Characters for Uygur
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|Uygur Gentleman||Uygur Blacksmith and his Apprentice Sons|
The Uygur are a Turkic people who ran a major empire on what is now Mongolia from 744 to 840. The Uygur converted to Islam over several centuries. The history of the Uygur can be traced back as far as the Huihe of the Tang dynasty. Most Uygurs farm fields watered by snowmelt. Others work in state-run crafts and cooperatives, textile factories, or carpets mills. The Silk Road threading through Xinjiang's deserts and mountains carried China's trade westward and eventually opened the way for Islam's expansion eastward. Seven of the 12 minorities here are Muslim, most speak Turkic languages and for centuries used Arabic script. The Uygur, once called "high carts" raise fruit, wheat, cotton, and rice by extensive irrigation. Their faces combine Indo-Iranian and Mongoloid features. The Uygur are found in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. They are part of the Altaic Turkic ethno linguistic group.