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Yugur is one of the 56 ethnic groups in China, with a small population, who call themselves “Yaohuer”. After the funding of New China, they were collectively called Yugur, chose the similar pronunciation with “Yaohuer”, in Chinese means “prosperous and consolidation".
Now, they have a population around 15,000 which mainly distributed in Sunan Yugur autonomous county and Huangni Fort Yugur Country, Jiuquan County, Yugur use three kinds of languages, the Yaohuer Language, the Engeer Language and the Chinese. They have no writings, so they mostly write in Chinese.
Yugur people have distinctive features in their literature, custom, costume and so on.
The literature of Yugur including folklore and ballad. Their folklore is abundant, full in content and various in forms, including mythology, fable, folktale, ballad, epic, proverb, motto and so on. Yugur people like singing, it plays a very important role in their life, no matter at grasslands or hillside all can find the fascinating singing. The ballad is a form of oral literature they like, and their ballad have a wide range of subjects, abundant contents and beautiful tones, going with the swing, full of distinct ethnic characteristics, their ballads mixed various different forms together.
Customs of Yugur
To be a guest of Yugur’s herdsmen, there is some etiquette you must know. If you ride a horse to their tent, you should dismount your horse at a distance, so as not to disturb the herd. No matter how long or short your horsewhip is, please put it outside of the tent. When leaving, do not ride the horse right away, you should take the horse for a walk until the host go back home and then ride on horse. People who wear in red and ride the red horse can not get into the tent, because they believe in Buddhism, their god "Maoshen" wear in red and ride the red horse.
Milk and tea plays a very important role in their daily life, one of the eating habits is” three or two dishes and one meal a day", and the Yugur people like eating beef and mutton with garlic, soy and vinegar. Most of the milchigs were made of yak, cattle and ewe's milk, such as the sweet milk, leben, urum, butter and Triton, the typical meat dish are sausage and dried fruit.
Yugur people are good at knitting, they can knit various daily living equipment and can embroider different pattern's and design's on it.
Religion of Yugur
Yugur people originally believe in Shamanism and Manicheism, and later converted to Tibetan Buddhism. They built up the first Buddhist temple – Gufosi as early as Ming dynasty, but people still reserve their ancient belief – worship of "Han Diana ge er", in Yugur language , Han means "Khan" ,“Diana ge er” means heaven. It’s the worship of Heaven Khan.
The man in Yugur wear felt cap, high neck gown, belt waistband in red and blue, and with high boots, the married woman wear flaring white felt cap, in Yugur language, they called"Lazha Cap". Now, the Yugur people usually wear the clothes of the mainland, only in major festivals or festive activities to wear traditional custumes.