By Rian Thum
For 250 years, the Turkic Muslims of Altishahr―the giant desolate tract area to the northwest of Tibet―have led an uneasy lifestyles lower than chinese language rule. at the present time they name themselves Uyghurs, they usually have cultivated a feeling of heritage and id that demanding situations Beijing’s reliable nationwide narrative. Rian Thum argues that the roots of this historical past run deeper than contemporary conflicts, to a time while 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 suggestion of historical past probes the boundaries of human interplay with the past.
Uyghur historic perform emerged from the move of books and folks throughout the Qing Dynasty, whilst crowds of pilgrims listened to heritage readings on the tombs of Islamic saints. over the years, amid lengthy trips and relocating rituals, at oasis markets and desolate tract shrines, traditional readers tailored community-authored manuscripts to their very own wishes. within the approach 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 background that's straight away detailed and assimilates parts of Semitic, Iranic, Turkic, and Indic traditions―the cultural imports of Silk street tourists. via either ethnographic and historic research, The Sacred Routes of Uyghur background bargains a brand new knowing of Uyghur old practices, detailing the amazing potential through which this humans reckons with its earlier and confronts its nationalist aspirations right now.