Written by: Shi Xiaoqi
    Posted on: January 16, 2013 | Post your comment here Comments | 中文

     - KIRKIZ

    KIRKIZKirkiz is a Turkic name used by the Xinjiang Kirkiz people, and it means “forty girls”, “forty tribes” or “grassland people.” The forerunners of the Kirkiz people were recorded in history with various names, such as Gekun, Jiankun, Hegu, Jiegesi, Xiagesi, Jilijisi, Qierjisi and Bulute. The homeland of the Kirkiz was by the upper Yenisey River. Gradually, they moved to the southwestern part of the Tianshan Mountain areas and mixed with local Turks and Mongolians. The Kirkiz language belongs to the Turkic group of the Altaic Language Family, and the Arabic script is used for writing it. It contains many words borrowed from the Uygur, Kazak and Chinese languages.

    The Kirkiz nationality, had a population of 254,000 (2010), most of them living in the Kizilesu Kirkiz Autonomous Prefecture in the southwestern part of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The rest live in neighboring areas, such as Wushi (Uqturpan), Aksu, Shache (Yarkand), Tekes and Zhaosu (Monggolkure) in northern Xinjiang.

    KIRKIZ The yurts, made of felts called “boziwu,” are the main dwellings of Kirkiz herders. The settled Kirkizs mostly live in flat-roofed square mud houses. They are very hospitable and ceremonial. A visitor is invariably entertained with the best mutton. Offering meat from the sheep’s head shows the highest respect for the guest. At the table, the guest is the first to be offered the sheep tail fat, the shoulder blade meat and then the meat from the sheep’s head.

    KIRKIZ The Kirkiz diet mainly consists of milk and dairy products. Horse milk, milk, butter and yogurt are part of their daily food. The Kirkizs like drinking a beverage called “yarma” which is made of fermented barley and wheat. In addition, they are also fond of boiled tea with milk and salt.

    Most of the Kirkiz in Xinjiang believe in Islam. Those Kirkiz people who live in Emin (Dorbiljin) County of Xinjiang and Fuyu County of Heilongjiang, having been influenced by the neighboring Mongols, believe in Lamaism. At the beginning of the first month of the year (March 20/21 of the Gregorian calendar), the Kirkiz people celebrate their traditional festival, “Nawurez”. Apart from this festival, they also celebrate the Islamic festivals, such as Fast-Breaking or Eid-ul-Fitr and the Corban Festivals.

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