This article examines the role of Musulman (known today as Uyghurs) knowledge in the writing of local history in late Qing Xinjiang. In the last decade of the Qing Empire, the Qing court ordered officials in Xinjiang to compile local gazetteers for the purpose of teaching local history and geography to primary school students across the province. However, because most historical sources were lost during the uprisings of 1864–1877, many gazetteer compilers in Xinjiang were forced to rely on the expertise of local Musulmans. Qing agents routinely consulted Musulman elders, interviewed survivors of the uprisings, translated Turkic-language texts, and drew upon the knowledge and labor of Musulman treasure hunters and diggers to procure historical artifacts. Information sourced from Musulman experts was often included in local and provincial gazetteers, but only after being manipulated by Qing editors seeking to strengthen the place of Xinjiang in the nascent Qing nation-state.


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pp. 91-135
Launched on MUSE
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