Keriya in China

Joshua Project has identified the Keriya only in China

Population

730

Christian

0.00%

Evangelical

0.00%

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Profile Source: Copyright © Operation China, Paul Hattaway


Identity

The Keriya have been officially counted as part of the Uygur nationality in China. Although they now speak Uygur as their own language, they claim to be descended from the Gug tribe who fled into the desert centuries ago to escape the attacking Ladakhis from Kashmir.


History

After they were attacked by the Ladakhis, "a small number of Gug people crossed the Kunlun Mountains and settled in the Keriya River valley, where they reclaimed land, hunted and herded animals and lived a self-sufficient life until today." The Keriya live on the ruins of the ancient city of Keladun, which is now buried beneath the sand. Archaeologists have found items of pottery dated from the Han Dynasty (206 BC - AD 220). Ruins of twenty similar cities are found throughout the desert. The Keriya people were first "discovered" by Swedish explorer Svan Anders von Hedin in 1896 after he had traveled 12 days into the desert, following the Keriya River. It recently dried up after a sudden change in course and can no longer be followed.


Customs

The Keriya live in widely scattered communities. When there is a wedding or other celebration, "the invitation is written on a slip of paper and passed from family to family, which usually takes a fortnight to do the rounds." Most Keriya families herd goats and sheep. Many also raise camels, horses, and donkeys. Mutton pancakes, called somitikubaxi, are the main staple of the Keriya's diet.


Religion

The Keriya have embraced the Sunni Islamic beliefs of most of the people groups in Xinjiang. They do not have their own mosques but are careful to observe all Muslim rules and regulations.


Christianity

The hidden Keriya people have never heard the gospel. They present a significant physical challenge for any would-be evangelist who must venture deep into the awesome and hostile Taklimakan Desert to reach these precious souls. Taklimakan is a Turkic word which means "many go in, but few come out." Summer temperatures in the area frequently rise to over 50° Celsius (122°F).



Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway Copyrighted ©: Yes Used with permission
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Country China
Continent Asia
Region Northeast Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Location in Country Approximately 100 families of the Keriya tribe live "at the southeastern edge of the great Taklimakan Desert… in a green corridor that extends sporadically into the depths of the desert." The largest Keriya community is Tangzubast Village, about 300 kilometers (185 mi.) north of the town of Yutian, in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Tangzubast has been placed under the jurisdiction of Liuabuyi Township in Yutian County. The only way for travelers to visit the area is to follow the dry Keriya River bed north, as there are no roads.
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People Name General Keriya
People Name in Country Keriya
ROP3 Code 114134
Joshua Project People ID 18520
Indigenous Yes
Population in China 730
Least-Reached Yes
Alternate Names for People Group Keriya Uygurs,
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Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Uyghur 700
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Affinity Bloc Turkic Peoples
People Cluster Uyghur
People Name General Keriya
Ethnic Code MSY41z
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Largest Religion Islam
Buddhism
0.00%
Christianity
0.00%    ( Evangelical  0.00% )
Ethnic Religions
0.00%
Hinduism
0.00%
Islam
100.00%
Non-Religious
0.00%
Other / Small
0.00%
Unknown
0.00%
Christian Segments
Anglican
0.00%
Independent
0.00%
Protestant
0.00%
Orthodox
0.00%
Other Christian
0.00%
Roman Catholic
0.00%
Photo Source: Galen Frysinger
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
Profile Source:
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
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