Talk:Monguor people

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Can it be[edit]

they are Tuvans? Mikkalai 01:13, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)

- The Tuvans are a seperate unrelated ethnic group. Abstrakt 04:50, 9 December 2005 (UTC) --- The Tuvans are Turkic ethnic group; Chinese Tuvans live in Xinjiang and are considered by PRC government as cpart of Mongol (Mengguzu) nationality. Monguors are Mongolic people, but are viewed in China as separate group. They live in Qinghai province, So there is only simple similarity between names of this groups and no direct relation. Uncle Martin.


"They don't have a script until recently." That's not correct. They used literary Mongolian and there were several attempts to create a writing system for the Tu language. Until today, there is no officially recognised writing system. Babelfisch 05:33, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

move to Monguor?[edit]

I wonder if we should move this page to Monguor? As a general rule, we should be using the more common English names for people and things, which is probably "Tu" in this case. However, I also think that, where no form of the name is clearly predominant, we should favour the name the people themselves use. I wonder which category this falls into? - Nat Krause(Talk!) 00:32, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

materials available at internet archive:[edit]


Author: Louis M. J. Schram

Learning English in Mongghul: Part 9 (1995) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Umay (talkcontribs) 09:19, 3 May 2008 (UTC)


I added some information on the three dialects under the Language section on the main page, but I don't have my sources with me so I'm not able to add the proper citations right now. If anyone else has books or other sources on this, please add some citations to that section! --Politizer (talk) 12:35, 28 August 2008 (UTC)


User Alexjhu just made many very broad edits to the article without including any edit summaries, and it's very difficult right now for me to tell what has changed. I have looked through the edits and most of them look like they're good edits that we'll want to keep, but for some I just can't tell. Most of the edits have added a good amount of information and footnotes, but there has also been some deletion, so I think we need to check to make sure that nothing important has been lost among all the additions, and to see if things need to be formatted differently, new sections created, etc.

Can someone who is more familiar with this article (ie, someone who has worked on it recently) take a look at these major edits and see if you can tell what's happened?

Thanks, --Politizer (talk) 14:02, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Response from Alexjhu[edit]

I have been conducting extensive amount of research and writing on the history and culture of the Xianbei, who are known as "Monguor" in the West and "Tu" in China until recently.

Since two years ago, I have been regularly editing this Wikipedia article. As my research progressed and more discoveries were made, I updated this page. Thanks.

--Alexjhu —Preceding undated comment added 02:10, 23 August 2009 (UTC).


The article is too one sided, arguing "Monguor" are another oppressed group and using Chinese of PRC sources (which confuse me as most books in PRC are checked by the administration,why would PRC allow independence books like this?). Also using a good and well sources just for one sentence, but fails supports the next sentence is frequent in this article. It did it's purpose of making this Article look "legit" .

Quote BurdenOfAges:

"The reason is that the author uses a lot of sources, which makes the edits look legitimate. In fact, they might be legitimate if not for the fact that he seems to cite sources that are both obscure and which do not really say what he interprets them to say. For example, the [32] above, which the author uses to argue that the Ming Dynasty was the only dynasty created by Chinese, links to the following book:

Yang, Jun [杨军] and Lü Jingzhi [吕净植] (2008). Xianbei di guo chuan qi [Legends of the Xianbei Empires] 鲜卑帝国传奇. Beijing [北京], Zhongguo guo ji guang bo chu ban she [Chinese International Broadcasting Press] 中国国际广播出版社.

I found a description of this book at:

It turns out, the book is simply a book about the Xianbei's contributions to China, and which claims that the Tang emperors were of mixed-blood heritage - which is pretty common knowledge. What is interesting is that the book's descriptions state outright that the Tang royalty was a mix of the Chinese "Han nationality" and the "Xianbei nationality," yet the author of the wiki page uses this to claim that the Tang were exclusively Xianbei, and that there was no Chinese-created dynasty before the Ming (what happened to the Han and the Song? what about the southern dynasties?). Moreover, a careful look at the book indicates that it's probably a fringe book, since it claims that the Xianbei were a Yan-Huang descended, "golden-haired blue-eyed caucasian" race (!!!), which I don't think I've ever heard of in historical circles until now.

All in all, it makes me really skeptical about the author's intentions. " --LLTimes (talk) 21:46, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for the insight and comment. This article has been an ongoing progress as part of a larger project. As my research and writing continues, I will supply more substance in the coming days as my schedule permits. Alexjhu —Preceding undated comment added 06:19, 7 October 2009 (UTC).

Hi LLTimes, Rjanag, and TheLeopard, thanks for tagging and removing the POV materials from this article. You might be interested in this same editor's treatment of Donghu, which is currently under mediation. Best wishes, Keahapana (talk) 18:09, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

A Reply[edit]

I have no other objective than straightening the ethnic origins and history of the “Monguor”/“Tu.” What I presented in the article is part of a journal article to come out in print soon. Thanks to those of you who have provided feedbacks and other assistance.

The WP article is mostly a synthesis of what has already been published. The final sections were based on my impressions. Until the journal article comes out, I cannot provide the citation. Please feel free to edit or remove the controversial parts. In the article, I made three original interpretations or discoveries:

1). I interpreted that the Mongolian reference of Western Xia as “Tangut” meant “Donghu,” from whom the “Monguor”/“Tu” had descended.

2). I interpreted that the national title of Western Xia, “Bai Gao,” or “White and Mighty,” represent the founding ethnic group, the “Monguor”/“Tu” who have been referred to as “White Section,” and the majority of the population referred to as “Qiang” whom I found to be comprised of the relocated Miao/Hmong. Previously, Western scholars had speculated that “Bai Gao” came from some religious symbols, whereas recent Chinese publications attributed it to represent a phantom river that could not be found either in the past or at present. I believe my interpretation makes stronger sense.

3). While debating with the others on the interpretation of the name “Donghu,” I came across with a finding that the name of “Xiongnu,” which had perplexed the Chinese and Western scholars, came from a combination of the clan name “Xiongxiong” and personal name “Nunu” of their highest leader.

For the recent book written by Yang Jun [杨军] and Lü Jingzhi [吕净植] (2008. Legends of the Xianbei Empires. Beijing, Chinese International Broadcasting Press), I have three comments:

A). This is the first book published on the mainland China that formally attributed the Sui and Tang Dynasties to be founded by the Xianbei. Earlier Chen Yinke attributed the Sui and Tang to be founded by the Xianbei based on the cultural characteristics of the two dynasties, although he believed that the emperors were “Han.” In response to a Japanese scholar, 金井之忠, who pointed out the emperors were Xianbei, Chen wrote articles in rebuttal. In retrospect, Chen examined only the paternal lineage of the emperors who, after adopting the Chinese names since Northern Wei, became indistinguishable from the “Han.” The current book attributed the emperors to be Xianbei by examining both their paternal and maternal lineages as well cross examining other historical documents.

B). The first author of the book, Yang Jun, is a professor of history with a Ph.D. in Pre-Qin History, and had published four books, two translated books, and two textbooks in addition to more than forty journal articles. The book came across as well-researched. The internet introduction of it characterized that the Xianbei had “golden hair and blue eyes.” This kind of characterizations could not be found in the book content and may have been put up by the publisher to get people’s attention or as a marketing strategy. It may be related to the traditional characterizations of the Xianbei as “chi xu” (赤须, lit. “red beard or hair”), “xi mian” (皙面, lit. “clean or white face”), and “lu tong” (绿瞳, lit. “blue eyes or pupils”), or as “mian bai xu huang” (面白须黄, lit. “face white and beard or hair yellow”)(See Chen Yinke [陳寅恪] and Wang Shengnan [万绳楠] (2007). Chen Yinke wei jin nan bei chao shi jiang yan lu [Lecture Records of Chen Yinke on the History of the Wei, Jin, and Southern and Northern Dynasties] 陈寅恪魏晋南北朝史讲演录. Guiyang [贵阳], Guizhou ren min chu ban she [Guizhou People's Press] 贵州人民出版社]. Pages 86-87). These were exaggerated descriptions and may in fact have represented “dark brown hair,” “light skin,” and “blue conjunctiva.” Some of these features can still be seen among the Xianbei today. That the Xianbei had descended from the Yellow Emperor was documented in “The Book of Wei” (魏书).

C). The book wrote: “from Northern Wei to the fall of Qing Dynasty in 1911, all the dynasties except the Ming were founded by the northern ethnic groups” (p. 232). That the Song Dynasty was not founded by the sedentary Chinese is common knowledge among most Chinese scholars and the general public. The reason is that the Song emerged from Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms founded by the northern nomadic peoples. Its precursor was Later Han (947-950) founded by the Shatuo Turk, Liu Zhiyuan, and Guo Wei, the latter of whom carried out a coup to establish Later Zhou (951-960). In both the Northern and Southern Song Dynasties, the Xianbei played substantial roles.

I am not a trained historian. Your comments and suggestions would be appreciated, as much as your help to improve the article. Alexjhu —Preceding undated comment added 02:47, 21 October 2009 (UTC).

A Summary of Findings Presented in the Article[edit]

A Summary[edit]

Since my article entitled as “An Overview of the History and Culture of the Xianbei (‘Monguor’/‘Tu’) published in Asian Ethnicity 2010, 11 (1): 95-164 is very long, below I will highlight some of its key significances or discoveries:

1) The article clarifies the ambiguities and controversies concerning the ethnic origins and history of the Xianbei (“Monguor”/“Tu”). Although they have been extensively studied and reported by the Western scholars since the mid-1800s, their history has been misunderstood, especially following the misconstruction of the Flemish missionary Schram. The article reviews the latest research findings and sets the record straight.

2) The article takes a new view on the complex history of China, which has been systematically rewritten or distorted in the past two millenniums. Whereas the post-Yuan history after the Mongols of the thirteenth century has been better known, the earlier dynasties were not, especially the important role of the Xianbei, from whom the Mongols were accounted to have descended by the Chinese scholars. The article reviews the earlier Xianbei dynasties, and also briefly touches on the importance of the northern nomads in developing the pre-historical Chinese civilization.

3) The article points the ethnic background of the founders of the Sui and Tang Dynasties, the latter of which led China to reach the peak of its civilization, to the Xianbei based on the genealogies of the emperors and the cultural characteristics of these dynasties. They inherited the political structure laid down by the Northern Wei of the Xianbei, which in turn was inherited by the subsequent Chinese dynasties. This indicates that the ancient Chinese social and political structure was developed by the Xianbei, whereas the territory of China as one of the largest in the world was accomplished by the Mongols of the Yuan and reinforced by the Manchus of the Qing. This means that China would not be what it is without the northern nomads.

4) The article presents an alternative view on the functions of the Great Wall. It was conventionally claimed to have been constructed to protect China from the invasions of the northern nomads. From historical perspectives, it was built for offensive functions to carry out military campaigns to subjugate the northern nomads, and defensive functions to protect the troops for retreat.

5) The article presents the origins for the English reference of “Tibet,” which had perplexed the international scholars. It came from the reference of “Tiebie” used by the “Monguor”/“Tu,” which in turn was derived from the Tuofa Xianbei who had founded Southern Liang. The Tuofa were of the same descent as the Tuoba Xianbei who founded Northern Wei in China proper. After Southern Liang fell, a small fraction of the Tufa Xianbei went into the Tibetan areas and gave rise to the reference “Tiebie”, which evolved into the ethnonym. Both in the Tibetan governance and religion, the Xianbei “Monguor”/“Tu” played substantial roles and their elites had considerable mergers.

The above findings represented mostly a synthesis of the Chinese sources, especially the latest publications that saw an increased openness and a shift toward the post-modernistic deconstruction of the conventional presumptions made of the Chinese history.

Below is a summary of the original discoveries presented in the article:

A) The article interprets the genetic relatedness between the “Monguor”/“Tu” and the Xi’an people as further genetic evidence that the Sui and Tang Dynasties were founded by the Xianbei. It suggested that the Xi’an people were the descendants of the Xianbei, who from the Northern Wei through the Sui and Tang Dynasties made Xi’an as one of their dual capitals. This is the only explanation for their genetic relatedness.

B) Based on the cultural and linguistic characteristics, combined with historical research, the article points to the fact that those who were classified as “Han” were not of the same ethnic group, and that “Han” was a political identity imposed upon diverse ethnic groups. Since more than one billion people have been labeled as such and indoctrinated with blatantly chauvinistic ideologies for over half a century, the article warns potential dangers embedded in it. As a political scheme perhaps necessitated by the domestic and international contexts when PR China was founded, the rapid development of the country now indicates modifications. The article espouses a new ideology of Ethnic Relativism to advocate that no ethnic group is inherently “superior” or “inferior” and to grant each ethnic group with equal dignity and decency which, combined with the effort to narrow the economic gaps, may help to make China become more “harmonious” as so aimed by the Government.

C) The research discovered an interesting link between the “Monguor”/“Tu” and the relocated Hmong/Miao, in that the latter formed the majority of the population in the Tuyuhu and Western Xia Kingdoms founded by the Xianbei in the northwest. This led to a new interpretation for the national title of Western Xia as “Bai Gao” (or “White and Mighty”). Within it, “Bai” (“White”) represented the founding ethnic group, the “Monguor”/“Tu,” who were historically referred to as the “White Section” and “White Mongols” due to their lighter skin, and “Gao” (“Mighty”) represented the majority of the population who were summarily referred to as “Qiang” and comprised the relocated Hmong/Miao from central China about four thousand years ago. Previously, “Bai Gao” was interpreted to represent a religious symbol by the Western scholars, whereas the Chinese scholars attributed it to a phantom river.

D) The article makes a new interpretation for the Mongolian reference of Western Xia as “Tangut” that it represented “the Donghu people” from whom the “Monguor”/“Tu” had come from in Manchuria. This corroborated with the theories of the Outer Mongolian scholars who have held that the Mongols had descended from the Xiongnu whereas the Chinese scholars attributed their origins to the Xianbei. The differences reflected alternations in the self references of the Xiongnu and Xianbei through history.

E) The article also makes a new interpretation for the name of “Xiongnu” as having come from a combination of the clan name “Xiongxiong” and personal name “Nunu” of their highest leader at a shift of political power, based on the reference of the clans with Xiongnu descent as “Xiongxiong” and the common name of “Nuernuer” among the “Monguor”/“Tu.” Historically they were referred to as “Hun” in the Western literature. The second character “nu,” meaning “slave” and “servant” in their name was believed to be inserted for derogatory purposes by the Western and some Chinese scholars.

F) The article presents a new discovery that the name of “Chiyou,” from whom the Hmong/Miao were believed to have descended, was pronounced as “Chiyi” in archaic Chinese phonology. This resonated with the Hmong shaman’s god in the U.S. as referred to as “Shiyi” or “Shee Yee.” The latter spelling was used by Ann Fadiman in her book entitled “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down.” This corroborated with the assumption that the Hmong/Miao had descended from Chiyou, the mighty leader who was defeated by Huang Di, or the Yellow Emperor, who had come from the northern nomads and laid down the foundations for the Chinese civilization.

The above finding in F combined with C corroborated with the oral traditions of the Hmong that they had founded a powerful kingdom that lasted four to five centuries. The account was presented in the Hmong history written by the earlier Western scholars but doubted by recent researchers. After the fall of the Tuyuhu and Western Xia kingdoms, some of the Xianbei (“Monguor”/“Tu”) seemed to have migrated southward into Yunnan and Guizhou through the “ethnic corridor” in Sichuan. Likewise, the original “Qiang” from these two kingdoms may have migrated to join the other Hmong/Miao settlements and brought the legends of the kingdoms with them. This will be elaborated more in my upcoming book to be revised from the doctoral dissertation entitled as “Under the Knife: medical ‘noncompliance’ in Hmong immigrants” to be published by Russell Sage.

Sincerely, Alexjhu (talk) 07:39, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

section blanking[edit]

massive blanking by multiple accounts have taken place over the past few weeks. the accounts were created with the single purpose of blanking the page. If you have a problem with it, please come to the talk page and discuss the article before unexplained deletion.DÜNGÁNÈ (talk) 03:25, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

I didn't notice, having just come to this article, what the blanker or blankers may have done but it is clear that most of this article was written by a single individual and is about her or his imagined connections the people currently classified as Tu in China have with such groups as the Donghu and Xianbei. The section on Tibet should also be removed. Utamin (talk) 00:02, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Useful source[edit]

"The Monguors of the Kansu-Tibetan Frontier: Their Origin, History, and Social Organization" by Louis M. J. Schram, and also contributed by Owen Lattimore is a useful source. it should be used to possible replace some information in the article.DÜNGÁNÈ (talk) 03:42, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

A BETTER SOURCE FOR SCHRAM'S WORK IS HERE: IT'S A FREE DOWNLOAD AND HAS NEW PREFACES/ INTROS. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:45, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

I've read the article by Schram. The problem with this WP article is that most of it was written by someone who disagrees with what Schram wrote, and who prefers to use Chinese languages sources in its place. This raises the general issue of representing the state of Chinese scholarship, which I don't think is done properly. Many of the claims made in the article seem to state only one side of the story and utilizes sources to this effect. Yet, with the mass of writing being produced in China, all sorts of arguments can be made in this manner, and the result of this process is POV. Without a NPOV editor with a broad knowledge of the state of Chinese scholarship mediating, I can't see how one would be able to make good, NPOV use of Chinese sources. A while ago I went and changed some of the more obvious POV edits, but the question is how one would proceed from here. Lathdrinor (talk) 20:55, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

Schram's most widely read work isn't "an article" but three volumes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mininahur (talkcontribs) 22:34, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Charles Kevin Stuart's republished edition of Louis M. J. Schram's work on Monguors[edit]

Rajmaan (talk) 01:55, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

The Monguor (Tu) nadun of the Guanting/Sanchuan Region, Qinghai, China[edit]

Rajmaan (talk) 04:30, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Monguor people/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

I have made continuous editions on the Tu/Monguor page in the past year and half. In the previous edition, I have added considerable amount of new information and references, while deleting a couple of sections that I had written earlier. This is part of a major project that I have been carrying out on my people over the past twenty years. More editions will be made as I make more discoveries as my research and writing unfolds.

Last edited at 08:41, 3 May 2011 (UTC). Substituted at 00:22, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

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