The Äynu (also Ainu, Abdal, and Aini) are a people native to the Xinjiang region of western China. There are estimated to be fewer than 30,000 Äynu, mostly located on the fringe of the Taklamakan Desert.
The origins of the Äynu people are disputed. Some historians theorize that the ancestors of the Äynu were a nomadic people who came from Persia several hundred years ago, while others conclude that the Persian vocabulary of the Äynu language is a result of Persian being once the major trade language of the region, or Persian traders intermarrying with local women.
The Äynu people engage mostly in agriculture, although in the past some were peddlers, circumcisers, or beggars.
There is a tradition of discrimination against the Äynu by their neighbors, who identify the Äynu as Abdal, a name which carries a derogatory meaning. Intermarriage with their neighbors the Uyghur people is uncommon. However, the Chinese government counts the Äynu people as Uyghur.
The predominant religion is Shi'a Islam.
- Johanson, Lars (2001). "Discoveries on the Turkic Linguistic Map" 5. Stockholm: Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul. pp. 21–22.
- Safran, William (1998). Nationalism and Ethnoregional Identities in China. Routledge. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-7146-4921-4.
- Matras, Yaron; Bakker, Peter (2003). The Mixed Language Debate: Theoretical and Empirical Advances. Walter de Gruyter. p. 9. ISBN 3-11-017776-5.
- Gordon, Raymond G., Jr., ed. (2005). Ethnologue: Languages of the World (15th ed.). Dallas, Tex.: SIL International.
|This article about ethnicity or ethnology is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|