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Encyclopedia > Qiang
Qiang
Alternative names:
Ch'iang, Erma
Total population: 200,000
Significant populations in: China, Sichuan: 200,000
Language: Qiang, Tibetan
Religion: Animist, Polytheist, Tibetan Buddhist, Taoism, Islam
Related ethnic groups: Tibetan

The Qiang people (羌族; Pinyin: qiāng zú) are an ethnic group. They form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China, with a population of approximately 200,000 living in northwestern Sichuan province. Nowadays, the Qiang are only a small segment of the population, but they are commonly believed to be an old, once strong and populous people whose history can be traced to the Shang dynasty and whose offspring include the Tibetans and many minorities in southwestern China. Sichuan (Chinese: 四川; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Ssu-ch`uan; obsolete romanizations include Szechwan and Szechuan) is a province in central-western China with its capital at Chengdu. ... The Qiang languages are two Qiangic languages, Northern Qiang and Southern Qiang, of the Tibeto-Burman family spoken in Sichuan Province, Tibet (China). ... The Tibetan language is typically classified as member of the Tibeto-Burman which in turn is thought by some to be a branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. ... Tibetan Buddhism, (formerly also called Lamaism after their religious gurus known as lamas), is the body of religious Buddhist doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet and the Himalayan region. ... Taoism (sometimes written as Daoism) is the English name for (a) the Chinese folk religion; (b) a family of organized Chinese religious movements such as the Zhengyi (Orthodox One) or Quanzhen (Complete Reality) sects, which collectively trace back to Zhang Daoling in the late Han dynasty; and/or (c) academic... Islām is described as a dÄ«n, meaning way of life and/or guidance. Six articles of belief There are six basic beliefs shared by all Muslims: 1. ... The Tibetan people are a people living in Tibet and some surrounding areas. ... Pinyin (Chinese: 拼音, pÄ«nyÄ«n) literally means join (together) sounds (a less literal translation being phoneticize, spell or transcription) in Chinese and usually refers to HànyÇ” PÄ«nyÄ«n (汉语拼音, literal meaning: Han language pinyin), which is a system of romanization (phonemic notation and transcription to Roman script) for Standard... Sichuan (Chinese: 四川; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Ssu-ch`uan; obsolete romanizations include Szechwan and Szechuan) is a province in central-western China with its capital at Chengdu. ... Shang Dynasty (Chinese: 商朝) or Yin Dynasty (殷代) (1600 BC - 1046 BC) followed the legendary Xia Dynasty and preceded the Zhou Dynasty (1122 BC - 256 BC) in China. ... A Tibetan pilgrim The Tibetans speak the Tibetan language natively and form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), although in anthropological terms they include more than one ethnic group. ...

Contents


Early history

In ancient China, Qiang was usually used as a generic term for the non-Han peoples in the northwest. These peoples were frequently at war with the inhabitants of the Yellow River valley, the ancestors of ethnic Hans. Not until the rise of the state of Qin under Duke Mu was the Qiang expansion effectively checked. Han Chinese (Simplified: 汉; Traditional: 漢; Pinyin: hàn) is a term which refers to the majority ethnic group within China and the largest single human ethnic group in the world. ... For other Yellow Rivers, see Yellow River (disambiguation). ... The Qin empire in 210 BC, during the Qin Dynasty. ...


The structure of the graph 羌 also reflects this view. It was composed of two elements: 人 (man) and 羊 (sheep), suggesting a sheep-herding people. During the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD) and Wei-Jin periods (221-419), Qiang were widely distributed along the mountainous fringes of the northern and eastern Tibetan Plateau, from the Kunlun Mountains (崑崙山) in Xinjiang province (East Turkestan), and eastern Qinghai area, to southern Gansu, western Sichuan, and northern Yunnan. Han commanderies and kingdoms AD 2. ... Tibet Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province and Sichuan Province of China lie on the Tibetan Plateau. ... Region containing Kunlun Mountains The Kunlun mountain range (崑崙山) is one of the longest mountain chains in Asia, extending more than 3000 km. ... Xinjiang (Chinese: æ–°ç–†; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Hsin1-chiang1; Postal Pinyin: Sinkiang; literal meaning: New Frontier; Uyghur: (Shinjang)), full name Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, is an autonomous region of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). ... Qinghai (Chinese: 青海; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Ching-hai; Postal System Pinyin: Tsinghai) is a province of the Peoples Republic of China, named after the enormous Qinghai Lake (Koko Nor). ... Gansu (Simplified Chinese: 甘肃; Traditional Chinese: 甘肅; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Kan-su, or modified as Kan-suh) is a province located in the northwest of the Peoples Republic of China. ... Yunnan (Simplified: 云南; Traditional: 雲南; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Vietnamese: Vân Nam) is a province of the Peoples Republic of China, located in the far southwestern corner of the country. ...


Later, the Chinese restricted the term Qiang min 羌民 (Qiang people registered with the Chinese government) to refer to sinicized non-Han living in the Min River valley in Sichuan and used the term Fan Qiang 番羌 (barbarian Qiang) to refer to less sinicized non-Han living in the vicinity. Sinicization, or less commonly Sinification, is to make things Chinese. ... Minjiang, when written without tone marks, is the name of either of two rivers in China, each with its own Chinese character and pinyin pronounciation: Minjiang River (Sichuan), written 岷江 and pronounced Mínjiāng; Minjiang River (Fujian), written 闽江 and pronounced Mǐnjiāng. ...


Recent history

At present, the Qiang have a self-identity, referring to themselves as Qiang zu (羌族) and erma or rma (尔玛). There are some 198,000 Qiang today in western Sichuan, predominantly in the five counties of Maoxian, Wenchuan, Lixian, Beichuan and Heishui, of the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture. The Aba Tibetan Qiang Autonomous Prefecture (Chinese: 阿坝藏族羌族自治州; pinyin: Ä€bà Zàngzú Qiāngzú Zìzhìzhōu, Tibetan - རྔ་བ་བོད་རིགས་ཆ་བ༹ང་རིགས་རང་སྐྱོང་ཁུལ་ / Rnga-ba Bod-rigs Chavang-rigs rang skyong khul) is an autonomous prefecture in Sichuan whose capital is Bar-khams county. ...


The Qiang today are mountain dwellers. A fortress village, zhai 寨, composed of 30 to 100 households, in general is the basic social unit beyond the household. An average of two to five fortress villages in a small valley along a mountain stream, known in local Chinese as gou 溝, make up a village cluster (cun 村). The inhabitants of fortress village or village cluster have close contact in social life. In these small valleys, people cultivate narrow fluvial plains along creeks or mountain terraces, hunt animals or collect mushrooms and herbs (for food or medicine) in the neighboring woods, and herd yaks and horses on the mountain-top pastures. In the past, warfare between villages was common.


From the linguistic point of view, all modern Qiang people speak one of two Qiang languages, which are members of the Qiangic sub-family of Tibeto-Burman. However, dialects are so different that communication between different Qiang groups is often in Chinese. Lacking a script of their own, the Qiang also use Chinese characters. The Qiang languages are two Qiangic languages, Northern Qiang and Southern Qiang, of the Tibeto-Burman family spoken in Sichuan Province, Tibet (China). ... Qiangic is a language family of northeastern Tibeto-Burman languages spoken in Tibet and some other western areas of China. ... The Tibeto-Burman linguistic subfamily of the proposed Sino-Tibetan language family is spoken in various central and south Asian countries: Myanmar (Burmese language), Tibet (Tibetan language), northern Thailand (Mong language), Nepal, Bhutan, India (Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and the Ladakh region of...


Customs

The matrilineal Qiang society is primarily monogamous, although polyandry and cross-cousin marriages are accepted. Since most women are older than their husbands and also work as the leading people in agricultural activities, they act as the head of the family as well as the society. Matrilineality is a system in which one belongs to ones mothers lineage; it may also involve the inheritance of property or titles through the female line. ... In monogamy (Greek: monos = single/only and gamos = marriage) a person has only one spouse at a time (as opposed to polygamy). ... In social anthropology and sociobiology, polyandry (Greek: poly many, andros man) means a female forming a stable sexual union with more than one male. ...


Romantic love is considered important, and sexual freedom is prevalent, as the Qiang find marriages important. In the past, marriages were organized by the parents, with approval from the children. It still is not unusual for brides to live in their parents' houses for a year or so after the marriage, and the children were usually separated from their parents after marriage, except for the first son and his family. However, such habits have been gradually discarded with the coming of liberation.


The Qiang also have a rigid taboo system in their birth and death. Prior to the birth of a baby, a pregnant woman is not allowed to go near the riverside or well, be at a wedding cermonny, or stand in the watchtower.


Upon a delivery, a Duangong shaman is invited to help the delivery procedure, and strangers are not allowed to wail or enter the house. This is prevented by hanging up a flail on the gate for a week upon the birth of a boy, and a bamboo basket upon the birth of a girl. A shaman doctor of Kyzyl. ...


After she had delivered her child, she is not allowed into the kitchen for one month after delivery. This is considered a sinful action against the kitchen and family gods. A woman is also not allowed to leave her home, or meet any strangers on the first forty days after delivery. It is believed that danger of an evil spirits coming into the house would harm the mother. An initiation ceromony of cattle sacrifice would be conducted on the home altar, where the baby would be given a name.


Stillborn or premature babies are not considered as human beings by the Qiang. Instead, it was considered as a demon which caused a woman to become pregnant, as it was believed that the deceased would cause problems for the family. Their bodies are thrown in a hole in the ground and then covered with dirt.


Culture and Lifestyle

Owing to its ethnic diversity, Qiang culture have influenced other culture and as well as being influenced by others. Generally, those who live nearer to the Tibetans are influenced by the Tibetan culture, while the majorty are more influenced by the Han Chinese, which has close links with its ethnic history. The neutrality of this article is disputed. ... Han Chinese (Simplified: 汉族; Traditional: 漢族; Hanyu Pinyin: ) is a term which refers to the majority ethnic group within China and the largest single human ethnic group in the world. ...


Both the menfolk and womenfolk wear gowns made of gunny cloth, cotton and silk with sleeveless wool jackets. Following age-old Chinese traditions, their hair and legs are bounded. The womenfolk wear laced clothings with decorated collars, consisting of plum-shaped silver ornaments. Sharp-pointed and embroidered shoes, embroidered girdles and earrings, neck rings, hairpins and silver badges is also popular.


Millet, highland barley, potatoes, winter wheat and buckwheat served as the staple food of the Qiang. Consumption of Wine and smoking of orchid leaves is popular among the Qiang.


The Qiang live in houses made up of granite stones, which consists of two to three stories. The first floor meant for keeping livestock and poultry, while the second floor is meant for the living quarters, and the third floor for grain storage. On the condition if the third floor does not exist, the grains will be kept on the first or second floor instead.


Skilled in road construction and bamboo bridges, they can built them on rockiest cliffs and swiftest rivers. Using only wooden boards and piers, these bridges can stretch up to 100 meters. Others, who are excellent masons, are good at digging wells. Especially during poor farming seasons, they will visit neighboring places to do chiselling and digging.


Embroidery and drawnwork is done extemporaneously without any designs. Traditional songs related to topics such wine, plate, mountain and leather drums is accompanied with dances and traditional instruments are popular among the Qiang.


Religion

The majorty of the Qiang adhere to a Polytheist religion, known as Rujiao, a religion that involves belief in the White Stones that were worshipped as the sun god, who will bring good luck to their daily aspects of life. Others, who live near the Tibetans follow Tibetan Buddhism. Small minorties of Muslims and Taoist do exist as well. Polytheism is belief in, or worship of, multiple gods or divinities. ... Tibetan Buddhism — formerly (and incorrectly) also called Lamaism, after their religious gurus known as lamas — is the body of religious Buddhist doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet and the Himalayan region. ... Islām is described as a dīn, meaning way of life and/or guidance. Six articles of belief There are six basic beliefs shared by all Muslims: 1. ... For other uses of the words tao and dao, see Dao (disambiguation). ...


The Qiang worship five major gods, twelve lesser gods, some tree gods, numerous stones worshiped as gods. A special god is worshippeed as well in every village and locality, who are mentioned by name in the sacred chants of the Qiang priests. Mubyasei, also known Abba Chi, is known as the god of heaven is also considered as the supreme god. This term is also used to refer to a male ancestor god, Abba Sei. In certain places, Shan Wang, the mountain god, is considered to worshipped the supreme god. The Qiang people have also adopted many practices of the Taoist gods as well.


For the Polytheists, most White Stones were placed on the corners of their roofs or towers, as a good luck symbol for the sun. A square stone pagoda, which is located on the edge of many Qiang villages and on the top of a nearby hill as well. The pagoda is usually over two meters high and its uppermost part is inlaid with a circle of small white stones. A larger white stone is also placed at the pinnacle as well.


A small pagoda is also sometimes built on the roof of a house, with a pottery jar that contained five varieties of grain is placed within the pagoda. On top of the pagoda, a white stone is placed together with ox and sheep horns. By tradition, the door of a Qiang house is supposed to face south and the pagoda is built on the northern end of the roof in line with the door. Every morning, the Qiang family will burn incense sticks or cedar twigs in the pagoda and kowtow to it, praying for the protection of the family by the god of the white stone.


However, with the encouragement of atheism, worship of the White Stones is not nearly as common as it used to be. There are several legends that explain the origin of this stone worship.


Legend of the White Stones

At the legendary time when the Qiang people moved into Sichuan from Tibet, they placed white stones on every hilltop and crossroads , for they did not want to forget the route leading back to their original homeland. These piles of white stones also acts as a token of their affection for their homeland and the people they left behind at the same time. Sichuan (Chinese: 四川; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Ssu-ch`uan; obsolete romanizations include Szechwan and Szechuan) is a province in central-western China with its capital at Chengdu. ... The neutrality of this article is disputed. ...


Upon arriving at the territory of the local Geji people, the Qiang fought a losing battle. Jirpol, witnessing the condition that they were in, instructed the Qiang to find a strong white stone and attach it to rattan sticks and fight with this weapon, tying some sheep wool to the neck of the stick as well. Victory was on their side, and the Qiangs began to look upon the white stones as gods to be worshipped.


See also

The Qiang languages are two Qiangic languages, Northern Qiang and Southern Qiang, of the Tibeto-Burman family spoken in Sichuan Province, Tibet (China). ... Northern Qiang is a Qiangic language of the Tibeto-Burman language family spoken by approximately 130,000 people in north-central Sichuan Province, China (former Tibet). ... Southern Qiang is a Qiangic language of the Tibeto-Burman language family spoken by approximately 81,300 people along the Minjiang (岷江) river in Sichuan Province, China (former Tibet). ...

External link

  • http://ultra.ihp.sinica.edu.tw/~origins/pages/barbarbook4.htm


Chinese ethnic groups (classification by PRC government) The Peoples Republic of China officially describes itself as a multi-ethnic unitary state and as such officially recognizes 56 nationalities or Mínzú (民族), within China: the Han being the majority (>92%), and the remaining 55 nationalities being the national minorities. ... The PRC contains a large variety of landscapes. ...

Achang - Bai - Blang - Bonan - Buyei - Chaoxian - Dai - Daur - De'ang - Derung - Dong - Dongxiang - Ewenki - Gaoshan - Gelao - Gin - Han - Hani - Hezhen - Hui - Jingpo - Jino - Kazak - Kirgiz - Lahu - Lhoba - Li - Lisu - Man - Maonan - Miao - Monba - Mongol - Mulao - Naxi - Nu - Oroqen - Pumi - Qiang - Russ - Salar - She - Shui - Tajik - Tatar - Tibetan - Tu - Tujia - Uygur - Uzbek - Va - Xibe - Yao - Yi - Yugur - Zhuang - Undistinguished nationalities The Achang (阿昌族), also known as the Ngacang or Maingtha are an ethnic group. ... Bamileke languages (ISO 639 alpha-3, bai) Baccalaureus in Arte Ingeniaria Band Aid (band) BAI - Soviet early armoured car, predecessor of BA-6 Banco Africano de Investimentos, present in List of Angolan companies BAI the official name of ferry company Brittany Ferries This page concerning a three-letter acronym or... The Blang (布朗族 : BùlÇŽng Zú) (also spelled Bulong) people are an ethnic group. ... The Bonan (also Baoan) people (保安族; pinyin: bÇŽoān zú) are an ethnic group living in Gansu and Qinghai provinces in northwestern China. ... The Buyei or Bouyei people (Self called: Puyi, Puzhong, Burao, Puman; Chinese: 布依族; pinyin: bùyī Zú) are an ethnic group living in southern China. ... This article is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... The Dai (or the Thai peoples of China) is the officially recognized name of an ethnic group living in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture and the Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture (both in southern Yunnan Province of China), and also in Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar. ... The Daur people are an ethnic group. ... The Deang people are an ethnic group. ... The Derung people (also spelled Drung or Dulong; own name in IPA: [tɯɹɯŋ]; Chinese: 独龙族, Pinyin: Dúlóngzú) are an ethnic group. ... Dong Minority Bridge, Chenyang, Guangxi, China. ... The Dongxiang people (own name: Sarta or Santa; Simplified Chinese: 东乡族 Traditional Chinese︰東鄉族; Pinyin: Dōngxiāngzú) are an ethnic group closely related to the Mongolians, who practice Islam. ... The Evenks (obsolete: Tungus) are a nomadic indigenous people, one of the Northern Indigenous Peoples (pop. ... A Rukai village Chief visiting the Department of Anthropology in Tokyo Imperial University during the Japanese rule. ... The Gelao people (own name: Klau, Chinese: 仡佬族 Gēlǎozú) are an ethnic group. ... Gin, or Jing Nationality (京族; Pinyin: jÄ«ngzú) is the name given to ethnic Vietnamese living in China. ... Han Chinese (Simplified: 汉族; Traditional: 漢族; Hanyu Pinyin: ) is a term which refers to the majority ethnic group within China and the largest single human ethnic group in the world. ... The Hani people (own name: Haqniq, Chinese: 哈尼族 Hānízú) are an ethnic group. ... The Hezhen people (also called Hezhe, Nanai, Gold/Goldi, Samagir; own names in IPA: [xÉ™dÊ‘É™n], [nanio] and [kilÉ™n]; Chinese: 赫哲族, Hèzhézú) are an ethnic group. ... The Hui people (Chinese: 回族; pinyin: ) are a Chinese ethnic group, typically distinguished by their practice of the Islamic religion. ... The Jingpo or Kachin people (Chinese: 景颇族 Jǐngpōzú; own names: Jingpo, Tsaiva, Lechi) are an ethnic group who largely inhabit northern Myanmar (Kachin State). ... The Jino (also spelled Jinuo) people (Chinese: 基诺族 JÄ«nuòzú; own name: tÉ•yno or kino) are an ethnic group. ... The Kazakhs (also spelled Kazak or Qazaq), (in Kazakh: Қазақ [qÉ‘zÉ‘q]; in Russian: Казах; English term is the transliteration from Russian) are a Turkic-Mongol people of the northern parts of Central Asia (largely Kazakhstan, but also found in parts of Russia and China). ... Kirghiz (also Kyrgyz and Kirgiz) are a Turkic-Mongoloid ethnic group found primarily in Kyrgyzstan. ... The Lahu people (Chinese: 拉祜族 Lāhùzú; own names: Ladhulsi or Kawzhawd) are an ethnic group. ... With a population of just 2,300, the Lhoba (珞巴) are one of the smallest officially recognized ethnic groups in China. ... Li (黎 pinyin Lí) is a minority Chinese ethnic group. ... The Lisu people are an ethnic group who inhabit Myanmar (Burma) China, Thailand, and the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. ... The Manchu (Manchu: Manju; Simplified Chinese: 满族; Traditional Chinese: 滿族; pinyin: ) are an ethnic group who originated in the dong bei or North East region consisting of Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang provinces, collectively known in English as Manchuria. ... The Maonan people are an ethnic group. ... The Hmong, also known as Miao (Chinese: è‹—: Miáo; Vietnamese: Mèo or HMông; Thai: แม้ว (Maew) or ม้ง (Mong)), are an Asian ethnic group speaking the Hmong language, whose homeland is in the mountainous regions of southern China (especially Guizhou) that cross into northern Southeast Asia (northern Vietnam and... The Monpa (门巴) are an ethnic group in the Peoples Republic of China, with a population of 50,000, centered in the districts of Tawang and West Kameng. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... The Mulao people are an ethnic group. ... Categories: Ethnic groups of China ... The Nu people (own names: Nusu, Anung, Zauzou; Chinese: 怒族; pinyin: nù zú) are one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the Peoples Republic of China. ... The Oroqen people(鄂伦春族) are an ethnic group in northern China. ... The Pumi people (Chinese: 普米族 Pǔmǐzú, own name: /phʐẽmi/) are an ethnic group. ... Russians (Russian: Русские - Russkiye) are an East Slavic ethnic group, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries. ... The Salar people are an ethnic group in eastern Qinghai and southwestern Gansu. ... The She (畲) people are an ethnic group. ... The Shui people are an ethnic group. ... The Tajiks are one of the principal ethnic groups of Central Asia, and are primarily found in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Pakistan, and the Xinjiang province of China. ... Tatars (Tatar: Tatarlar/Татарлар) is a collective name applied to the Turkic people of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. ... The Tibetan people are a people living in Tibet and some surrounding areas. ... The Tu (土) people are an ethnic group. ... The Tujia (土家族) are an ethnic group numbering about 8 million, living in the Wuling Mountains of Chinas Hunan and Hubei provinces. ... The Uyghur (Chinese: [historical]: 回紇; [modern]: 維吾爾) are a Turkic-speaking ethnic group living in northwestern China mainly in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, where they are the largest ethnic group together with Han Chinese, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, and Russia. ... The Va nationality (also spelled Wa; Chinese: 佤族 WÇŽzú; own names: Va, Ava, Parauk, i. ... The Xibe (Sibe; Chinese, 錫伯 Xíbó) are a Chinese ethnic group living mostly in northeast China and Xinjiang. ... The Yao nationality (瑶族, pinyin: Yáo zú; Vietnamese: Dao) are an ethnic group. ... The Yi people (Chinese: 彝族 Yìzú, own name: Nosu) are a modern ethnic group in China. ... The Yugur people are an ethnic group. ... The Zhuang people (Traditional Chinese: 壯族, Simplified Chinese: 壮族, Hanyu Pinyin: Zhuàngzú; own name: BouчcueÅ‹ÑŒ/Bouxcuengh) are an ethnic group of people who mostly live in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China. ... Undistinguished nationalities (未识别民族: Wèi Shíbié Mínzú) are ethnic groups in the Peoples Republic of China that have not been recognized among or classified within the official 56 Nationalities of China. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
qiang (1069 words)
With their horses, medicinal herbs and other native produce, the Qiangs used to barter farm implements and daily necessities from the Hans.
In Qiang society, younger brothers could make their widowed sister-in-laws their wives and elder brothers could marry the widows of their younger brothers.
In July, 1958 the Maowen Qiang Autonomous County was established.
qiang (1069 words)
  The Qiang ethnic minority has a population of 306,072 who mostly dwell in hilly areas, crisscrossed by rivers and streams, in the Maowen Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province.
Owing to their close contact with the Han people, many Qiang people speak Chinese, which is also the written form for this ethnic group.
And it still is not unusual for brides to live in their parents' houses within a year or so after marriage.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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