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The Tujia ethnic minority (3)

(People's Daily)

09:44, August 11, 2011

History

There are several conflicting versions of the origin of the Tujias. Some say they are the descendants of the ancient Ba people; others claim they come from the Wuman, who moved to western Hunan from Guizhou Province; yet another tale claims they came from Jiangxi Province in the east at the end of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). In any case, the Tujias were a distinct ethnic group in western Hunan by the early Five Dynasties period, around the year 910. After early contact with Hans, they developed metal smelting and commercial crafts.

Han peasants migrated to western Hunan in the early 12th century, bringing with them modern tools and farming expertise. In western Hubei, feudal lords sold some of their lands to Han peasants and businesspeople, some of whom became landlords. The feudal lords also commanded the economy. So the Tujias were exploited by their own chieftains, feudal lords and Han landlords.

During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Tujia soldiers, together with Han, Zhuang, Miao, Yao, Mulam and Hui fighters, were sent to the country's coastal provinces to fight against Japanese pirates pillaging the areas.

【1】 【2】 【3】

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