维吾尔族 The Uygur ethnic group
Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region contains more than 10 ethnic minorities, including the Uygur, Tajik, Kyrgyz and Uzbek, among which the Uygur (which means "ally" or "unity") is the most populous. They live mainly in the area to the south of Tianshan Mountains in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The clothes of the Uygur people are brightly colored and beautiful, and all men or women like to wear a diamond-shaped skullcap named gaba. Uygur men traditionally wear qiapan, a robe buttoning down the front, and women like to wear a one-piece dress that has loose sleeves with a black front-buttoned waistcoat over it. Young women wear many plaits over the shoulders before marriage, believing the longer the hair, the more beautiful a woman is. Uygurs like to drink milk tea, eat mutton and nang (a kind of crusty pancake) baked with flour. A favorite dish is zhuafan, which is made of rice, mutton, goat oil, carrots, raisins and onions, and eaten with the hands.
Most Uygurs are Muslims. They have their own spoken and written languages. Uygur literature and arts have a long history and a special ethnic style; The Story of Afanti is familiar to, and liked by, all ethnic groups in China.
The Uygur people are good at singing and dancing, and their dances and folk songs are quite popular among all ethnic groups.
Uygurs took up farming long ago. They have opened up oases at the edge of basins or in the Gobi Desert, and built the kareza using underground water to irrigate fertile farmland. The main grain crops are wheat, corn and rice. Coreless grape, long staple cotton, Hami melon, and Hotan jade are special local products of Xinjiang.
The Uygur ethnic group has a long history of handicrafts; their carpets, silk cloth, knives and embroidered skullcaps of exquisite craftsmanship are famous at home and abroad.