Dungans of Middle Asia

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dungans of Middle Asia

 

a people living in the Kirghiz SSR (near the cities of Przheval’sk and Osh) and the Kazakh SSR (east of Dzhambul). Total population, 39,000 (1970 census). The Dungans are closely related in language and material culture to the Chinese Dungans. The language of the Middle Asian Dungans is based on the Shensi and Kansu subdialects of the Mandarin dialect of Chinese with very many borrowings from the Arabic, Persian, Russian, and Turkic languages. The Dungans are as a rule bilingual, speaking Kirghiz, Kazakh, or Russian in addition to their native language. Dungan believers profess Islam. The Middle Asian Dungans came from the Chinese provinces of Shensi, Kansu, and Sinkiang, from which they fled after the defeat of the Dungan Rebellion of 1862-77. Their chief occupation is farming—the cultivation of rice, vegetables, and opium poppies (for medicinal purposes only); some are also employed as industrial workers.

REFERENCES

Narody Srednei Azii i Kazakhstana, vol. 2. Moscow, 1963.
Ocherki istorii sovetskikh dungan. Frunze, 1967.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.