Āmānnisā Khan Nāfisi, also known as Amanni Shahan (Uyghur: ئاماننىسا خان; Chinese: 阿蔓尼莎汗; pinyin: Āmànníshā Hàn, 1526-1560) was a concubine of Abdurashit Khan or Abdurashid Khan of the Yerqiang (Yarkand) kingdom. She is credited with collecting and thereby preserving the Twelve Muqam, which is today considered a musical style of the Uyghur people of northwest China. The Muqam of Xinjiang has been designated by UNESCO as part of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
Amannisa Khan was born on the banks of the Tizanafu River (提孜那甫河) in an area inhabited by the pre-Uyghur Dolan people, modern-day Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County. Her father, Muhamode, was a forester. When she was thirteen years old, Abdurashit Khan burst into her father's shack and demanded to hear a song. She dedicated a ghazal to his benevolence, and he was so impressed that he paid her father the bride price to take her. She became Queen of the Yarkand Khanate, composing Muqams and other musical works for which her husband supposedly took credit. She experienced maternal death at age 34, and her remains were buried in Royal Cemetery Park near Yerqiang.
The only known source mentioning her by name is the 1854 History of Musicians (Tavārikh-i mūsīqiyyūn) by Mu'jiz (Mojize). That manuscript was translated into the modern Uyghur language by the Nationalities Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1982.
She was promoted as a cultural hero by the People's Republic of China for certain approved characteristics, including being born in the area, and being from a background of poverty and close to peasants. Saifuding Aizezi, the first Chinese Communist leader of Xinjiang, published a play about her in 1983, which portrayed Amannisa's conflict with Abdurashit's first wife, Yadigar.
In the 1990s a mausoleum was built in her birthplace (Yerqiang) to honour her contribution to Uyghur culture.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mausoleum of Amannisa Khan.|
- (Chinese) Kashgar Welcome You!
- Elsie, Anderson (March 2012). "The Construction of Āmānnisā Khan as a Uyghur Musical Culture Hero". Asian Music 43 (1): 64–90.
- Nathan Light. Intimate Heritage; Creating Uyghur Muqam Song in Xinjiang. Berlin: Lit Verlag, 2008, pp. 165-69.
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