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Chinese History - The Non-Chinese peoples and states of the steppe

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Steppe peoples and states:

Buryat ("Balahu" 八剌忽)

Also called "Buliyadang" 不里牙愓 and Burjät.

Chajala 茶札剌

Also called Zhazhila 扎只剌 or Chachila 茶赤剌; Jalayir.

Chile 敕勒 > See Gaoche

Tartars (Tatars, Dada 韃靼)

The erliest mention of the Tatars (also called Dada 達靼, 达打, 達達, Dadan 達怛, 達旦, Tatan 塔壇, Tatar 塔塔兒) as Oghuz-Tatar is found on a stone inscription in archaic Turkish the 8th cenutry. Their language belongs to the western branch of the Turkic languages (Altaic language family). The first mention of the Tatars in Chinese sources occurs around 840 when they migrated south to modern Mongolia where the tribes of the Huihu 回鶻 had lived. Their subtribes were called zubu 阻卜. During the 10th century they sent embassors to the Liao Dynasty 遼 court whose emperor enfeoffed the Tatar chieftain as king and installed military commisioners (jiedushi 節度使) and so-called bandit suppression commissioners (zhaotaoshi 招討使) in the area of the river Orkhon. The whole 11th century faced rebellions of the Tatars against the Chinese government. The following Jin Dynasty 金 had to built fortified walls against the very active tribes of the Kereyid (Chinese: Kelie 克烈), Naiman (Chinese: Naiman 乃蠻), Önggüd (Chinese: Wanggu 汪古; called White Tatars), Tartars (Chinese: Tata'r 塔塔兒), and Mongols (Mongqols; Chinese: Menggu 蒙古, or Mengwu'r 蒙兀兒; called Black Tatars). After Chinggis Qaghan founded the Mongol federation, all incorporated tribes were called Mongols without distinguishing their real ethnical background. After the Ming Dynasty 明 was founded and the Mongols withdrew to the northwest, the word "Dada" was a common designation of the scattered Mongol tribes. In 1480 Batu Mengke 巴圖蒙克 (or 把禿猛可) reunited the Tatar tribes as Dayan Qaghan 達延汗 (or Daiyanha 歹顔哈, Dayanhan 答言罕) "Great Qaghan of the Great Yuan Dynasty" (Dayuan Da Kehan 大元大可汗), after his death in 1517 succeeded by Anda Qaghan 俺答汗. He was officially enfeoffed as king by the Ming court and introduced Tibetian Buddhism in Mongolia. The last chieftains of the Tatars were fighting against the Qing Dynasty 清 but soon submitted.

Dangxiang 黨項 (Tanguts) > See Tangut page

Di 氐

Western barbarians (Gansu, Shaanxi, Sichuan), relatives to the Qiang 羌. When the Han 漢 conquered these territories, the Di drew back to the mountains, later their chieftains were installed as local governors. Largest tribe: Baima-Di 白馬氐. At the end of Han, local chieftains proclaimed themselves king (King Agui 阿貴 of Xing 興國, King Qianwan 千萬 of the Baiqing-Di 百頃氐). Cao Cao 曹操 resettled numerous Di tribes to the west to prevent uprisings within his own empire. Under the economical and political pressure during the Western Jin (Xijin) 西晉, the chieftain Qi Wannian 齊萬年 was proclaimed emperor and rebelled. The Di chieftain Fu Jian 苻堅 founded the Western Qin (Xiqin) 西秦 empire and reunited the splintered north of China. Di general Lü Guang 呂光 founded the Later Liang (Houliang) 後涼 empire, the Di chieftain Yang Ding 楊定 founded the empire of Chouchi 仇池. After the reunification of the north by Northern Wei (Beiwei) 北魏, the Di vanished.

Di 狄

An old general term for nomadic tribes of the northwestern territories, or the northern tribes of the “four barbarians”, also written 翟. In the oldest historical sources called “ghosts” (Shang period term: Guifang 鬼方), Baidi 白狄 "White Di", Chidi 赤狄 "Red Di" and Changdi 長狄 tribes. These tribes were invading the feudal states of Qin 秦 and Jin 晉, during their campaigns they even reached territories in modern Shandong. They founded many smaller states, the largest being Zhongshan 中山 in modern Shanxi. Because the particular tribes were scattered all over north China among the Chinese states of the Eastern Zhou 東周 period, the Di merged with the proper Chinese until the end of Zhou.

Dilie 敵烈

This people, also called Dilie 遞烈 or Diliede 敵烈得 was relative to the Wugu 烏古 and roamed the area of the river Kerulen in modern Mongolia during the 9th and 10th centuries. In 930 they submitted to the Khitan empire of Liao 遼 but often rose in rebellion against the Khitan control. In 1004 one of the imperial consorts of Emperor Liao Shengzong 遼聖宗, and her kinsman Xiao Talin 蕭撻凜 that should control this region, installed prefectures (zhou 州) to administer the region roamed by the Wugu and Dilie as an army command (dutong junsi 都統軍司) with the seat at Hedong 河董城 (near Bulgan/Mongolia, Kerulen River). When the Jurchen took over the north of China, they divided the Dilie tribes into different parts and resettled them to different areas, most of them to Pangge 龐葛城 (modern Qiqihar 齊齊哈爾/Heilongjiang). One tribe followed the Khitan to the west into their new empire of Western Liao (Xiliao 西遼).

Dingling 丁零 > See Gaoche

Gaoche 高車 (Chile 敕勒, Dingling 丁零)

A nomadic people roaming the area of modern Inner and Outer Mongolia, by the Jin Dynasty 晉 called Chile 敕勒, the Northern Wei period (Beiwei 北魏) on called Gaoche “High Carriages” (because the wheels of their carriages were very large). the end of the 4th century on they moved southwards and settled in the areas of modern Gansu, Shanxi and Shaanxi. An empire called Wei 魏, established by Di Liao 翟遼, only survived a couple of years (388-392). In 487 Afuzhiluo 阿伏至羅 founded the Gaoche empire around Turfan/Xinjiang that lasted until 541. Gaoche was able to control the silk roads until it was destroyed by the Rouran 柔然 federation.

Hu 胡

A general term for Non-Chinese people in the north and northwest, especially the Xiongnu 匈奴. It is interesting to see that many ethnologically very distant nomad tribes and peoples of Inner Asia – either appearing in Europe or in China - have names beginning with [hu] like the Huns, the Hu, the Xiongnu [old: “Hung-nu”], or the Hungarians. The Hu were divided into Eastern Hu (Donghu 東胡) and Western Hu (Xihu 西胡).

Huigu 回鶻 (Uighurs)

A nomadic people belonging to the eastern branch of the Turkish tribes (or Tölöš Turks; Altaic language family), called Huige 回紇 until 788 (also called Yuange 袁紇, Weige 韋紇, Wuge 烏紇, later Weiwur 畏兀兒 or Uihur). In the year 627 the Huihe chieftain Pusa 菩薩 – after forging an alliance with the Syr Tarduš (Chinese: Xueyantuo 薛延陀) – defeated the Eastern Turks (Chinese: Dong Tujue 東突厥). With the help of the Tang 唐 armies, the Huihe chieftains could get rid of the domination of the Syr Tarduš. Their territory north of the Gansu corridor was administered as protectorate (duhufu 都護府). After the resurrection of the Eastern Turk realm, the tribes of Huihe, Qixin 契芯, Hun 渾, and Sijie 思結 migrated more to the west into the area of modern Gansu, passing some areas that were already for hundreds of years inhabited by Chinese, and thereby took some cultural influences of the Chinese with them. Together with the Qarluq (Chinese: Geluolu葛邏祿), the Huihe finally defeated the Eastern Turks and established their own empire of the Later Turks (Chinese: Hou Tujue 後突厥) their ruler being Qutlugh Bilgä köl Qaghan (Chinese: Guduolu Piqie que Kehan 骨咄祿毗伽闕可汗) in the capital of Qara-Balghasun in modern Inner Mongolia. The empire of Qutlugh Qaghan lasted until 840. The state administration was patterned after the Tang model, with chancellors, commissioners, generals, and so on. Under the power of the Huihe Qaghan, many Turkish peoples (pugu 僕固) were united in a federation, the Huihe themselves were divided into nine tribes. Trade and political relations to the Tang court were very intensive, and Huihe troops supported the Tang emperor in subduing the rebellion of An Lushan 安祿山 in 755. The last years of the Huihu khanate are characterized by wars with the Tibetian Tubo (Tufan 吐蕃) empire, and after 840 the realm disengaged. Some tribes of the Huihe migrated to the west, founding small khanates in modern Gansu, Shazhou 沙州, Gaochang 高昌, and Qiuci 龜茲, their federations are known as the Xizhou Uighurs 西州回鶻 in the Tarim Basin and the Yellow Head Uighurs 黃頭回紇 in the Qaidam Basin. The modern descendants of the Huihe are the Uyghurs (Weiwuerzu 維吾爾族) in Xinjiang.

Jie 羯

A collective term for miscellaneous Non-Chinese tribes during the Han 漢 and Jin 晉 Dynasties dwelling in the areas of modern Gansu and Qinghai, with two types, the Western Jie 西羯, and the Jie-Hu 羯胡. The ethnological relation to other peoples is less than clear, the Jie are told to be descendants of the "Skythic" Yuezhi 月支 people or a sideline of the Xiongnu 匈奴. During the Three Kingdoms period (Sanguo) 三國 and the begin of Western Jin (Xijin) 西晉, Non-Chinese tribes immigrated in to Chinese territory in the areas of modern Gansu, Shaanxi and northern Sichuan, among them the Lijie 力羯, Qiangqu 羌渠, and Jie-Hu 羯胡. According to the historical sources, their appearance was rather caucasian, and there were many believers of Manicheism (xianjiao 祅教) among them. Scattered among Chinese villages, the Jie worked as farmers and in times of suffering had to engage themselves as tenant farmers. Chinese magnates seemed to treat them very badly and caused rebellions lead by Jie chieftians, like Shi Le 石勒 who founded the Later Zhao empire (Houzhao) 後趙. Until the Sui Dynasty 隋 the Jie had merged with the Chinese population.

Mengu 蒙古 (Mongols) > See Mongol page

Kereyid (Kerait "Kelie" 克烈)

By the Liao 遼 called Zubu 阻卜.

Kirgiz ("Jilijisi" 吉利吉思)

Also called "Xiajiasi" 轄戛斯 or 黠戛斯.

Merkit ("Mierqi" 蔑兒乞)

Also called "Mirji" 密兒紀.

Naiman 乃蠻

Also called "Nianbage" 粘八葛 or "Nianbaen" 粘拔恩.

Oirat (Oyrat, "Woyila" 斡亦剌)

Onggirat (Qonggirat, "Hongjila 弘吉剌")

Also called "Wangjila" 王紀剌 or Guangjila 廣吉剌.

Önggüt ("Wanggu" 汪古)

Also written Önggüd, Onggut, Onggud, also called "White Tatars" (Bai Dadan 白達旦).

The Qarakhan Empire

The empire of the "Black Khans" (Turkish: Qara-Qaγan, Chinese: Hala hanchao 哈喇汗朝, Heihan wangchao 黑韓王朝) was established during the 9th century and lasted for 150 years. The historical material about this empire is very scarce, and we know very little about the origin of the ruling house whose language was Turkish. The founder of the Qara-Khanid empire is said to be the Qarluq (Chinese: Geluolu 葛邏祿) Turk Külbilgä Qadir Khan ("Quepiqie Kadir" 闕毗伽‧卡迪爾汗) who had converted to Islam. Qadir Khan lead a federation of seveal Turkish tribes that were loosely ruled the capital at Balashagun 八剌沙袞 (modern Tokmak/Kirgizstan) in the west and a secondary Khan Daluosi 怛邏斯 (Talas; modern Jiangbur/Kazakhstan). Khan Hārūm (Hasan) conquered the city of Bukhara (modern orthography: Buhoro) and enlarged the territory of the Khanate into the fertile land between the Rivers Amu-Darya and Syr-Darya. In 1041 the Khanate divided into a western and an eastern part. The western part was reigned by a khan named Ali and occupied the territory between the Amu-Darya in modern Uzbekistan eastwards to the Ferghana Basin, with the capital at Bukhara. The eastern part was reigned by Hasan Bughla and his descendants Balashagun, but with Kashgar as important religious and cultural center. The most famous literary person of this city is Maħmūd al-Kašγarī (Mahmud al-Kashgari) who wrote an Arab-Turkish dictionary. 1132 on both empires stood under the domination of the Western Liao empire that was founded by a descendant of the Khitan Liao Dynasty. In 1211 the Mongols occupied the Eastern Khanate, the following year the Western Khanate. The Eastern Khanate of the Qarakhanids had intensive trade and diplomatic contact with the Song empire 1009 on. For a long time Arab historians thought that China consisted of three empires: Song, Liao, and the Eastern Qarakhans. The Qarakhanid empires were the first Muslim empires of the Turks, and then on the Syrian and Soghdian script was replaced by the Arab alphabet.
The Karakhans were:
Kol Bilge Qara Khan (850-880 ?), Bazir Khan (? -910 ?), Sutuq Bughra Qara Khan 'Abd al-Karim (920-956), Musa Bughra Khan (956-958), Suleyman Arslan Khan (958-970 ?), 'Ali Arslan Khan (970-998), Ahmad Arslan Toghan Khan I (998-1017), Mansur Arslan Khan (017-1024), Ahmad Toghan Khan II (1024-1026), Yusuf Qadir Khan (1026-1032), Suleyman Arslan Khan II (1032-1040 d. 1056; Qagan in east 1040-56)

Khans of Kashgar, Khokand and Ferghana:
Nasr Tigin (1013), Mansur Abu'l Muzaffar Arslan Khan (1013-1024), Mohammed 'Ayn al-Dawla (c. 1041-c. 1052), Ibrahim Abu Ishaq Tamghach Khan (fl. c. 1059), 'Abd al-Mu'min, 'Ali al-Hasan Tigin, Husayn Djalal al-Dunya wa'l-Din (1132-1156), Mahmud Toghan Khan (1156-1164), Ibrahim Arslan Khan (1164-1178 d. 1203; in Bokhara 1178-1203), Nasr (1178- ?), Mohammed (? -c. 1182), Qadir Khan Djalal al-Dunya wa'l-Din (? -1209), Mahmud (? -1213)

Khans of Bokhara:
'Ali Tigin (c. 1020-1034), Yusuf (1034-c. 1060), Arslan Tigin (1034-c. 1060), Mohammed I (1042-c. 1052), Ibrahim I Abu Ishaq Bori Tigin Tamghach (c. 1052-1068)

Qarluq ("Geluolu" 葛邏祿)

Qiang 羌

An old general term for nomadic tribes of the western highlands of Qinghai, Gansu, and Ningxia (Shang 商 period term: Qiangfang 羌方). In a narrower sense, a people relative to the Tanguts (Dangxiang 黨項), a branch of the Tibetians. Since oldest times, these nomad tibes of the west had contact with the Shang and Zhou 周 rulers, and some important persons of the Zhou aristocracy had the surname Jiang 姜 that is in fact identical to 羌. In the last decades of the Warring States period 戰國, the belligerent tribes of the Qiang (or Jiang-Rong 姜戎) were defeated by the state of Qin 秦 that installed the first Chinese commanderies (jun 郡) of the west. The customs of the Qiang are known by literary descriptions, they adopted the surname of the mother and conducted cremation burials. When the Xiongnu 匈奴 federation controlled the steppe north of the Chinese empire since the begin of the 2nd century BC, the Qiang tribes submitted to this powerful union. The Han Dynasty 漢 emperors Han Wudi 漢武帝 and Zhaodi 昭帝 installed special administration units (Huqiang xiaoweiqu 護羌校尉區) to "protect" and to detract the Qiang the influence of the Xiongnu. The old territory of the Gansu corridor was administered by the Chinese, the deployed soldiers built up military colonies (tuntian 屯田) where the Qiang were resettled as workforce. In the second century, several insurgences of the oppressed Qiang tribes shook the Later Han Dynasty. During this time, Qiang tribes migrated to the east into the proper Chinese territory. At the begin of the Jin Dynasty 晉, a large part of the population of modern Shaanxi and Sichuan consisted of immigrated Non-Chinese people. Most of them were servants, slaves and tenant farmers of the Chinese large land owners. the 290es on, numerous rebellions contributed to the downfall of the Western Jin. In 384 a Qiang chieftain named Yao Yizhong 姚弋仲 occupied the territory of modern Shaanxi, his son Yao Chang 姚萇 founded the Western Qin empire (Xiqin) 西秦. Nonetheless, the Qiang merged with the Chinese population. After the downfall of the Tang Dynasty 唐, Tangut-Qiang tribes founded the empire of Western Xia (Xixia) 西夏. Today, some Qiang are left and are officially accepted as one the ethnic minorities of China (Qiangzu 羌族).

Rong 戎

An old general term for nomadic tribes of the northwestern territories, or the western tribes of the „four barbarians“, roaming the area of modern Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia. The mightiest tribes of the Rong were Yunrong 允戎, Jiangrong 姜戎 (identical to the Qiang 羌?), and Quanrong 犬戎. The Xuanyuan 玁狁 (獫狁) conquered the Zhou 周 capital, caused the flight of the Zhou kings to the east, and thereby introduced the Eastern Zhou period. During the following centuries, the Rong tribes – ethnologically not definable – occupied the attentiveness of the feudal states in the west, especially that of Qin 秦. Some scholars suppose that the permanent challenge of the Rong warriors supported the military strength of Qin. The belligerent character of the Rong resulted in the use of the word rong 戎 as a general word for „war“.

Rouran 柔然

A nomad people roaming the area of modern Outer Mongolia during the 5th and 6th centuries, probably affiliated to the Xianbei 鮮卑 or to the Xiongnu 匈奴, some western scholars tried to identify them with the Avars. They used to knot their hairs, lived in yurts and recorded events by scribing symbols into wooden plates. Their ancestor Mugulü 木骨閭 is said to have been a slave of the Xianbei. The chieftains of the Rouran had the surname of Yujiulü 郁久閭. The Xianbei called them Ruanruan 蠕蠕 “worms”, but they are also known under the names Rouruan 蝚蠕, Ruirui 芮芮, or Ruru 茹茹.
Mugulü’s grandson Shelun 社崙 is said to be the first chieftain who was able to unify the Rouruan tribes and to found the power of the Rouran by swallowing the rests of the Gaoche 高車 and Xiongnu. Shelun was also the first to adopt the title of Qaghan (Khan; Chinese: kehan 可汗) that was later used by the Huihu 回鶻, the Turks (Tujue 突厥), and the Mongols (Menggu 蒙古). There was intensive economic relationship to the neighboring peoples and states (the Sixteen Kingdoms, Shiliuguo 十六國), and through the Tuyuhun 吐谷渾 even with the Southern Dynasties (Nanchao 南朝). But under the Qaghan Datan 大檀 the Rouran fought against the Xianbei that had founded the Northern Wei Dynasty (Beiwei 北魏). Although often victorious at the begin, in 429 the Xianbei defeated the Rouran armies badly, and then again in 470. In the course of interstate relationships with the Xianbei many Rouruan girls were given to the Xianbei rulers as wifes. After 460 the Rouran occupied more and more cities and territory in the west and finally were able to control the silk-road, and after the collapse of the Northern Wei empire they profited the weak political situation of the northern Chinese rulers. Meanwhile the Turks had founded a strong empire and in 555 the last Rouran Qaghan fled to the Western Wei (Xiwei 西魏) court.
The Rouran qaγans were:
(Mugulü木骨閭), (Cheluhui 車鹿會), Shelun 社崙 402-410, Hulü 斛律 410-414, Datan 大檀 414-429, Wuti 吳提 429-444, Tuhezhen 吐賀真 444-450, Yucheng 予成 450-485, Doulun 豆崙 485-492, Nagai 那蓋 492-506, Futu 伏圖 506-508, Chounu 丑奴 508-520, Anagui 阿那瓌 520-552, Poluomen 婆羅門 521-524, Tiefa 鐵伐 552-553, Dengzhu 登注 553, Kangti 康提 553, Anluochen 菴羅辰 553-554, Deng Shuzi 鄧叔子 555

Shatuo Turks 沙陀突厥

A people that once was part of the Chuyue 處月 tribe of the Western Turks 西突厥, living in the Junggar Basin 準噶爾盆地. The Tang Dynasty 唐 bestowed the Shato chieftain "Jinshan" 金山 the title of commander-in-chief (dudu 都督) of Jinman 金滿, with the seat of the area command shifted to Beiting 北庭. the 8th century on this area was often rided by Uighur (Huigu 回鶻) warriors, later the Shatuo communities under their chieftains "Fuguo" 輔國 and "Zhuye Jinzhong" 朱邪盡忠 were disturbed by the Tibetian empire of Tubo 吐蕃 that resettled the Shatuo Turks to the Gansu Corridor 甘肅走廊. Seeking for help the Tang Dynasty, the people under their chieftain "Zhuye Zhiyi 朱邪執宜" was settled down in the area of Yanzhou 鹽州 (modern Dingbian 定邊/Shaanxi) as area command of Yinshan 陰山. The military power of the Shatuo Turks often served the Tang Dynasty to control the Tibetians, Tanguts (Dangxiang 黨項), Tuyuhun 吐谷渾 and Uighurs further west. Under their ruler "Chixin" 赤心 the Shatuo Turks even helped to suppress a rebellion against the Tang. "Chixin" was bestowed the imperial Chinese name of Li Guochang 李國昌. His son Li Keyong 李克用 was able to gain control over the Tatars (Dada 韃靼) and liberated the capital of Chang'an 長安 (modern Xi'an/Shaanxi) the Huangchao rebels 黃巢 in 883. He was given the office of military commisisoner (jiedushi 節度使) of Hedong 河東 and now on controled the northwestern part of China proper, contending with Zhu Wen 朱溫 about the control of the north. Zhu Wen ended the Tang Dynasty in 907 and founded the Later Liang (Houliang 後梁), a dynasty that was toppled in 923 by Li Cunxu 李存勖, a son of Li Keyong. The founders of Later Tang (Houtang 後唐, 923-936), Later Jin (Houjin 後晉, 936-946) and Later Han dynasties (Houhan 後漢, 947-950) were also Shatuo Turks.

Syr-Tardush (Sır Tarduş, Syr Tarduš, "Xue-Yantuo" 薛延陀)

A branch of the Turkish Tölöš people, consisting of the two tribes of Syr and Tarduš. While the Tölöš had been an important vassal people of the Turks, the Syr-Tardush only came under the domination of the Western Turks at the begin of the 7th century. But the Syr-Tarduš were able to overcome the military power of the Tölöš and installed their ruler "Yijin Yishibo" 俟斤乙失鉢 as "Yedie" Khaγan 也咥可汗.

Tölösh (Tölöş, Tölöš, "Tiele" 鐵勒)

A common designation for different Turkish peoples between the 5th and the 9th century, and surely a different transcription like Dili 狄歷, Dingling 丁零, or Chile 敕勒, for the Turkish word "Tölis", "Turk", or "Türkler", that means it is actually the same like Tujue 突厥, the proper Turks.
The earliest Tölöš federation appears in the late 5th century when the chieftain of the "Fufuluo" 副伏羅 tribe, "Afuzhiluo" 阿伏至羅 united some tribes of the Gaoche 高車 nomads in a federation called "Houloufule" 候婁匐勒 that was destroyed by the Rouran 柔然 in the 530es. But the late 6th century on the Tölöš took over the place of the Rouran and controlled the area between Lake Baikal and the Tarim Basin 塔里木盆地. The Tölöš became a part of the Turkish federation when Ashna Tumen 阿史那土門 became qaγan of the Turks. At the begin of the 7th century the Tölöš challenged the domination of the Western Turks, but a harsh treatment of Tölöš chieftains by the Turks kept them as Turkish subjects. "Geleng" 歌楞 of the "Qibi" 契苾 tribe proclaimed himself qaγan of the Tölöš ("Yiwu Zhenmohe Qaγan" 易勿真莫何可汗), and likewise a chieftain of the Syr-Tarduš as smaller qaγan ("Yedie Qaγan" 也咥可汗). The Tölöš controlled the Tarim Basin. Under the pressure of the Sui Dynasty 隋 they had to give up the title of qaγan. Later Tölöš cavalry helped the Tang Dynasty 唐 to defeat the Eastern Turks. In 646 emperor Tang Taizong 唐太宗 received the Tölöš embassador and installed the chieftains of the particular Tölöš tribes (Huige 回紇, Duolange 多濫葛, Pugu 僕骨, Bayegu 拔野古, Tongluo 同羅, Sijie 思結, Hun 渾, Huxue 斛薛, Adie 阿迭, Qibi 契苾, Xijie 奚結, Baixi 白霫) as Chinese prefects (cishi 刺史) and commanders-in-chief (dudu 都督). the 740es on the Uighurs became the strongest people among the Tölöš.

Türgish (Türgiş, Türgiš, "Tuqishi" 突騎施)

The subgroup ("chuo 啜") of Heluoshi 賀邏施 under the Duolu 咄陸, one of the five tribal groups ("nushibi 弩失畢") of the Western Turks.

Tujue 突厥 (Turks) > See Turks page

Tuyuhun 吐谷渾 (not Tuguhun!)

Said to be a sideline of the Xianbei 鮮卑, the Tuyuhun were one of the mightiest tribes roaming the area of modern Qinghai and Gansu the 4th to the 7th century. The empire founded by the first Tuyuhun chieftain was called Henanguo 河南國 by the Chinese, and Azha 阿柴 by the Tibetians (Tubo 吐蕃). The tent-living Tuyuhun were experts in horse breeding but also conducted agriculture. As a realm just between the Chinese empires in the east (Northern Wei, Beiwei 北魏, and the Southern Dynasties, Nanchao 南朝 and the other steppe tribes like the Rouran 柔然 and the Gaoche 高車, the Tuyuhun acted as envoys and traders, and many Buddhist missionaries and travelers crossed their country. In the 6th century, chieftain Kualü 夸呂 adopted the title of Qaghan (Kehan 可汗) and challenged the armies of the Chinese empires. The Tang 唐 rulers were finally able to control their territory and installed Qaghans on their own will. In 663 the Tibetian empire of Tubo destroyed the capital Fuqi 伏俟 (west of Qinghai Lake 青海湖), the Tuyuhun escaped to the north and were resettled by the Tang government in the area of modern Ninghai and northern Shaanxi. Some scholars suggest to identify the descendants of the Qinghai-Tuyuhun with the modern Tuzu 土族 ethnic.
The Tuyuhun chieftains and qaγans were:
Tuyuhun 吐谷渾 d. 317, Tuyan 吐延 317-329, Yeyan 葉延 329-351, Suixi 碎奚 351-375, Shilian 視連 375-390, Shipi 視羆 390-400, Wugeti 烏紇提 400-405, Shuluogan 樹洛干 405-417, Achai 阿豺 417-426, Mugui 慕璝 426-436, Muliyan 慕利延 436-452, Shiyin 拾寅 452-481, Duyihou 度易侯 481-490, Fulianchou 伏連籌 490-529, Heluozhen 呵羅真 529-530, Fofu 佛輔 530-534, Ketazhen 可沓振 534-535
Kualü 夸呂 535-591, Shifu 世伏 591-603, Fuyun 伏允 603-635, Murong Shun 慕容順 635, Nuohebo 諾曷鉢 (635-688)

Wugu 烏古

A people roaming the eastern region of modern Mongolia during the dominance of the Khitan Liao 遼 and Jurchen Jin 金 empires. Also written Wuguli 烏古里, Yujue 于厥 or 羽厥 and Yujuelü 嫗厥律, related to the people of Dilie 敵烈. It took the Khitan a long time to pacify the nomad peoples of Wugu and Dilie. In 1004 one of the imperial consorts of Emperor Liao Shengzong 遼聖宗 that should control this region, installed prefectures (zhou 州) to administer the region roamed by the Wugu and Dilie as an army command (dutong junsi 都統軍司) with the seat at Hedong 河董城 (near Bulgan/Mongolia, Kerulen River). When the Jurchen took over the north of China, they divided the Wugu tribes into different parts and resettled them to different areas, most of them to Pangge 龐葛城 (modern Qiqihar 齊齊哈爾/Heilongjiang).

Wuhuan 烏桓

A Non-Chinese people roaming the area of modern. The ethnological affiliation, Turkish, Mongolian, or Tungusian, is not clear. This people is named after a mountain range called Wuhuan, belonged to the so-called “eastern barbarians” (Donghu 東胡) and after being defeated by the Xiongnu 匈奴 in the late 3rd century BC they had to move to the area between the rivers Xilamulun 西拉木倫 and Guilali 歸喇里/Inner Mongolia. Chinese historians have handed down a lot of ethnological knowledge about the Wuhuan. The Wuhuan were a nomadic people living in a yurt (Chinese: qionglu 穹廬), exerting riding and shooting sports, eating meat and wearing leather clothes. Some tribes already used to cultivate some crops. The Wuhuan brewed liquors but did not know how to use yeast. Unlike among the Chinese, youth and force were highly estimated, and the father was not as important as the blood line of the mother. The deceased were buried along with their horse and precious items. Their religion was centered on spirits, demons and the celestial bodies. The mighty federation of the Xiongnu expected the Wuhuan to offer tributes, but after the Chinese general Huo Qubing 霍去病 defeated the Xiongnu in 119 the Wuhuan were scattered all over the north of China, Inner Mongolia to Liaodong 遼東 (modern Liaoning). After a revival of the Xiongnu power around the mid-Han period, the Wuhuan again submitted to the Han Dynasty 漢. Wuhuan troops were often employed by both sides the Xiongnu and the Han to enforce their armies. During these war contests of the 2nd and 3rd century the Wuhuan even reached the areas of modern Shandong and Jiangsu. At the same time, Xianbei 鮮卑 gradually occupied the territory of the Wuhuan in the north and northeast.

Wusun 烏孫

A nomad people roaming the area of the Yili River 伊犁, the westernmost point of China, capital Chigu 赤谷城. The ethnic affiliation is not clear. In the 2nd century BC the Wusun sought help the Xiongnu 匈奴 against the Yuezhi 月氏. After the Xiongnu defeated the Yuezhi, the Wusun occupied their territory more to the west. When the Chinese discoverer Zhang Qian 張騫 reached the Yuezhi kingdom, he was asked if the Chinese Han Dynasty 漢 would help the Yuezhi to force the Wusun back to the east. Instead, the Han court forged an alliance with the Wusun to defeat the Xiongnu federation. Chinese princesses like Princess Xijun 細君公主 were given to the Wusun chieftain (kunmo 昆莫 or kunmi 昆彌) to strengthen the political ties. Their territory was again occupied by the Xiongnu during the 2nd century, when they gradually disappeared the history. Archeological findings demonstrate that the Wusun were not only nomads but also cultivated fields and produced bronze tools.

Xianbei (Xianbi) 鮮卑 > See Xianbei page

Xiongnu 匈奴 > See Xiongnu page
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