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(self-designation, Manchu nyalma; Chinese designation, Manchou, Ch’i), an indigenous people of northeastern China, living mainly in southern Manchuria. Population, approximately 3 million (1970, estimate).

The Manchu language is spoken chiefly by the Manchus living in villages in Heilungkiang Province; in other regions of the People’s Republic of China the Manchus speak Chinese. The Manchus profess Buddhism and Taoism; shamanism and ancestor worship still exist among some Manchus. The Manchus are basically the descendants of the ancient population of northeastern China, namely, the Sushen, Ilu, Wochü, Wuchi, Moho, and other Tungus tribes mentioned in Chinese chronicles. Neighboring Turkic, Mongol, and other tribes also contributed at different times to the ethnic evolution of the Manchus.

In the early eighth century the Moho formed the Pohai state, which was destroyed by the Khitan people in 926. The origin of the Jurchen feudal state (1115-1234) hastened the consolidation of the tribes in northeastern China. The Manchus formed a single people in the early 17th century, when the name “Manchu,” common for the whole territory and people, appeared with the unification of small domains and the creation of a military feudal state. This period also saw the formation of a national language of the Manchus and a common material and spiritual culture. In the 17th century, after their conquest of Korea, China, and Mongolia, the Manchus founded the Ch’ing empire; in the 18th century, the Manchus conquered Dzungaria, Tibet, and other regions. Compulsory service in the banner forces stationed in the large cities of the empire led to a loss of the native language and partial assimilation of the Manchus to Chinese culture. At the same time, the Chinese also adopted a number of elements from the Manchu material culture.

Vestiges of clan division, the observance of ancient rituals, and distinctive architectural features still survive among the Manchus. The chief occupation is farming (grain crops, legumes, sesame, hemp, vegetables); in the highland regions, the Manchus engage in the timber industry. Some Manchus are employed as industrial workers.


Narody Vostochnoi Azii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1965. (With bibliography.)
Starikov, V. S. “Predmety byta i orudiia truda man’chzhurov v sobraniiakh MAE: K voprosu o samobytnosti material’noi kul’tury man’chzhurov.” In Sb. muzeia antropologii i etnografii, vol. 25. Leningrad, 1969.


References in periodicals archive ?
The rebellion forced the Manchu government to cede control of many provinces to local generals (warlords) who refused to relinquish their powers when the fighting was over.
It depicts the quest of the secret society, (Red Flower Society), in alliance with an Islamic tribe in northwestern China to overthrow the Manchu Qing dynasty and restore Han Chinese rule.
In this, Mao was mimicing the disastrous policies of the Manchu court which, in 1900, declared war on the ten greatest powers in the world and brought the country to the brink of dismemberment.
Thus while the Tibetans viewed the relationship with the Manchus as one of priest and patron, the Manchu viewed it as one of vassal and overlord.
Not because it isn't a wonderful and valuable text, but because the field in the United States and even in Europe, always very small, seems to be shrinking day by day, ironically so since in China there has been a resurgence of interest in Manchu in the past ten years.
But with feedback from the Manchus, we were able to knock that weight down in a very short period of time from 17 to 10 pounds.
If we could send still or video images from the camera over the wireless network, I would probably require all Manchus to use it.
Janet Theiss has produced a fine example of solid archival research that engages the complex and contradictory evidence of how the Qing state, from Manchu emperors down through local Chinese officials, sought to regulate sexual behavior, as a microcosm of social relations in general, through a dramatic proliferation of legal substatutes in the middle of the eighteenth century.
Here through the marvelous creative writing of Anchee Min, whose autobiographical novel Red Azalea brilliantly depicts life in China during the Cultural Revolution, we can trace the life of a young woman from an honorable but very poor Manchu family in the mid-1800s who became the de facto ruler of China during the last four decades of the 19th century.
Fearing Russian influence over an independent Uighur state, which might then threaten British conquests in South Asia, the British convinced the Manchus to reconquer western China, which they did in 1884.
The idea of `sinicization' was stressed: even though the Manchus started out as alien conquerors, they quickly adopted the Confucian norms of traditional Chinese government, in effect becoming honorary Chinese as they ruled in the manner of traditional native dynasties.
Namioka, the author of other books for young readers, supplies an afterword giving some background on the Manchus, Manchuria.