by Nathan Hamm on 3/3/2005

A description of the Yugur people:

The Yugur, or Yellow Uygur as they are traditionally known, are one of China’s 56 officially recognized nationalities, consisting of 12,297 persons according to the 1990 census. The Yugur live primarily in Gansù Province, in Sùnán Yugur Autonomous County, within the Prefecture of Zhangyè.

The Yugur live in an area where four different language groups, Turkic, Mongolic, Chinese and Tibetan converge. The Yugur nationality itself consists in fact of four linguistically different groups.

The largest of these groups are the Turkic speaking Western Yugur, comprising about 4,600 persons; they mainly live in the western part of the County in Mínghua District, in the Townships of Liánhua and Mínghai, and in Dàhé District, in the centre of the County.

The Mongolic speaking Eastern Yugur number about 2,800; they mainly live in the County’s eastern part, in Huángchéng District, and in Dàhé and Kanglè Districts, in the centre of the County.

A very small number of the Yugur reportedly speak Tibetan. They are most likely Tibetans who married into the Yugur community.

The remaining Yugur of the Autonomous County lost their respective Yugur language and speak Chinese. Another concentration of Chinese speaking Yugur lives outside of Sùnán Yugur Autonomous County, in Huángnibao Township, resorting under Jiuquán City.

Chinese is the language of contact between the different linguistic groups, and functions as written medium. Both Western and Eastern Yugur are unwritten languages.

Much more at < a href="http://home.arcor.de/marcmarti/yugur/">The Western Yugur Steppe.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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