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Encyclopedia > Tribes in Chinese history

Any non clear-cut connection is denoted by a question mark (?) beside the equivalences. As many ethnic groups have appeared in history, this table is certainly not complete. The purpose of this page is to stimulate conversation and constructive arguments on connecting Eastern and Western knowledge of those ethnic groups.




Pinyin Romanization Names in Chinese characters and Pronunciation Approximate residing areas according to Chinese texts Time of appearance in the history of China Equivalence(s) in World history Time of appearance outside China Descendant(s)
Miao 苗 (miao2) Various areas stretching from provinces (Hebei, Shanxi) north of Huang he to Yunnan province As early as 25th century B.C. to present Miao see Miao Laotians, ethnic groups in China, America and Europe
Xiongnu, Xianyun 匈奴 (xiong1 nu2), 玁狁 (xian3 yun3) Today Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, northern portions of Shanxi, Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia and eastern portion of Xinjiang 6th century B.C. ? to late 1st century for Northern Xiongnu who migrated westward after that period. Southern Xiongnu remained active until mid 5th century then assimilated into Chinese Huns late 4th century to mid 6th century in Europe No known descendants
Yuezhi 月氏 (Yue4 Zhi1) Gansu, Xinjiang 6th century B.C. ? to 162 B.C., then driven out by Xiongnu. Kushans, Tocharians? mid 2nd century B.C. in Central Asia No known descendants
Wuhuan 烏桓 (wu1 huan2) western portions of Manchuria (Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning provinces) and Inner Mongolia 4th century B.C. to late 3rd century, assimilated into Chinese No known equivalence N/A No known descendants
Xianbei 鮮卑 (xian1 bei1) Manchuria (Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning provinces), Mongolia and Inner Mongolia. Moved into areas north of Huang he as they founded a dynasty there. 4th century B.C. ? to mid 6th century, assimilated into Chinese No known equivalence, possibly prototurks Tuoba (Tabgač?) N/A No known descendants
Qiang 羌 (qiang1) Gansu, Qinghai, westren portion of Sichuan, eastern portion of Xinjiang and northeastern portion of Tibet 4th century B.C. ? to late 5th century, assimilated into Chinese No known equivalence N/A as minorities in Sichuan
Di 氐 (di1) Areas of neighboring borders of Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan and Shaanxi 8th century B.C. ? to mid 6th century, assimilated into Chinese No known equivalence N/A as minorities in Sichuan
Jie 羯 (jie2) Shanxi province late 2nd century to mid 4th century, assimilated into Chinese No known equivalence N/A No known descendants
Dingling, Gaoche, Shule 丁零 (ding1 ling2), 高車 (gao1 che1), 疏勒 (shu1 le4) banks of Lake Baikal and on the borders of Today Mongolia and Russia then migrated to Shanxi province and Xinjiang region 1st century BC to late 5th century, assimilated into Chinese ? ? some descendants still living by the lake ?
Rouran, Ruru, 柔然 (rou2 ran2), 蠕蠕 (ru2 ru2), 茹茹 (ru2 ru2) Today Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, northern portions of Shanxi, Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia and eastern portion of Xinjiang early 3rd century to early 6th century Avars? late 6th century to early 9th century descendants living in today Daghestan?
Tujue 突厥 (tu2 jue2) Today Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, northern portions of Shanxi, Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Xinjiang, eastern portion of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan late 5th century to mid 10th century Gokturks mid 6th century to early 9th century The western Turks migrated to modern-day Turkey while the eastern Turks assimiliated to the Uighurs in Xinjiang
Huihe 回紇 (hui2 he2) Today Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, northern portions of Shanxi, Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia early 7th century to mid 10th century Uighurs early 9th century to present largest ethnic group in Xinjiang region
Tubo 吐蕃(tu3 fan1) sometimes pronounced as 吐播 (tu3 bo1) Today Tibet, Qinghai, western border of Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi and Southern border of Xinjiang mid 6th century to present Tibetans early 6th century to present Tibetans
Qidan 契丹 (qi4 dan1) Today Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, Manchuria, Liaoning, northern border of Shanxi and Hebei and later in Xinjiang and eastern border of Kazakhstan late 5th century to mid 13th century Khitan early 6th century to present No known descendants
Xi 奚 (xi1) more or less the same residence of the Khitans since regarded as two ethnic groups with one unique ancestry mid 6th century to mid 12th century No known equivalence N/A No known descendants
Shiwei 室韋 (shi4 wei2) Today Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, western Manchuria and southern Siberia late 6th century - late 10th century No known equivalence N/A conquered by Khitans, splinter groups and remnants re-emerged as Mongols
Menggu 蒙古 (meng2 gu3) Today Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, western Manchuria, southern Siberia, eastern and central Xinjiang before Genghis Khan since late 8th century (?) Mongol late 12th century to present Mongol
Dangxiang 党項 (dang3 xiang4) Ningxia, Gansu, northern portions of Shanxi, southwestern portion of Mongolia, Southeastern portion of Xinjiang mid 8th century to early 13th century Tanguts ? No known descendants
Mohe 靺鞨 (mo4 he2) Manchuria and northern portion of Inner Mongolia, established Bohai early 7th century to early 10th century. Malgal N/A Jurchen (see entry below)
Nüzhen or Manzhouren 女真 (nü3 zhen1), 滿洲人 (man3 zhou1 ren2), 滿人 (man3 ren2) Manchuria and northern portion of Inner Mongolia early 10th century to present, established Jin Dynasty and Qing Dynasty Jurchen, Mancho, Manchus or Manchurian Since mid 17th century, first encountered by Russians largest ethnic group in Dongbei region or Manchuria. Their culture has very much assimilated with the Chinese but some distinctive aspects still remain.

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Wu Hu (3059 words)
These non-Chinese tribes which the Han had fought to a standstill along the border, seized the opportunity afforded by the weakness of the government to extend their search for pastoral lands into the fertile North China Plain.
Wu Hu were composed of five nomadic tribes: Xiongnu (匈奴; xiong1 nu2, sometimes identified with the Huns), Xianbei (鮮卑; xian1 bei1), Di (氐; di1), Qiang (羌; qiang1), and Jie (羯 jie2) although different groups of historians and historiographers have their own definitions.
Xianbei tribes each led by a chieftain were grouped under the confederacy into three smaller federations, the Western, the Central and the Eastern, according to their residing areas.
Han: Definition and Much More from Answers.com (2491 words)
The famous Chinese historian Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian dates the reign of the Yellow Emperor, the legendary ancestor of Han Chinese, to 2698 BCE to 2599 BCE.
Chinese names are typically two or three syllables in length, with the surname followed by the given name.
Since the 20th century written Chinese has been usually vernacular Chinese, which is largely based upon dialects of Mandarin, and not the local dialect of the writer (with the exception of the informal use of written Cantonese).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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