water supply, Agui's joint forces destroyed the Jahriya rebels; Su and all his fighters were all killed in the final battle. [ citation needed ]Overall, it is said that as much as 40% of their entire population was killed in the revolt.
As late as 1937, a folk ballad was still told by the Salars about the rebellion of 1781, and Su Sishisan suicidal decision to go to war against the Qing Empire.
The Qing government deported some of the Salar Jahriyya rebels to the Ili valley which is in modern-day Xinjiang. Today, a community of a few thousand Salars speaking a distinct dialect of Salar still live there. Salar migrants from Amdo (Qinghai) came to settle the region as religious exiles, migrants, and as soldiers enlisted in the Qing army to fight rebels in Ili, often following the Hui.The distinctive dialect of the Ili Salar differs from the other Salar dialects because the neighboring Kazakh and Uyghur languages in Ili influenced it. The Ili Salar population numbers around 4,000 people. There have been instances of misunderstanding between speakers of Ili Salar and Qinghai Salar due to the divergence of the dialects. The differences between the two dialect result in a "clear isogloss".
In the 1880s-1890s, sectarian strife was rife in the Salar community of Xunhua again. This time, the conflict was among two factions of the Hua Si menhuan (order) of the Khufiyya, and in 1895 the local Qing officials ended up siding with the reformist faction within the order. Although the factional conflict was evident not only in Salar Xunhua but in Hui Hezhou as well, the troops were first sent to Xunhua - which again precipitated a Salar rebellion, which spread to many Hui and Dongxiang communities of Gansu too.It turned into the Dungan Revolt (1895), which was crushed by a loyalist Hui army.
The Hui people, also known as the "white capped HuiHui", used incense during worship, while the Salar, also known as "black capped HuiHui", considered this to be a heathen ritual and denounced it.
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Like other Muslims in China, the Salars served extensively in the Chinese military. It was said that they and the Dongxiang were given to "eating rations", a reference to military service.
During the Second Sino-Japanese War, Salar troops and officers served in the Qinghai army of the Muslim general Ma Biao, and they battled extensively in bloody battles against the Imperial Japanese Army in Henan province. In 1937, during the Battle of Beiping–Tianjin the Chinese government was notified by Muslim General Ma Bufang of the Ma clique that he was prepared to bring the fight to the Japanese in a telegram message.Immediately after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, Ma Bufang arranged for a cavalry division under Ma Biao to be sent east to battle the Japanese. Salars made up the majority of the first cavalry division which was sent by Ma Bufang. The Qinghai Chinese, Salar, Chinese Muslim, Dongxiang and Tibetan troops Ma Biao led fought to the death against the Japanese, or committed suicide refusing to be taken as prisoner. In September 1940, when the Japanese made an offensive against the Muslim Qinghai troops, they ambushed them and killed so many of them the Japanese soldiers that they were forced to retreat. The Japanese could not even pick up their dead, they instead cut an arm from their corpses limbs for cremation to send back to Japan. The Japanese did not dare make an offensive like that again.
Han Youwen, a Salar general in the National Revolutionary Army and member of the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party), directed the defense of the city of Xining during air raids by Japanese planes. Han survived an aerial bombardment by Japanese planes in Xining while he was being directed via telephone from Ma Bufang, who hid in an air raid shelter in a military barracks. The bombing resulted in human flesh splattering a Blue Sky with a White Sun flag and Han being buried in rubble. Han Youwen was dragged out of the rubble while bleeding and he managed to grab a machine gun while he was limping and fired back at the Japanese warplanes. He later defected to the Communist People's Liberation Army, serving in numerous military positions and as vice chairman of Xinjiang. He had led Chinese Muslim forces against Soviet and Mongol forces in the Pei-ta-shan Incident.[ citation needed ]
The Salar had their own unique kinship clanships.Matchmakers and parents arrange marriages among the Salar. The Salar are an entrepreneurial people, going into multiple businesses and industries. They practice agriculture and horticulture. They cultivate chili and pepper in their gardens. Buckwheat, millet, wheat, and barley are among the crops they grow. Other important crops include melons, grapes, apples, apricots, and walnuts. A few Salar raise livestock and the local timber industry is also another source of income for some villages.
Culturally they have strictly conformed to the Naqshbandi ways of their Hui coreligionists. Therefore, many nomadic Turkmen traditions have been lost, and Turkmen music was forbidden. More secular minded Salars have resorted to appropriating Tibetan or Moghol (a Qinghai Mongolic Muslim group) music as their own. The ethnic Salars of Qinghai celebrated on March 21, 2010 their first Nawruz in modern times, as a revived Turkic holiday.
Hui general Ma Fuxiang recruited Salars into his army, and said they moved to China since the Tang dynasty. His classification of them is in two groups, five inner clans, eight outer clans. Ma said the outer group speaks Tibetan, no longer knowing their native language. Salars only married other Salars. Uighurs have said that they were unable to understand the Salar language.
Ma and Han are the two most widespread names among the Salar. Ma is a Salar surname for the same reason it is a common Hui surname, Ma substitutes for Muhammad.The upper four clans of the Salar assumed the surname Han and lived west of Xunhua. One of these Salar surnamed Han was Han Yimu, a Salar officer who served under General Ma Bufang. He fought in the Kuomintang Islamic Insurgency in China (1950–1958), leading Salars in a revolt in 1952 and 1958. Ma Bufang, enlisted Salars as officers in his army by exclusively targeting Xunhua and Hualong as areas to draw officers from.
The typical clothing of the Salar very similar to the Hui people in the region. The men are commonly bearded and dress in white shirts and white or black skullcaps. The traditional clothing for men is jackets and gowns.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.
Singing is part of Salar culture.A style of singing called Hua'er is shared among the Han, Hui, Salar and Tibetans in Qinghai province. They have a musical instrument called the Kouxuan. It is a string instrument manufactured in silver or in copper and only played by the women.
The people of China and Salar themselves regard the Salar language as a Tujue language (Turk language) (突厥語言).[ citation needed ] The Salar language has two large dialect groups. The divergence is due to the fact that one branch in Xunhua county of Qinghai province and Gansu province was influenced by the Tibetan languages and Chinese, and the other branch in Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture by the Uyghur and Kazakh languages.
In the late 1990s, it was estimated that out of the some 89,000 Salars, around 60,000 spoke the Salar language.
Most Salar do not use any written script for the Salar language,instead they use Chinese characters for practical purposes. Salar serves as their spoken language, while Chinese serves as a both spoken and written language. Many of the current generation of Salars are fluent in Chinese.
In Amdo (Qinghai), Salar language has heavy Chinese and Tibetan influence. Although of Turkic origin, major linguistic structures have been absorbed from Chinese. Around 20% of the vocabulary is of Chinese origin, and 10% is also of Tibetan origin.[ citation needed ] Yet, according to author William Safran, 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, though they have their own written language which, however, is used by very few people. Salar language has taken loans and influence from neighboring Chinese varieties. It is neighboring variants of Chinese which have loaned words to the Salar language. In Qinghai, many Salar men speak both the Qinghai dialect of Chinese and Salar. Rural Salars can speak Salar fluently while urban Salars often assimilate into the Chinese speaking Hui population.
In Ili Salar, the i and y high front vowels, when placed after an initial glides are spirantized with j transforming into ʝ.Qinghai and Ili Salar have mostly the same consonantal development.
Salars profess Sunni Islam (Hanafi Maturidites). In addition to their traditional places, they live in cities, mainly inhabited by other Muslims - Dungans. Islamic Education Received at Gaizi Mişit Madrasah in Jiezi Village.
The Y-DNA haplogroups, and therefore the paternal genetic lineages of the Salar people, exhibit a mix of West Eurasian and East Asian haplogroups. Their maternal lineages are overwhelmingly East Asian.
The Hui people are an East Asian ethnoreligious group predominantly composed of Chinese-speaking adherents of Islam distributed throughout China, mainly in the northwestern provinces of the country and the Zhongyuan region. According to the 2011 census, China is home to approximately 10.5 million Hui people, the majority of whom are Chinese-speaking practitioners of Islam, though some may practise other religions. The 110,000 Dungan people of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are also considered part of the Hui ethnicity.
Qinghai, also called Kokonur, is a landlocked province in the northwest of the People's Republic of China. As one of the largest province-level administrative divisions of China by area, the province is ranked fourth largest in area and has the third smallest population. Its capital and largest city is Xining.
The Bonan people are an ethnic group living in Gansu and Qinghai provinces in Northwestern China. They are one of the "titular nationalities" of Gansu's Jishishan Bonan, Dongxiang and Salar Autonomous County, which is located south of the Yellow River, near Gansu's border with Qinghai.
Linxia City, once known as Hezhou, is a county-level city in the province of Gansu of the People's Republic of China and the capital of the multi-ethnic Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture. It is located in the valley of the Daxia River, 150 km (93 mi) southwest of the provincial capital Lanzhou.
Xunhua Salar Autonomous County is an autonomous Salar county in the southeast of Haidong Prefecture of Qinghai Province, China, and the only autonomous Salar county in China. The county has an area of around 2,100 square kilometres (810 sq mi) and approximately 110,000 inhabitants (2002). In the east it borders on the province of Gansu, in the south and the west to the Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, its postal code is 811100 and its capital is the town of Jishi.
Salar is a Turkic language spoken by the Salar people, who mainly live in the provinces of Qinghai and Gansu in China; some also live in Ili, Xinjiang. It is a primary branch and an eastern outlier of the Oghuz branch of Turkic, the other Oghuz languages being spoken mostly in West-Central Asia. The Salar number about 105,000 people, about 70,000 (2002) speak the Salar language; under 20,000 monolinguals.
The Ma clique or Ma family warlords is a collective name for a group of Hui warlords in Northwestern China who ruled the Chinese provinces of Qinghai, Gansu and Ningxia for 10 years from 1919 until 1928. Following the overthrow of the Qing dynasty in 1911, the region came under Chinese Muslim warlord Ma Qi's control until the Northern Expedition by the Republic of China consolidated central control in 1928. There were three families in the Ma clique, each of them respectively controlled 3 areas, Gansu, Qinghai, and Ningxia. The three most prominent members of the clique were Ma Bufang, Ma Hongkui, and Ma Hongbin, collectively known as the Xibei San Ma. Some contemporary accounts, such as Edgar Snow's, described the clique as the "Four Ma", adding Ma Bufang's brother Ma Buqing to the list of the top warlords. Other prominent Mas included Ma Anliang, Ma Qi, Ma Lin, Ma Hu-shan, and Ma Zhongying.
Ma Qi was a Chinese Muslim General in early 20th-century China.
Ma Fuxiang was a Chinese military and political leader spanning the Qing Dynasty through the early Republic of China and illustrated the power of family, the role of religious affiliations and the interaction of Inner Asian China and the national government of China. He was a prominent Muslim warlord in northwest China. Ma Fuxiang originally served under Dong Fuxiang, like other Ma Clique Muslim warlords such as Ma Anliang.
The history of Islam in China goes back 1,300 years.
During the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), the Qing rulers were Manchu, not Han, and were themselves a minority in China. The Qing dynasty witnessed five Muslim rebellions. The first and last rebellions were caused by sectarian infighting between rival Sufi Muslim orders.
Ma Laichi, also known as Abu 'l-Futūh Ma Laichi, was a Chinese Sufi master, who brought the Khufiyya movement to China and created the Huasi menhuan - the earliest and most important Naqshbandi (نقشبندية，納克什班迪) order in Chinese Muslim history.
Ma Mingxin (1719–1781) was a Chinese Sufi master, the founder of the Jahriyya menhuan.
Jahriyya is a menhuan in China, commonly called the New Teaching (Xinjiao). Founded in the 1760s by Ma Mingxin, it was active in the late 18th and 19th centuries in what was then Gansu Province, when its followers were involved in a number of conflicts with other Muslim groups and in several rebellions against China's ruling Qing dynasty.
Tang Yanhe a Han chinese, was born Gansu, China. He commanded an army of Chinese Muslim soldiers along with Dong Fuxiang, and used them to crush the Muslim Rebellion of 1895.
Ma Yonglin was a Chinese Muslim leader of the Multicoloured Mosque who participated in the Dungan revolt and the Muslim revolt of 1895 against the Qing dynasty. He antagonized mobs of Hui, Dongxiang, Baoan, and Salars to overthrow the Qing dynasty in Xunhua, Qinghai. Brigadier General Tang Yanhe sent soldiers to defeat the rebels. He belonged to the Khafiya Sufi sect. Ma Yonglin led assaults on Qing forces. Loyalist Chinese Muslims like Dong Fuxiang, and Ma Anliang defeated Ma Yonglin's rebel Muslim forces. Chinese Muslim officers like Ma Fulu and Ma Fuxiang opposed the rebel Muslims, and defeated them in combat.
The Dungan revolt (1895–96) was a rebellion of various Chinese Muslim ethnic groups in Qinghai and Gansu against the Qing dynasty, that originated because of a violent dispute between two Sufi orders of the same sect. The Wahhabi inspired Yihewani organization then joined in and encouraged the revolt, which was crushed by loyalist Muslims.
The Kuomintang Islamic insurgency refers to a continuation of the Chinese Civil War by Chinese Muslim nationalist Kuomintang Republic of China Army forces in Northwest China, in the provinces of Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia, and Xinjiang, and another insurgency in Yunnan.
The vast majority of China's Muslims are Sunni Muslims, although some Salafi groups are also present.
In the Jahriyya revolt of 1781 sectarian violence between two suborders of the Naqshbandi Sufis, the Jahriyya Sufi Muslims and their rivals, the Khafiyya Sufi Muslims, led to Qing intervention to stop the fighting between the two, which in turn led to a Jahriyya Sufi Muslim rebellion which the Qing dynasty of China crushed with the help of the Khufiyya (Khafiyya) Sufi Muslims.
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