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. Today, we have other groups that are yet to be documented and classified according to the UN.
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. They can be found in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in mainland China. China has recognized them as among the 55 minority ethnic groups.
The majority of these people can be found in China even though they can also be traced in other parts that are near 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. Even though these people come from Turkey, their number in this country stands at only 45,000.
They have small numbers spread across the world. Due to the language that they spoke, there was a time they were known as Turks.
According to the late 19th Century encyclopedia, the Uyghurs were considered to be the most ancient of the Turkish tribes. Their history dates back to the 2nd Century. Their Uyghur name was lost in the 15th Century, but was later reintroduced. The name today refers to a collective of all people who come from this ethnic group.
This group is known to be among the minority ethnic group and also as the oldest group to exist. They have managed to keep their practice alive and they somehow resemble their ancestors’.
They mainly carry out farming and baking as their primary practices in the region they occupy. Other than that, there are some who carry out pastoralism as their main source of income.
Their primary languages are the Chinese language and Uyghur. They are also Muslims who practice Sunni Islam. The Uyghur people also have ties with the Turkic people, the Karluks, and the Tocharians people.
The Uyghur are said to have spread once their kingdoms failed. They Moved to China and formed the Ganzhou kingdom. There is a belief that the Uygur of today come from this kingdom.
The Uyghur are among the few groups that have had a chance of being themselves without being influenced by other ethnic groups today.