When checking the latest information, it is said that the number of ethnic groups in the world today stands at around one hundred thousand. There are several things that are considered when classifying these groups and some of them are the cultural heritage, beliefs, and homeland.
There is a further classification of these groups from the majority ethnic group that enjoys a huge following while there are also the minority groups. According to the data released by the UN, there are still other minority ethnic groups that are unknown and undocumented.
Today, the Uyghur ethnic group is considered to be among the minority ethnic groups that exist. Their origin can be traced back to Turkey even though they currently live in Central and East Asia. Their residence is in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China. They are classified as among the 55 minority groups in China.
The majority of these people can be found in China even though they can also be traced in other parts that are near Turkey. Kazakhstan is the second country that has a huge number of these people standing at 200,000 by 2010. 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. Their origin dates back to the 2nd century. The 15th century marks the time when the Uyghur name was lost but later on, in time it was reintroduced. The name is applied to identified a collective group rather than a single group.
Even though they are among the minority ethnic groups, they have the longest history than any other group. 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.
They speak both Uyghur and Chines language. They are also Muslims who practice Sunni Islam. They also have a close relationship with other ethnic groups such as the Tocharians, the Karluks, and the Turkic people.
The Uyghur are said to have spread once their kingdoms failed. The split ended up with the formation of the Ganzhou Kingdom near the present-day Zhangye in China. There is a belief that the Uygur of today come from this kingdom.
The people of Uyghur have had an opportunity that other groups have failed of practicing their belief without external influences from other people.