Brief Introduction of Tajik Ethnic Group
The male hawk on the plateau—The Tajik nationality
The Tajik nationality is one of the minor nationalities in China. According to the statistics of the fourth census in 1990, they had totally 33,538 people. They mainly distribute in the Tajik autonomous county, Tashiku’rgan, the southwestern part of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, a small number of them scatter live in Shache, Zepu, Yecheng, Pishan and other border regions in the western part of Tarim Basin, which is to the east of this county.
Tashiku’rgan, the main settlement region of the Tajik nationality, locates in the eastern part of the Pamirs, which is “the roof of the world”. In the region, connected mountains tower aloft. In the southern part, it is the second highest mountain in the world—Qiaogeli Mountain, whose elevation is 8,611 meters; in the northern part, it is the “father of iceberg”—Mushitage Mountain, whose elevation is 7,456 meters. All the mountains accumulate snow all through the year, the glaciers are hung highly, precipitous and peculiarly beautiful, appear in all their glory. On the banks of river at the feet of the snowy mountains and icebergs, there are not only connected pastures, but also the lands for farm work. The Tajik nationality, which lives here, has lived the economic life of mainly depending on nomadic industry and partly engaging in farm work from generations to generations.
“Tajik” is the name which the nationality calls itself. As early as in the pre-Qin days before the Christian era, the ancestors of the Tajik nationality had become the hosts of the land of the Pamirs, which was on the western border of our motherland. Since the 2nd century B.C., the world-famous “Silk Road” had been open, and this place had become the pass of the Silk Road. During several thousand years, the Tajik people have unceasingly absorbed the essence of the eastern and western culture, and created their own history and civilization with considerable characteristics.
The Tajik nationality has its own language, which belongs to eastern Iranian branch, Iranian group of the Indo-European languages. They believe in Islam. The Tajik people have firm and persistent, bold and unconstrained disposition. In their legends, the hawk is the symbol of hero. The favorite instrument of the herdsmen, who are proficient in singing and dancing, is the short flute “nayi” that is made of hawk’s swing bones; and the most outstanding dancing posture is the graceful movements of imitating the flying male hawks.