The world today is estimated to consist of over one hundred thousand ethnic groups, and this is according to the latest data. The classification of these groups is based on the history, cultural heritage, and the homeland.
Just like with any other groups, there are the majority ethnic groups as well as the minority ethnic groups. There have been discoveries of new ethnic groups that were unknown and it is estimated that there are more out there.
When comparing the minority ethnic groups today, Uyghur is one of these ethnic groups. Their origin can be traced back to Turkey even though they currently live in Central and East Asia. They reside in the People’s Republic of China primarily in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. China has recognized them as among the 55 minority ethnic groups.
Although the largest number live in China, they are also spread across other countries that neighbor Turkey. By 2010, it was estimated that Kazakhstan had over 200,000 Uyghur people. Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan follows closely with over 55,000 and 49,000 respectively. Ironically, Turkey has slightly over 45,000 of the Uyghurs.
The other numbers that are found around the world is small. Due to the language that they spoke, there was a time they were known as Turks.
By the 19th Century, this group was referred to be the most ancient ethnic group in the world. They are known to start in the early 2nd century. Their Uyghur name was lost in the 15th Century, but was later reintroduced. People use this name to address the entire group rather than a specific group.
This group is known to be among the minority ethnic group and also as the oldest group to exist. They follow their ancestor’s beliefs and have remained committed to this practice.
Their economic activities involve farming, black smith, and baking in this region. Other than that, there are some who carry out pastoralism as their main source of income.
The Uyghurs are known for speaking Uyghur and Chinese language. They are strict followers of Sunni Islam Sect. They also have a close relationship with other ethnic groups such as the Tocharians, the Karluks, and the Turkic people.
After the fall of the Uyghur Kingdoms, the people of Uyghur dispersed around the world. The split ended up with the formation of the Ganzhou Kingdom near the present-day Zhangye in China. Today, it is believed that the modern Uyghurs are the descendants of this kingdom.
The Uyghur people have enjoyed years of freedom, progress, and have had a chance of practicing their beliefs without the interference of other people or groups.