Dungans-Chinese-speaking Muslims in Siberia by Ayman Dayrabaeva

DUNGANS – people living in China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Russia. In China, more than 9.8 million Chinese-speaking Muslims are recorded. In Russia over the past 10 years, the Dungan population has more than doubled; today, about 1,500 Dungans live in Russia. The Dungans, as a rule, are Sunni Muslims, their ancestors converted to Islam no earlier than the 16th century. The material and spiritual culture of the Dungans in its main features reproduces the Islamic basis and at the same time has Chinese characteristics. Dungans of the Altai Territory almost all perfectly speak the Russian language. Households speak Dungan language among themselves, representatives of the older generation demonstrate an understanding of the Kyrgyz language.

Credits:
Photographer: Ayman Dayrabaeva Wardrobe Credits: vintage

Dungan clothes (especially men’s) did not differ much from Chinese clothes, but darker colors prevailed in them. The current men’s suit does not have ethnic features, only during Muslim holidays, it is necessarily complemented with a skullcap, although representatives of the older generation wear this headdress on weekdays.

Dungan women’s clothing was in accordance with Islamic standards (headgear, arms and legs are hidden by clothing). Many women took refuge in the veil. Today, young girls usually wear scarfs or scarves, ladies in age – white scarves to the waist. Ethnic markers in clothes are especially pronounced in the bride’s costume, consisting of a headpiece, a bright dress with a multi-layer embroidered collar, embroidered patterns on the sleeves and hem. Embroidery is one of the types of art that Dungan women skillfully own.

Credits:
Photographer: Ayman Dayrabaeva Wardrobe Credits: vintage

In addition to the bride’s costume are also trousers with ties for wrapping around the ankles, satin socks and shoes. Separate decoration of the image is a complex hairstyle with decorations in the form of artificial flowers.

Dutsay, Beijing cabbage, white cabbage, sweet and bitter peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, green radish, eggplant, carrots, onions, garlic, radishes are planted on a personal plot for personal consumption

The ban on alcohol, as a rule, is observed quite strictly. The main drink of Dungan is tea. Dairy products are also firmly included in the Dungan diet. Some families practice stalling cows if their finances allow them, which, incidentally, is not always possible for individual householders to spend on personal needs. Entering an integral part of the “large undivided family”, the Dungan small family (father, mother, children) directly depends on the representatives of the oldest generation. Father father solves all issues related to the receipt and distribution of income.

Credits:
Photographer: Ayman Dayrabaeva Wardrobe Credits: vintage

A characteristic feature of the Dungan dwelling was a heated couch in the bedroom. They slept on it, ate, sitting at a low table. On the territory of the Altai Territory (the village of Novopeschanoye, Burlinsky district), a variety of such a stove bench was found, built separately from the furnace (at a distance of half a meter from the furnace). The traditional economic occupation of the Dungans is agriculture. In the Altai Territory, the Dungans also continue to conduct agricultural work, grow melons, watermelons, and also vegetables for sale.

Credits:
Photographer: Ayman Dayrabaeva Wardrobe Credits: vintage

In general, many experts note a low level of interaction between the Dungans of the Altai Territory and the indigenous villagers in the field of labor, doing business, everyday everyday communication, and in the field of cultural exchange.

Dungans are characterized by the observance of traditional family ceremonies, including children’s, wedding and funeral rituals. Traditionally, his parents looked for a spouse for his son, although modern youth often already makes their own choices.

Credits:
Photographer: Ayman Dayrabaeva Wardrobe Credits: vintage
Credits:
Photographer: Ayman Dayrabaeva

 

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