By Rian Thum
For 250 years, the Turkic Muslims of Altishahr―the substantial desolate tract quarter to the northwest of Tibet―have led an uneasy life lower than chinese language rule. at the present time they name themselves Uyghurs, and so they have cultivated a feeling of historical past and identification that demanding situations Beijing’s reputable nationwide narrative. Rian Thum argues that the roots of this heritage run deeper than contemporary conflicts, to a time whilst manuscripts and pilgrimage ruled understandings of the earlier. past broadening our wisdom of tensions among the Uyghurs and the chinese language govt, this meditation at the very thought of background probes the boundaries of human interplay with the past.
Uyghur old perform emerged from the flow of books and other people throughout the Qing Dynasty, while crowds of pilgrims listened to historical past readings on the tombs of Islamic saints. through the years, amid lengthy trips and relocating rituals, at oasis markets and wilderness shrines, usual readers tailored community-authored manuscripts to their very own wishes. within the technique they created a window right into a forgotten Islam, formed via the veneration of neighborhood saints.
Partly insulated from the remainder of the Islamic international, the Uyghurs built an area historical past that's without delay exact and assimilates components of Semitic, Iranic, Turkic, and Indic traditions―the cultural imports of Silk street tourists. via either ethnographic and old research, The Sacred Routes of Uyghur History deals a brand new realizing of Uyghur old practices, detailing the striking skill through which this humans reckons with its previous and confronts its nationalist aspirations within the current day.