Problems of Archaeology, Ethnography, Anthropology of
Siberia and Neighboring Territories

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

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2017 Volume XXIII

УДК 39(=581.19)

The Dongan people: An Ethnos Inside the Ethnos

Komissarov S.A., Frolova A.A.

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The article presents the reasons for identifying the ethnic group of “Dongans” within the larger ethno-confessional Huizu community on the territory of China. Although the Islam reached the borders of China already in the 7th century, this religion became widespread among the Chinese (in effect triggering the emergence of the Huizu) only in the Late Meddle Ages. At the same period, in one of the regions where the Chinese Muslims were living (Gansu and Western Shaanxi), a community with more close internal connections started to emerge. The members of the community spoke the same language (dialect), had their own folklore, and more strictly followed the requirements of Sharia law in terms of food and clothing; together they passed through severe political upheavals. The ethnic name “Dongan” (whose origins are still under discussion) should be applied to this group, which has close relations with Dungan people currently living in the states of the Middle Asia.


islam in China, ethno-confessional community, Dongans, ethnonym

Chief Editor
Academician A.P. Derevyanko

Deputy Chief Editor
Academician V.I. Molodin

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Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

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