lunes, 27 de julio de 2015

Israelites in Eastern Asia: China... 1

The Jews in the Far East

There has been a continuous Jewish presence in China for well over a thousand years.

The most enduring community was that of Kaifeng, Henan province (in central China), dating back to at least the 11th century. There are stone inscriptions from 1489, 1512, 1663 and 1674, which tell the story of this community. This community finally disintegrated in the 1850's, but descendants of those Kaifeng Jews survive to this day and are striving to educate themselves as Jews.

While the number of Jews in China has always been small, Jews arrived there in five ripples of immigration:

1. Persian Jews journeyed to Kaifeng and other cities via the ancient trade routes.

2. Mizrahi (Baghdadi) Jews made their way to Hong Kong and Shanghai with the 19th century British invasion.

3. Russian Jews traveled to Harbin, Tianjin and other cities in the northeast at the turn of the 20th century, fleeing first pogroms then counter-revolution. Later, at the onset of World War II, many moved to Shanghai and established their own community there.

4. In the 1930s, desperate German, Austrian and Polish Jews (refugees) fleeing the Nazis found Shanghai to be the only place in the world that accepted them without visas. By the 1950s most Jews had left China, but the buildings they built, the records they kept, and their economic and cultural contributions are a monument to that historical experience.

5. North American, European and Israeli Jews working in China today. There are flourishing ex-pat communities in Beijing, Shanghai, and, of course, the longstanding community in Hong Kong. With exception of the Harbin and latter Shanghai experiences, Jews came to China primarily for economic opportunities, just as earlier generations of Jews had traveled to Western Europe in late Roman times, then to Poland, and still later to North America.

Tibetan Muslims

The Tibetan Muslims, also known as the Kachee (Wylie [The Wylie transliteration scheme is a method for transliterating Tibetan script]: ka-che; also spelled Kache), form a small minority in Tibet. Despite being Muslim, they are officially recognized as Tibetans by the government of the People's Republic of China, unlike the Hui Muslims, who are separately recognized. The Tibetan word Kachee literally means Kashmiri and Kashmir was known as Kachee Yul (Yul means Country).
                                                              Lasha Great Mosque

Generally speaking, the Tibetan Muslims are unique in the fact that they are largely of Kashmiri (Lost Israelite) descent through the patrilineal lineage and also often descendants of native Tibetans through the matrilineal lineage, although the reverse is not uncommon. Thus, many of them display a mixture of Indo-Iranian and indigenous Tibetan facial features.

The appearance of the first Muslims in Tibet has been lost in the mists of time, although variants of the names of Tibet can be found in Arabic history books.

During the reign of the Ummayad Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz, a delegation from Tibet and China requested him to send Islamic missionaries to their countries, and Salah bin Abdullah Hanafi was sent to Tibet. Between the eighth and ninth centuries, the Abbasid rulers of Baghdad maintained relations with Tibet. However, there was little proselytisation among the missionaries at first, although many of them decided to settle in Tibet and marry Tibetan women. In 710-720, during the reign of Me Agtsom the Arabs, who now had more of a presence in China, started to appear in Tibet and were allied with them along with the Eastern Turks against the Chinese. During the reign of Sadnalegs (799-815), there was a protracted war with Arab powers to the West. It appears that Tibetans captured a number of Arab troops and pressed them into service on the Eastern frontier in 801. Tibetans were active as far West as Samarkand and Kabul. Arab forces began to gain the upper hand, and the Tibetan governor of Kabul submitted to the Arabs and became a Muslim about 812 or 815.

The Bene Ephraim (Hebrew: בני אפריים) Bnei Ephraim ("Sons of Ephraim"), also called Telugu Jews because they speak Telugu, are a small community of Jews living primarily in Kottareddipalem, a village outside Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India, near the delta of the River Krishna. They claim to be Jewish descendants of the Tribe of Ephraim, of the Lost Tribes of Israel, and since the 1980s have learned to practice Judaism.

Where Danites the Israelite Ancestors of the Qiangs?

The main body of the Yuezhi withdrew westward and settled in the Fergana Valley. This group were called "Da Yuezhi" by the Chinese, which means "Great Yuezhi".

Tarim basin, original land of the Yuezhi

But some of the Yuezhi people did not want to leave the land of their ancestors It is assumed, that they withdrew a little higher up in the mountains and found a kind of coexistence with the Qiang tribes, already living there. The Chinese called them for "Xiao Yuezhi", which means "Little Yuezhi".

Some believe, that the Han Dynasty Chinese called the Yuezhi for "Da Yuezhi" because the Yuezhi's real name, as they called themselves, in Chinese ears it sounded like "da" or "ta".

It is not likely, that "Yuezhi", "Moon worshippers", was the name they called themselves. It must have been a name, which the Chinese labelled them. It seems, that the Han Dynasty Chinese felt somewhat superior to the peoples of the west and often gave them rather condescending names. Them being moon worshippers gives us a hint of who the Yuezhi were, since Ashtoreth or Astarte was a goddess of the Israelites during their wicked times. Astarte's most common symbol was the crescent moon (or horns). Because of this is believed she was originally the goddess of the moon. Ashtoreth represented the productive power of nature.

Note how the Chinese describe the "Qiang People" in the classical document "Weilu": Qiang tribes From Dunhuang in the western area of Chou Qiang (insurgent Qiang) in Nanshan Mountains (South Mountains) and several thousand li against west to Congling (Pamir) are remnants of Yuezhi and Congzi Qiang (Brown Onions Qiang) - Baima Qiang (White Horse Qiang) -and Huangniu Qiang (Yellow Ox Qiang)."

It is not very likely, that any people would call themselves for "Brown Onion Qiang" or "Yellow Ox Qiang" or similar. It is obvious, that the Han Dynasty Chinese felt themselves superior and liked to label the tribes and peoples of the West with some fancy names.

The Greeks have never used the terms Great and Little Yuezhi. They apparently knew nothing of these indications. Only the Chinese used the names "Da-" and "Xiao-" Yuezhi.

If so, Yuezhi's real name, as they called themselves, could be something that sounds like "Da" or "Ta", then it could have been "Dan" or "Tan", as it is spelled in runes on the runstone of Jelling in Denmark. (Tan-mark for Dan-mark).

The suffix "Dan" or "Tan" seems also to have a certain tradition in the area. Just think of "Qi Dan", "Kho-tan", "Tan-gut" or "Dan Xiang."

It is said, that the main body of the Yuezhi, who left the land of their ancestors, were divided into five different groups, most likely according to which part of their homeland, they came from.

One of the groups, called "Guise-Huang", overcame the other groups and gave rise to the name "Kushans", under which they became known in the West.

The Yuezhi king Shaka with big nose and royal horse tail hair style. Shaka is considered to be derived from Isaac, because consonants in Hebrew were the only written characters.

From Dunhuang in the western area of Chou Qiang (insurgent Qiang) in Nanshan Mountains (South Mountains) and several thousand li against west to Congling (Pamir) are remnants of Yuezhi and Congzi (Brown Onions Qiang) - Baima (White Horse Qiang) - and Huangniu Qiang (Yellow Ox Qiang)."

"Each of these people have their own chief. They have borders to the north to various royal judges. Neither the distance (from China), or the extent (of the territories) are known."

So the Han Dynasty document confirms, that not all Yuezhis went to the west. It mentions "remnants of Yuezhi", which must have been "Xiao Yuezhi", who lived in the mountains.

In the northern part of the modern province of Qinghai in a wide valley is a beautiful salty Lake with the ancient name "Koko Nor". The Chinese call the lake "Qinghai Lake".

King Cheliji of Western Qiang and his minister, Ya Dan, had been persuaded by the King of Wei to take part in the war in China. The king sent thousands of Qiang fighters led by the general, Yu Eji, against the kingdom of Shu. They were armed with bow and arrows, crossbows, spears and swords, iron sceptres with spikes and flying hammers.

"Flying hammers" (like Thor's) were intended to throw in the face of the unprepared enemy at close range. Perhaps it is from such a thing, the Olympic discipline hammer throwing comes.

They had provision wagons clad with iron plates, pulled by camels or mules. When they camped for the night, they drove the armoured wagons together in a ring and chained them together.

Left to right & top to bottom. Irish defence towers from Meelick. Defence towers in North Ossetia in the Caucasus Mountains. Qiang defence towers in Danba in Sichuan. Dan is Dan (obviously) & ba is usually identified as ben, which is son. In other words, Danites. Interestingly all of these three peoples (Qiangs, Irish & Ossetians) are regarded as Lost Israelites. Part of the Irish are considered as Danites. The Ossetes are part of the Alans, who are regarded as Elon's offspring. This Elon was Zebulon's son & Israel's grandson.

Initially the Shu troops were defeated: "Suddenly opened the Qiang rows, and their iron wagons came roaring as a tide, and their crossbow shooters filled the air with nails." Their leader stepped forward armed with a steel hammer in his hand and shouted: "I am Marshal Yu Eji, don't go forward any longer little general". (Three Kingdoms III page 1669).

Isn't so we imagine the god Thor, ruthlessly and merciless pushing forward in an iron wagon, with a hammer in his hand?

"Qiang bases their warfare on raw strength and courage alone. How do they care about intelligent tactics?", said one of the Shu generals.

Ultimately the Chinese defeated the natives with a cunning plan.

Flying hammers as "Mjølner", Thor's hammer, had a tradition in China. In the "Creation of the Gods", a classic novel about the transition from the Shang to the Zhou Dynasty, is told, that a famous Chinese warrior from the Shang Dynasty had a small but deadly "stringed" hammer, which he used as a throwing weapon. The string made it possible for him to recover the hammer after the throw. Thor's Hammer also had the ability to return to his hand after a throw.

The Qiang king, Ma Teng, was son of a Qiang father and a Chinese mother. He was "8 span tall with a heroic physics and striking features." (One "span" is a little les than ten inches, which is about 0.24 m, thus the king was close to 1.9 m. tall). The original Israelites were the western European Lost Israelites' ancestors, so no wonder why the ancient Qiangs were tall.

Ma Teng, was lured into an ambush and killed by the King of Wei.

His son Ma Chao attacked the Kingdom of Wei to avenge his father. The king of Wei describes Ma Chao: "He was bright and white, as he was covered with powder, lips as red as if they were covered by Vermillion, broad-shouldered, narrow around his waist, with a powerful voice and agile physics, dressed in a white armour and helmet." Ma Chao had a lion emblem in his helmet. (The Lion of Judah?)

During a battle between Wu and Wei, a distinguished Wu Chinese got lost from his platoon. He met a group of Wei soldiers led by the Qiang king, Shamoke. "Shamoke had a deep red colour on his face and outstanding green eyes. He swung a sceptre with steel spikes and carried two bows. He showed his martial attitude." The noble Chinese turned around his horse and tried to flee from such as a formidable opponent, but Shamoke shot an arrow through his head.

In the notes to the book "Three Kingdoms" it can be read, that Qiang had a religious relation to white horses, which they sacrificed to their god.

This indicates that their god most likely had been "The Great White King" - God of the West.

Another classic Chinese novel is "Journey to the West." It was inspired by the Buddhist monk Xuanzang's journey to India to fetch holy scriptures. Xuanzang had through several generations purified himself by living a virtuous life. He is exceedingly good, totally unworldly and impractical and was therefore continually in trouble. One monster after another wants to get him and eat him, because if they eat his precious purified meat, they will have an eternal life. However, Xuanzang is accompanied by his more earth-bound and practical disciples, who every time save him from being eaten. The various incidents on the road to the west are totally adventurous and have no direct historical relevance. The disciples are Brother Monkey, Brother Pig and Brother Sand. The novel has been developed by professional story-tellers up through Ming and Qing Dynasty, and it must to some extent reflect the common popular ideas of the time about the West and its inhabitans.

Brother Monkey is fighting with one of the red haired devils of the West. A theme from the classical novel -The Journey to the West.

Xuanzang and his disciples travel along the Qilian Mountains or the Nanshan Mountain Range, they are hold up by robbers. A poem describes how the robbers look like:

"One's blue face and prominent canine teeth were worse than an evil god's. The other's outstanding eyes were like death stars. The red hair at their temples appeared to be in flames. Their brown (body-) hair was sharp as needles etc".

The Indo-European Peoples in the Western Mountains Disappeared from History

Nobody knows what became of the Yuezhi and Xianbei peoples who lived in the mountains West of China. We can only guess.

I think, they lost their ethnic and national identity and their language and became mixed up with all the other Chinese - those who were not in the past persecuted and exterminated as devils. We must consider that a very large part of the devils descriptions in the classic novel "Journey to the West" includes red hair, big eyes and big nose, which are typical caucasian features.

It is from Aba County near the Sichuan border of Qinghai and Gansu, which today is Qiang area. So it could also have been Yuezhi area in a remote past, later Tuyuhun område and in late middle age Dan Xiang area.

The existence of paintings with redheads & blondes proves, that such persons with light hair must have lived there in the past. From where else should the painters get the idea?

Today, one cannot find persons in this area with light or brown hair, they are all black haired.

Modern Chinese is not a pure mongolid people. Often one can see persons, who have strikingly Caucasian features, such as big eyes and big nose. A very large part of Chinese have completely white skin. Therefore, I believe, that the remains of Yuezhi and Xianbei tribes were also among the modern Chinese people ancestors.

Common Place Name Endings in Central Asia and Scandinavia

Many salty lakes in central Asia are called something with "nor", like for example, Koko Nor, Orku Nor, Ebi Nor, Ubsa Nor, Ayar Nor, Ulungur Nor, Durga Nor, Kara Nor and the now vanished Lop Nor.

Quite similar place name endings are used in Scandinavia for shallow lagoons with brackish water; like for example Kertinge Nor, Korsør Nor, Stege Nor, Hedeby Nor, Vindeby Nor and so on. Flemming Rickfors has identified more than thirty nor in Denmark and Norway.

Another interesting thing about place names in Qinghai and the nearby areas is that many cities and places are named something with "Ning" for example Xining or Ning Xia; just as countless villages in Denmark, for example Revninge, Kertinge, Refsvindinge and Mesinge.

It can be shown that the old Danish ending "-ning" means person or persons. It can be found in danish words like hedning (heathen person), færing (Faroe Island person), islænding (Iceland person), flygtning (refugee), slægtning (relative), usling (wretch, creep) and many other danish words.

In this way we can imagine how the -ning names had been formed, examplewise the Funen villages names Mesinge and Revninge. There were already some natural formations, called "Mes" and "Rev", lakes or rivers or similar. The people who lived there before the modern Danes arrived, had given them this names. Perhaps such short names stretch as far back as to the older Stone Age hunters.

When the Danes settled this places in the beginning of the first millennium they logically named the places Mes-ninge and Rev-ninge, which means the persons who live around "Mes" and "Rev".

It could be argued that "ning" does not mean person, but it is a derivation, inflection or something similar to the English "ing" form. But if you think more carefully about what is the meaning of the English -ing form, then you must realize that it basicly also means person.

The endings in the terms Midgard and Asgard from Norse mythology refers quite clearly to areas. Modern Chinese names of nations, expressed by alphabet, also uses the ending "-guo", which has the same origin as -gard (gaard in danish) and very much same pronunciation as the danish word, for example, "Djung-guo"(China)," Fa-guo"(France)," Die-guo"(Germany)," Mei-guo" (USA) and so on.

I think that either the Yuezhi tribes, the Xianbei peoples, Aza or all these groups called shallow salt lakes for - nor, like in Koko Nor, and their cities and similar areas for for -ning like in Xining, other areas were called -Vang like in Dun-h(w)ang, and larger well defined regions for -Gard (guo), like in the modern name for China. In very much the same way as for example Kertinge Nor, the numerous danish place names with -ninge like Mesinge and Revninge, Danevang og Midgard and Asgard from the Norse mythology.

The Danes were an Eastern Indo-European people, a so called Iranian people (Iranian speaking Israelites would be more correct). They did not come directly from the Middle Earth to Scandinavia, they had first been on a trip East. Indo-Europeans have, of course, left their trace in the eastern languages, such as in Chinese.

In Chinese one address each other in general with "ni", just as in swedish, but in North China and especialy in Beijing one might address superiors and older people with the more respectful "ning". This supports that -ning originally ment person or persons.

In modern times the Chinese provinces of Qinghai and Gansu are mostly inhabited by the Turkish Muslim Hui nationality. The Huis are considered a mix between Chinese, Muslim Arabs & Persians. Seems like their Persian ancestors were really Persian speaking Israelites. In fact 6.7% of Hui people's maternal genetics have a West Eurasian origin.

For the Hui, a generalized notion of descent from foreign Muslim ancestors is important for contemporary identity. It does not really matter to modern Hui if these ancestors may have been Arab, Persian or Turk, only that they were Muslim, migrated to China, and maintained their distinctive identities. For the Uygur, knowledge of genealogy seems to be important only as it relates to the land, as proof of early Uygur settlement in the Tarim oases, prior to the Chinese or other nomadic Turks.

There Are At Least 1,000 Known Chinese With Jewish Roots

Judaism is not a recognized religion in China ... in the eyes of the government Kaifeng Jews are Han Chinese just like anyone else. This is probably the case with many other Han Chinese with non Han Chinese origin, including the descendants of the Qiang Israelites that were absorbed into the Han Chinese.

                           Qiang Israelite & Georgian Israelite Houses with flat roofs like in Israel

Freund said that close to 1,000 remain who are identifiable as descendants of the Jewish community and who have shown increasing interest in learning about Judaism and their heritage. Such interest has enabled Freund’s organization to bring many Chinese to Israel, the last group of seven men arriving in October 2009.

                                                                 Main road thru Qiangland

Freund further explained that around 25 years ago, Jews were given the option of registering either as regular Han Chinese or, for unknown reasons, as Muslims. “Many opted to register as Muslims since this enabled them to have more than one child, but they are still identifiable as descendants of Jews even if some of them have nothing to do with Judaism,” Freund said.

Was Tibet Named After the Israelite Scythian Goddess Tabita or Perhaps After Tabitha, the Israelite Queen Mother?

Different scholars believe Buddha was an Israelite. He belonged to the Sakya family. This family was Saka. The Sakas or Scythians were Israelites. Their name was another form of Isaac. As the scripture says in Genesis 21:12 " Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned."

As Isaac rendered Saka & Sakya Tabita & Thabita could render Tibet.

Tabiti was the Scythian Goddess who ruled the realm of animals and fire. The Scytians were really Israelites. Some of them founded Empires around India. Tibet is right next to India. 

Acts 9:36-43 Dorcas implies “the female of a roebuck,” “a gazelle”—an emblem of beauty. Dorcas is the first Greek name of a female in the New Testament, its Hebrew equivalent being Tabitha which is the Syro-Chaldaic form of the Hebrew Zibiah, or Tsibiah, the name of a princess of Judah, the mother of King Joash. The Greek equivalent for her Syriac name may be accounted for by her residence at Joppa, a seaport much frequented, and no doubt partially inhabited by foreigners speaking chiefly the Greek language.

Where was Danevang?

But this was Midgaard. Then, where was the original Danevang? "Danevang" is an old name for Denmark, used in medieval folksongs.

The most obvious candidate for the Dane-vang is the modern Chinese city Dun-Huang.

More than two thousand years ago the Yuezhi (Yuch Chi) people lived here in the northern part of the province of Gansu. They lived on farming, cattle breeding and they raised horses. They burned their dead. The Chinese knew them for their hairy bodies, their white skin, their love for fried peacocks and for their great beer consumption.

Yuezhi were armed with spears, swords and bows, they used chain mail. They cut their hair at the shoulders, except the king, who had long hair, tied up with a band. In Europe at the same time the Frankish royal family, the Merovings, also had long hair, just think of Bengtson's novel, "The longhaired Merovings".

Here in Gansu they had lived "allways".

Ancient Chinese sources describe the existence of "white people with long hair" (the Bai people of the Shan Hai Jing). Shan Hai Jing is a Chinese classic text that is at least 2,200 years old. It is largely a fabled geographical and cultural account of pre-Qin dynasty China as well as a collection of mythology.

The Yuezhi people arrived at the Shang court in King Tang’s era (about 1000 BC) and also in a list of tribute bearers from the Beidi (or northern minorities) in Yi Zhoushu (Lost Book of Zhou 400- 300 BC) during Zhou Dynasty. A Guan Zi noted in the third century BC that a politician named Guan Zhong put forward a suggestion that "(we) should accept the jades of the Yuzhi from the North." Obviously they made a living by trading with jade from Tarim Basin to China. All jade which have been found in China from the Shang and Zhou dynasties origin from Tarim Basin; and the raw material have most likely been supplied by Yuezhi traders.

All of the jade items, excavated from the tomb of Fuhao of the Shang dynasty (1600 BC – 1046 BC), were from Khotan in Tarim Basin. It was more than 750 pieces.

During the Shang and Zhou Dynasties (1600 BC - 200 BC) the area around Northen Gansu was inhabited by three nomadic tribes the Qiang, Wusun and Yuezhi (also sometimes called Rouzhi).

However during the time of the Qin Dynasty (221 BC -206 BC) Yuezhi was on the peak of its power and gained control of the whole area of Northern Gansu.

Chinese sources tell, that their northern neighbours were the Heptalites, who originally lived on the Dzungaria plain north of Tien shan Mountains.

Modun killed his father and became king of the Xiongnu, and it was the start of their heydays. He waged war against the Yuezhi, killed their king and made a drinking cup of his skull, and drove them away from their ancient land in 170 BC.

What astonished the Chinese most was, that Yuezhi had so much hair all over on the body and in the face.

It is assumed that they spoke the extinct Indo-European language Tocharian A, found in documents from Dun Huang that the explorers brought home in the early twentieth century. The documents were mostly Buddhist sutras, which are also also known from other languages and therefore Tocharian is fairly well explored.

In the 5th century AC, scholar, translator and monk Kumarajiva, while translating texts into Chinese, used the chinese character for Yuezhi to represent Tochar.

Coin showing the Kushan king Vima Kadphises - he had deformated skull - and royal ponytail. The Kushans were descendants of the Yuezhi.

The language Tocharian A has strikingly many words in common with Danish, such as "ko" (cow), "malke" (to milk), "nu" (now) and "samme" (same). "Son" is called "se" in Tocharian A, it recalls the "suffix" in traditional Danish surnames, Han-sen, Niel-sen, Mad-sen and so on. The final "n" can be a grammatical inflection ending. There are many in Indo-European languages. (in Danish we ad -n or -en to make a noun definite, then "-sen" can mean "the son"). The word "se" (son) also recalls the widely used Chinese suffix "-zi [-ze 'e]," which is also the basic Chinese words for "son".

The modern Chinese pronunciation of the name of the city of Dun Huang with the sound expressed by some danish letters will be someting like "Dån Hwuang", that is very close to "Dan Vang." The Danish vowel, "å", to be slightly more "å" like than in the Danish pronunciation of "o" in the name of the Russian River Don.

Dun-Huang is not a standard Chinese city name, like something with -zhou or -jing. It is a name, where the components cannot be recognized in most other city names in China.

Sir Aurel Stein, one of the early explorers of Central Asia, thought he knew that the meaning of Dun-Huang is something like "Blazing beacons" (meaning the enemy is coming).

Indeed, it is hard to imagine a city bearing the name "Blazing Beacons." A city must have a good name.

Kushans were descendants of Yuezhi.

Which merchant would choose to settle down in a city with such a name, with the prospect that the Barbarians would come every second year, steal his gold, burn his warehouse and give him an even worser treatment. Who would risk a future with his family in such a place?

It is far more likely, that "Dun-Huang" is an ancient name given the city by those, who lived there before the Huns and the Chinese came. This is often the case with place names. And that the Chinese, whom Stein talked with, simply did not know, what it meant. They have just given him an answer in order to make the guest happy and not to lose face. Actually, most often we do not know the meaning and origin of place names, also in Denmark.

The majority of the Yuezhi left the land of their ancestors in northern Gansu, defeated by the Huns. It happened about 170 BC.

Most of them travelled west and tried first to settle on the plain at the Ili River, where they however were defeated by the Wusun People. Then they settled in the Fergana Valley and some years after in Sogdiana around and south of the city of Samarkand. They continued to Bactria, and in the end they created the Kushan Empire in present days Afghanistan, Pakistan and the northern India.

The great traveller Zhang Qian, visited Yuezhi in their new home in the West and tried to persuade them to support the Han Dynasty in the fight against the Xiong Nu. But they were not interested; they had found "a valley, rich and fertile, and rarely disturbed by invaders."

When Zhang Qian in 140 BC, passed the salty lake, Lop Nor, on his way to "Da Yuezhi" in the West, he reported that: "The Loulan and Gushi people lived in fortified towns along the shore of the salty marsh." It was precisely Yuezhis former home, so they Gushi people, whom Zhang Qian saw, must have been some of the remaining Yuezhi, which did not travel to the west.

A Danish "a" is difficult to pronounce for some people, I think. Take for example the name Schwarznegger, which should be pronounced with a marked "a" as it is in Germany and Denmark, but the Americans have already started to pronounce it "Schwårznegger" because it is easier for them. It is by no means unlikely, that an initial "Dan" has become to a "Dån" over two thousand years. It would actually be an insignificant change the long time span taken in consideration.

                                                                 Map of Sogdiana

The Sogdians were more or less direct descendants of Yuezhi. According to the classical document "Xin Tang Shu", there were from the beginning nine groups of Sogdians.

The Sogdians lived roughly in current Uzbekistan around Sarmakand. Sogdiana never became a united nation, it was a loose union of rivalizing cities. In 705 AD they were defeated by newly converted Muslims from the Middle East. A few years after the Muslims wiped out the nobility after an unsuccessful rebellion.

The major part of the population was killed by Djengis Khan's Mongolian-Turkish armies.

Never the less the Japanese-Chinese Expedition in the early 1980's managed to find an old man in Tadjikistan, who still spoke sogdian.

In Xian have been found a total of three sogdian tombs, some say four. Besides, in 1999 was found the richly decorated Yu Hong's tomb in a southern suburb of Taiyuan in Shanxi. The most famous is in Xian and belongs to Wirkak and his wife Wiyusi. His Chinese name was Shi Jun. The tomb is a sarcophagus designed as a house, richly decorated with stone carvings on all sides. The east wall shows the most interesting scene, which recalls the Scandinavian myth about Hermods passing of the Gjallar Bridge on his way to the Underworld to retrieve Balder from the dead.

Wirkak and his wife are on their way over the Cinvat Bridge to the Sogdian Paradise. Top right Wirkak and his wife can be seen feasting in Paradise, over them is the Sogdian God, Wesparkar, who welcomes the deceased.

The Scandinavian mythology has a completely similar motive, but as it were reversed.

The Chinese myth of "Monkey King" tells, that he was a god who lived in heaven. But because he was so ugly and misbehaved, the other gods threw him out of Heaven. He came to Earth, and here he taught people to use fire, make pots, etc. some say.

The Aesirs came from Asia, wrote Snorre. But we do not know where in Asia they came from. But looking at the map we see that the interressting area roughly is stretching from Manchuria over Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Qinghai and Xin Jiang.

Dan Huan was located along the third route to the West, north of the Tien Shan Mountains and north of Pamir. Some researchers place Dan Huan, near the modern city of Urumchi, the capital of the Xin Jiang Province. The highly accurate demographic data suggest a fairly close relationship with the Chinese.

Dan Huan's neighbour kingdom was called "Wu Tan Zili", it sounds like the German name for Odin, Wo Dan. It was located between Dan Huan and Wusun. In "Hou Han Shu" it is only named Wu Tan. They were obviously a kind of "Wu-Dan".

A few hundred kilometres southeast of the city of Dun Huang, a little up in the Qilian Mountains is "Shan Dan." That means Mountain Dan. National Geografic "made a television presentation of the Silk Road. Here they visited the "Shan Dan" as a place where daily life went on as two thousand years ago. They lived from breeding horses. Probably it has always been called Shan Dan, and the locals do not know why.

As it now appears, that there may have been more "Dan-Vang," we must face, that we do not know how many. It may be such that the Dane-Vang we are searching, has existed, but simply did not find its way into any written historical sources.

The Roman historian Pliny (Pliny VI, 22) had knowledge of a people called "Ta-gora", who had crossed the river Danais from east to west, together with "other Scythians".

However in ancient time two rivers were called Danais, namely the river Don and Jaxartes. There were also two Pliny, that is the elder and younger. But it must have happened about 100 AC with a good margin.

In Justins's Prologue of Pompeius Trogus' book XLII we can read: "Reges Tocharorum Asiani interitusque Saraucarum", which means "The Asiani became kings of the Tochari and annihilated the Saka king (in Bactria)".

It reminds of the "Danes" led by kings of the "Aesir's" descent. Other sources mention "Asiani" as a seperate people.

The whole thing is covered in clouds and difficult to see through. But in any case; We are on the trail of the Danes.

Indo-European Speaking Israelites in China

Most people in the Middle East have rejected their own original language and instead taken up Arabic, which was the language their god, Allah, used when he revealed the holy words to their Prophet Mohamed. Nobody remembers any longer Coptic, the ancient Egypt language, the original Syrian Aramaic language, that Jesus spoke, or Greek, which was a widespread language around the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
                                                   Qiang main towns, villages & routes

Some ethnic minorities in China have forgotten their own language and speak only Mandarin Chinese. For example, there are very few left of the Qiang people, and none of them have any idea about an original language of their people; Apparently, they have long forgotten.

But historically, we must be allowed to assume, that peoples, who speak their own ancient indigenous languages, and who speak a language which they have not been forced on from outside of special political or religious reasons; their origin may be related to their language. Therefore, peoples, who speak old indigenous languages, which have many features and words in common, they may share a common origin far back in history.

An Indo-European people called Yuezhi (Yuch Chi), so named by the Chinese, collided with the Huns somewhere in the modern Chinese Gansu province. The object of the fight was the green and fertile slopes of the Qilian Mountains, which forms the border between the Tibetan highlands and the Gobi desert. Along the foot of mountains runs the Silk Road.

The existence of the Yuezhi people, who lived between Dunhuang and the Qilian Mountains, was first mentioned in a traditional Chinese document called "Shi Ji" by the famous historian Sima Qian.

Yuezhi were armed with spears, swords and bows, they used chain-mail armour. They cut their hair at the shoulders except the king, who had long hair, bound up with a ribbon. In Europe at the same time, the ancient royal family of the Franks, the Merovings, also had long hair. Just think of Bengtssons novel "The Longhaired Merovings". Yuezhi lived on farming, animal husbandry and they bred horses. They burnt their dead. They liked to eat fried peacocks, and they were disposed to excessive beer drinking, according to the Chinese sources.

What amazed the Chinese most was that Yuezhi had so much hair on the body and in their face. (From "The Mummies of Urumchi" and "In Search of The Indo-Europeans")

Some researchers believe, that Gansu is the original Indo-European homeland, and that Indo-Europeans have lived there "always". Others criticize them and say, that never has such a small tail wagging such a big dog.

Three Kushan kings. Notice their royal horse tail hair style.

                                                                  Yuezhi from Gandhara.

The language Tocharian is mainly found on documents, which the explorers in the early twentieth century brought back from Dun-Huang. It was mostly Buddhist sutras, which also are known in other languages. Therefore, the language has been relatively easy to interpret. It comes in two variants, Tocharian A and Tocharian B. Tocharian B is connected to the area around the city of Kucha.

"Son" is called "se" in Tocharin A and it recalls the traditionel Danish surnames such as as Niel-sen, Han-sen and so forth, where the "-sen" represents "son" (of). Perhaps the final "n" in the danish word is a kind of grammatical ending, of which there are many in Indo-European languages.

The Kushan Empire (60 - 375 AC), which was located in the area, which now is made up of Afghanistan and Pakistan, were ruled by descendants of the Yuezhis.They issued coins showing their typical Indo-European faces. They were apparently some bearded types with long noses and big eyes.

Some of the names of their kings also have the typical Indo-European -as suffix, for example Herai-os og Kadphis-es.

However the clash with the Huns (Xiong-Nu) then in Gansu became fatal for Yuezhi. Xiong-Nu killed Yuezhi's king, and made a drinking cup of his skull. The Huns settled on the slopes of the Qilian mountain slopes, and the main body of the Yuezhi retreated westward, where they later would found the Sogdian city-states and the Kushan Empire.

Following their victory in Gansu in the year 176 BC, the Xiongnu's Shen-ju (king) send a notice about his victories to the Chinese emperor: "The Great Shen-yu, by the will of God, ruler of the Hsiung-nu nation, respectfully salutes the Emperor of China.

                                                               The Kushan Empire.

The bigger part of Yuezhi, who travelled west in order to live in peace for the Huns, has been named by the Chinese as "Da Yuezhi", which means "Great Yuezhi". The remaining Yuezhi, who retreated up in the Qilian and Kunlun mountains, they called for "Xiao Yuezhi", which means "Little Yuezhi". "Da Yuezhi" first settled in in the west in the Fergana Valley. Some years later later they could be found north of the Oxus River, around the city of Samarkand. Even later their descendants created the Kushan Empire and the famous Gandhara culture.

Some believe, that the Chinese were inspired to the name "Da Yuezhi" because the word "Da" sounded like Yuezhi's real name for themselves in Chinese ears. Maybe the name was "Dan".

In thousand years The Huns, also called Xiongnu, and the Indo-European Scythians and Sarmatians, Yuezhi, Massagetes and others ruled the Eurasian steppe. As the Indo-Europeans were the first in their part of the continent, they gave names to big natural formations such as rivers and mountains.

The peoples in the area, which the Romans called Germania according to Tacitus.

The peoples of Gallia in the time of Cesar.

The names of the Russian rivers, Danube, Don, Dnieper and Dnester, are all developed from something with Dan. For example the Dnjester was formerly named Danpastir, Don was called Danakvissel. The river running through Klaipeda in Lithuania, is simply called Dana.

We have a fairly good knowledge about how the early Indo-Europeans were organized. In "The War in Gaul" of Julius Caesar he tells, how Gaul was divided between many warring peoples, such as Belgians, Helvetians, Arvenians, Sequanians, Haduerians, Pictones, Bojes and many others.

Tacitus reports about the area, which the Romans called Germania. It was inhabited by Batavians, Cattans, Usipians, Tencterians, Frisians, Chaucians, Suebians, Batavians, Marsians, Suevians, Semnones, Langobards, Gothinians, Osians, Angles and many, many others. In the far north lived Cimbrians and Gotones ruled by powerful kings, he told.

                                     The peoples in Scandinavia according to Jordanes.

The greek states during the Peleponesian War.

Some hundred years later Jordanes tells us about the peoples in Scandinavia. It was inhabited by Suehans, Graniers, Auganz, Ostrogoths, Raumariks and many others.

The ancient Greeks were organized in war like city states; each state was the traditional enemy of their neighbour-states and they fought numerous wars among each other. It was Athen, Sparta, Corinth, Lesbos, Itaka, Boetia, Corinth with many more.

The Indo-Europeans, who lived on the steppe from Hungary to Gansu, the Scythians, Alans and Sarmatians, Massagetes and most likely numerous more, whose names have never been recorded in the history, may also have been organised in numerous small kingdoms. They all had their songs and stories about their origin, their Gods, kings and heroes. But all this are all lost and forgotten by now. Strabo and Tacitus have preserved a few of their names.

           Tattoos found on the body of a scytian warrior in a permafrozen tomb from 400 BCT.

                                                  A longbearded schytian strings his bow.

A Sarmatian and his horse, from a tomb at Pazyryk 400 BC.

The long-bearded Skythians pictured themselves on their golden jars.

The ancient Greeks described the Scythians. They had impressive full beards. They were tattooed all over the body. They took the scalps of their defeated enemies (like the Amerindians), most likely some other Scythian people, living nearby. The buried their dead in burial mounds, and they had vast amounts of gold. One of the few things known about a Scythian people is, that their king was called Conan. It has caused a comic book and a film about, "Conan the Barbarian", with Arnold Schwarznegger in the leading part.

When the Romans later sent expeditions out on the steppe, they fought against peoples named Ari and As. Before also Alexander the Great had met Ari in the eastern part of the modern Iran.

Also the Sogdians, which roughly lived in, what now is Uzbekistan, Yuezhi's more or less direct descendants, were divided in several rivalizing cities and states. It must be assumed, that this has been one of the main causes, why they could not resist the newly converted Muslims, when they attacked in 705 AC.

It was a man's greatest honour to fall in battle, and they looked down on old men, who did not die by weapons.

Thus, in the Old Norse poem Havamal, it is said: "A coward believes he will live forever, when he is hiding in the battle. But he will not find peace in his old days."

All these Indo-European peoples loathed in general their nearest neighbours and led wars against them, just in the same way as the Danes and Swedes, French and Germans have hated and fought each other throughout history.

In the classical document "Weilu" tells the Chinese author about their western neighbours: "At this time, there were 36 kingdoms. Later they divided up into more than 50. From the Jianwu period (25AC to 55AC) until our time, they have torn each other to pieces and destroyed each other, and now there are 20 kingdoms." So wrote the learned Chinese in the third century.

Ancient Israelites in China

Yuezhi was an Indo-European people, whom the Han Dynasty Chinese met, when they hundred years later arrived in northern Gansu.

They impressed the Chinese because of their white skin, their body hair, their beard and beer consumption. It is believed today that they spoke a now extinct Indo-European language called Tocharian A, which seems to some words in common with modern Danish and other European languages. Danes can recognize such words as ko (cow), malk (to milk), tre (three), nu (now) and skam (really or actually).

Indo-European peoples and tribes akin to Yuzhi may well have lived also in southern Gansu many hundred years before Han Dynasty time, when Qin was a small county around the city of Tianshui. Qin's original ethnic and cultural origin may well also include Indo-European roots.

Seen through modern glasses Qin's rigid and inflexible methods, their uncompromising and systematic policy actually seems to be quite un-Chinese.

They could have been the ones, who brought elements of a now vanished Indo-European
culture from Central Asia to the region around the Yellow River. It could have been the Qin people, who made their indelible mark on the Chinese culture with the dragon heads on the bow of the ships, the buildings with the outside corridors all around their perimeter and the elegant and lively heraldic animal figures.

The pattern of the Olympic Torch for Beijing 2008 can be found in Qin Shi Huang's clothing. It can also be found in the temple of the famous horse of Gansu, which also recalls the pattern in the temple of the Cherchen man (mummy from Xin Jiang).

All this suggests some cultural roots in a Central Asian "Middle Earth".

When walking around looking at Qin Shi Huang's terra cotta soldiers' faces, one must admit that most looks rather "Asian", except that they are pretty tall.

Only a few of the soldiers have heavy beard and eyebrows; they seem to be just barely as tall as the others. All the soldiers are quite different and may well represent the soldiers from different peoples of the vaste empire.

The traditional pictures of the first Qin Emperor, Qin Shi Huang, shows a man en man with a well developed nose and a rather heavy beard. It was said that he had a "leopard voice", which means he had a powerfull voice. He can well have been of at least partial Indo-European descent; even his mother was a singer from the state of Zhou.

Below a Qin beltbuckle found in Shaanxi (Fengxiang Museum, Shaanxi Province 6. to 5. century BC). It is from the time, when the Qin nation was a little county at the unsafe western border of the Zhou Dynasty China.

It represents an animal, a dragon or most likely a lion, aparantly with several heads, who fights against a snake and bites it.

The almost identical motive can be seen on the big Jelling rune stone in Denmark, where an animal with four legs also is figthing a snake.

A similar scene can be viewed in the details on the Oseberg Viking ship in Norway and on several places in the carvings on on the wooden walls of the ancient Urne stave church also in Norway. There may seem little doubt that they come from similar cultures and same mythology.

A stone carving found in China from the third or fourth century BC (British Museum), showing two animals fighting against a snake and bite it, represents very much the same motif as that on the belt buckle, on the Norwegian stave church and on the Danish Jelling rune stone.

In the former Indo-European Asia Minor a gold relief with a similar motive has been found. An animal, who looks like a dog or a wolf, fights against a snake and bites it (Hermitage St. Petersburg).

A similar motive, an animal who fights against a snake, has been found on a lid of a chest from Dulan in Qinghai Province in western China - It may be assumed that it has been made by the Tuyuhun people, which was a branch of the Xian-Bei people.

Also the viking relief from St. Paul`s churchyard in London shows an animal figting one or more snakes, see below.

The classical novel: "Three Kingdoms" tells: "The Qiang King Ma Chao attacked the kingdom of Wei to revenge his father. The king of Wei described Ma Chao thus: "He was bright and white, as he was covered with powder, lips as red as if they were covered by Vermillion, broad-shouldered, narrow at the waist with a strong voice and agile physique, clad in white armor and helmet." (Three Kingdoms II page 1001). Ma Chao was carrying a lion emblem on his helmet." (Three Kingdoms III page 1173)

Also in the heraldic tradition of Europe the lion was a very popular animal.

Stone carving from 3. or 4. century BC found in China - British Museum. 

A little figure in gold - A dog or a wolf like animal fights against a snake - The Hermitage St. Petersborg - found in Asia Minor.

So I think that the animal figting the snake must be understand as a lion. However the artists had no really idea about how a lion looks like, they just did their best.

When Han Dynasty Chinese hundred years later came to the northern part of Gansu, they met the Indo-European people, whom they called Yuezhi.

Among other evidence the discovery of the buckle and the Indo-European words that still can be recognized in modern Chinese indicate that it may had been the case that most of Gansu, and large parts of Qinghai, Sichuan and Shaanxi, two to three thousand years ago, were inhabited by various Indo-European tribes, who spoke now extinct Indo-European languages akin with Tocharian.
They may have lived in between other tribes as Xiong-Nu, Qiang, Di and Tibetan people.

An animal fighting a snake -painting on the lid of a chest - Dulan Qinghai province -the Tuyuhun Xian Bei.

In ancient time the Chinese knew that the Roman Empire existed. They called it "Da Qin", this means "Great Qin". So they must have thought, that there was a connection between The Qin people and the peoples of the West.

It is known from Qins own history, that some early Qin rulers worshipped the "Great White Ruler - God of the West", as the peoples on the plains in the West did it. This god called for horse sacrifices, preferably white horses.

One of many rebels against the Qin, the founder of Han Dynasty, Liu Bang, proclaimed the killing of a white snake as a sign of rebellion against Qin. According to the "Basic Annals" the white snake was son of the "Great White Ruler - The God of the West" that some kings of Qin had worshiped.

Another classic writing, "Feng Shan Shu" explains the incident with the killing of the snake with that the son of the red emperor killed the son of the White Emperor.

Also, Liu Bang, who took over many of the Qin dynasty's rituals, sacrificed white horses, like some early Qin rulers did it.

In "Feng Shan Shu" the sacrifice of a white horse is mentioned by Wang Ling, who was an opponent of Empress Lu's plan to overthrow the Liu imperial family. Wang Ling, said: "The original (Han) Emperor (Liu Bang), killed a white horse and proclaimed the general rule that if someone, who is not a member of the "Liu" clan, became king, then the whole kingdom had to attack him.

The Qin emperors terra cotta soldiers.

If you (the Empress Lu) now allows anyone from the Lu clan to be the king, you will violate this binding treaty. "(Three Kingdom, notes, page 547)

Fire and the color red came to symbolize the Han dynasty. The same colors symbolized in the past the Zhou Dynasty. It is somewhat interesting that the banner color of modern China also is red.
Qins banner color was black, as also the Danes and Aesir's flag, the "Raven banner" was. ("Three Kingdoms" in the notes page 545)

The "Great White ruler in the West" might have been Odin the All-Father.

According to Sima Qian, the Qin people originated from the southern part of the modern Chinese province of Gansu, from the area around the city of Tianshui.

It is said that King Feizi of Qin served as the horse keeper for the Emperor Xiao of Zhou Dynasty (about 1000 BC). For this service he was rewarded with a Chinese princess and receved an area in southern Gansu as a fief of the Zhou Emperor.

His new County was surrounded by barbarian Rong tribes, some probably related to Yuzhi people, whom the much later Han Dynasty Chinese met in the upper part of Gansu. There were often clashes between Qin people and the neighboring tribes, just as there probably were battles between the tribes themselves.

Qin connected the original states defensive dikes to the north into one continuous great wall.

"Rong" was the ancient Chinese's common name for all tribes around the Zhou Dynasty China, no matter what these people might call themselves.

In 771 BC conquered some Rong tribes Zhou Dynasty's capital, which was located near the modern city of Xian. The prince of Qin came to the rescue of the emperor and protected him during his escape to the east. Zhou dynasty established a new capital of Luoyang, and the Prince of Qin received the title of "Bo", Count. The count of Qin was promised that all previous Zhou Dynasty territory, which he retook from the Rong tribes, would belong to the Qin.

The following generations of counts of Qin worked diligently to expand their territory westward at the expense of the barbarian tribes. Therefore, a great proportion of the population in the country Qin must eventually have consisted of ethnic Rong people, who had accepted Chinese culture.

The other Chinese states looked down on the Qin people and regarded them as some rustic barbarians. In the same way as for example the proper Greeks looked down at the Macedonians at the same time.

In more than three hundred years the Qin guarded the border against its Eastern neighbours, the Chinese states, while concentrating on expanding westward.

However, a coalition of Chinese states, led by the state of Wei, succeeded in 409 BC to cross the Yellow River and defeat the Qin seriously in battle. They carved out a large piece of the country of Qin.

In light of this serious national backlash the Duke Xiao of Qin carried out radical reforms. He gathered international experts in political science and law in his the court. Under the leadership of the famous Shang Yang all innate privileges of the nobility were abolished. Only those, who deserved it personally, were rewarded. The peasants got their own land and had to pay taxes directly to the king and the government.

From then on things went steadily forward for Qin. They developed a solid economic base in their backyard thanks to new big irrigation systems in Sichuan and along the Wei River. The new direct tax system and contributed also to a much improved economy.

Using this new economic strength, they could expand the army to an unprecedented size, which the other States could not match. The new farmerns on their own land were the backbone of the army. One by one they conquered the six other Chinese states, until the country of Qi as the last one surrendered without a fight in 221 BC.

After the victory the leaders of Qin considered how they could consolidate their power.

The emperor's chief minister and adviser, Li Si, said: "I humbly suggest that all historical records, except Qin's, must be burned. If someone, who is not a scholar from the court, dares to keep the old songs, historical records or writings about the "hundred schools", those must be confiscated and burned by the provincial governor or military commander. Those who, in conversations dare to quote the old songs and records, should be executed publicly. Those, who use the old customs to struggle against the new order, must have their families wiped out, and officials who know of such cases, but fails to report them, should be punished in the same way."

"If the owners of these books, thirty days after issuing of this order, still did not had them destroyed, they must be tattooed on their faces and sentenced to hard labor on the Great Wall.

The only books that do not have to be destroyed are those, who are on medicine, predictions of the future and agriculture. Those, who wish to study law, can learn it from the officials."

The emperor's eldest son, Fusu, asked for mercy for the Konfucian philosophers, against whom this proposal was directed. But it was vain, he achieved only to be de facto detained to the military department, who supervised the work on the Great Wall.

Some hundred historians and philosophers from the conquered countries were then buried alive or stoned to death, and all their books were burned.

The Qin State hailed "legalism", a sort of political ideology, which, since the major reforms under Duke Xiao and Shang Yang had brought them such success. Legalismen was a set of theories about government of the state, which stood in direct contrast to Confucius' ideas. The Legalists put the interests of the state above everything, they gave nothing for the virtue and justice, as a ruler should possess according to Confucius. The legalists put state interests above morality and justice, above everything else. People had significance only to the extent that they served the state.

Duke Xiao's first prime minister Shang Yang expressed the legalistic ideas like this:
"Clever men make laws, stupid men feel restricted by them. Worthy men change the rituals, unworthy men are only clinging to them."

The Legalists believed that man is selfish and egoistic and can only be controlled by strict laws. Therefore Qin's laws were unusually harsh.

Shang Yang wrote: 

By measuring out punishment small offences must be severely punished; if small offences do not take place, then big offences will not occur. - The punishment should not depend on position, but from prime ministers and generals down to senior officers and ordinary people, everybody, who do not obey the king's commands, violates the rules of the state or rebel against statutes that have been set by the ruler, must be punished by death and must not be pardoned. 

The Qin people were disciplined to such an extend that makes Frederick the Great and his Prussians appear as a misbehaved seventh grade. After a lost battle, all the surviving officers were executed. For the higher classes it was not necessary to execute anybody, they were simply ordered to commit suicide. 

For example, Qin Shi Huang's eldest son, Fusu, were sent a fake letter with his father's stamp, ordering him to commit suicide, which he did. His friend, General Meng Tian, received a similar letter, but refused to follow the suicide order. He was accused of insubordination, and was executed along with his entire family. 

At the foot of Qin Shi Huang's burial mound a mass grave was found, with, what some assume, the remains of the imperial tomb builders. They had just been thrown into the grave, pell-mell. A newspaper wrote that these skeletons had been surveyed, and it was determined that some of them were caucasian types. 

For Qin persons it must have been nominally an honor to follow their king in death, though perhaps not all the followers were equally enthusiastic. One might ask whether then, it is likely that the bodies of deads were treated so carelessly. It is more likely that the insurgent General Xiang Yu had captured some surviving Qin persons, executed them and dumped them into a hole. 

If this is the case then the skeltons in the mass grave show that the Qin must have been a people of partial causasian descent.

The rebellious General Xiang Yu destroyed and burned Qin's imperial Epang palace and Qin Shi Huang's tomb complex, Sima Qian wrote. Both burned for several months thereafter. He executed the third Qin emperor and his entire family. It is well known that Xiang Yu killed all of the Qins, he could get hold of. Other rebel armies probably also did so. It must have been China's first devil eradication campaign. 

Israel in Asia

Recorded scripture, the teachings of the living prophets, and a fascinating array of historical evidence abundantly witness that descendants of Israel have been scattered into the far reaches of Asia—that the peoples of the Orient are legitimate heirs of the promises made unto Father Abraham. And while many writers have identified contemporary European and American races with particular tribes of ancient Israel, few have considered the dispersal of Israelites into Asia.

Regarding this dispersion, the Lord declared through the prophet Amos: “I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.” (Amos 9:9.) In partial fulfillment of that prophecy, it is recorded in the Bible that “in the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abel-beth-Maachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria.” (2 Kgs. 15:29.)

Those captives of Israel exiled in the north beyond the Euphrates have never returned as a whole to Palestine, as did many of their brethren, the captives of Judah. (See Ezra 2:1.)

As to the return of the remnant of captive Israel, Isaiah prophesied that they should be recovered from the four corners of the earth. (See Isa. 11:11–12.)

That the gathering of these scattered tribes has been a concern for the latter-day prophets is revealed in the prayer offered by the Prophet Joseph Smith at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple.

“And may all the scattered remnants of Israel, who have been driven to the ends of the earth, come to a knowledge of the truth, believe in the Messiah, and be redeemed from oppression, and rejoice before thee.” (D&C 109:67.)

As though in answer to the Prophet’s fervent plea, a band of intrepid Latter-day Saint missionaries penetrated the continent of Asia to share the gospel of Christ as early as 1850. But Elder Orson Hyde, one of their number who was greatly concerned with the gathering of Israel, would view with amazement, if not disbelief, the recent missionary activity in the Mormon pavilion at Expo ’70 in Japan.

From these early beginnings, when even Russia was dedicated for missionary labor, there has been a surge of Church growth in Asia. Today there are nine Asian missions. The Book of Mormon has been translated into several Asiatic languages. The numbers of baptisms in Asia have been increasing at an impressive rate, particularly since World War II.

On a broad front throughout Asia, which accounts for a third of the world’s population, there is renewed vigor to heed the call of the opening verse of the Doctrine and Covenants, which says in part:

“… Hearken ye people from afar; and ye that are upon the islands of the sea. …” (D&C 1:1.)

Concomitant with this spreading missionary effort in the Far East, there is considerable interest in ancient but recurrent Israelite influence throughout Asia. Evidence suggests that some of the discovered artifacts can be traced to the time when Israel was scattered. This look into the ancient past could be of great significance to the present-day Church in its expanding worldwide setting and certainly is of profound importance to Asian people who view their ancestors with such reverence. Possible connecting links between the Asian peoples and scattered Israelite progenitors could be one explanation of the impressive responsiveness to the message of the gospel by various peoples of Asia.

Ancient Metal Plates of the Malabar Jews. On the Malabar coast of India in Cochin a community of “White Jews” has had in its possession two brass or copper plates on which are engraved, in the ancient Tamil language, certain privileges granted to a Joseph Rabban many centuries ago by the Hindu ruler of Malabar. The plates are cherished by these Jews as their most precious historical documents—their charter, their original settlement deed—and are deposited in an iron box, known as Pandeal, in the “Paradesi” Synagogue.

The following is a narrative of events relating to the arrival of these Jews: “After the second Temple was destroyed (which may God speedily rebuild) our fathers, dreading the Conqueror’s wrath, departed from Jerusalem, a numerous body of men, women, priests, and Levites came into this land. There were among them men of repute for learning and wisdom; and God gave the people favour in the sight of the king, who at that time reigned here, and he granted them a place to dwell in, called Cranganore. He allowed them a patriarchal jurisdiction within the district, with certain privileges of nobility; and the Royal grant was engraved, according to the customs of those days, on a plate of brass. This was done in the year from the creation of the world, 4250 (A.D. 490); and this plate of brass we still have in our possession. Our forefathers continued at Cranganore for about a thousand years, and the number of Heads who governed were seventy-two. Soon after our settlement, other Jews followed us from Judea; and among these came that man of great wisdom, Rabbi Samuel, a Levite of Jerusalem, with his son Rabbi Jehunda Levita. They brought with them the silver trumpets, made use of at the time of the Jubilee, which were saved when the second Temple was destroyed; and we have heard from our fathers, that there was engraved upon those trumpets the letters of the Ineffable Name. There joined us also from Spain, and other places, from time to time, certain tribes of Jews and Israelites who had heard of our prosperity. But at last, discord arising among ourselves, one of our chiefs called to his assistance an Indian King, who came upon us with a great army, destroyed our houses, palaces, and strongholds, dispossessed us of Cranganore, killed part of us, and carried part into captivity. Some of the exiles came and dwelt at Cochin, where we have remained ever since, suffering great changes from time to time. There are amongst us some of the children of Israel, who came from the country of Ashkenaz, from Egypt, from Tsoba, and other places, besides those who formerly inhabited this country.”

There are two general classes of Jews living in India, the Jerusalem or White Jews and the so-called Black Jews.

It is believed that the Black Jews arrived in India long before the others, but that their darker complexion and resemblance to the European Jews indicate that they were detached from the parent stock in Judea before the Jews in the West. The Black Jews relate many tales of other Jewish colonies in India and China.

When the noted scholar Claudius Buchanan visited the Malabar coast just after the turn of the nineteenth century, he was provided with a written list of sixty-five such colonies.

“I conversed with those who had lately visited many of these stations, and were about to return again. The Jews had a never-ceasing communication with each other in the East. Their families indeed were generally stationary, being subject to despotic princes; but the men move much about in a commercial capacity; and the same individual will pass through many extensive countries. So that when a thing interesting to the nation of the Jews takes place, the rumour will pass rapidly throughout all Asia.”

Non-Chinese in China. Western people tend to regard Orientals as all of one race, thinking that Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Thais, and Indonesians are somehow indistinguishable from one another. There is no such thing as an Asian race. The Asian continent is a giant marketplace of many different races.

The Chinese certainly are not all of the same ethnic stock, and it would be as inexact to speak of “the Chinese race” as it would be to speak of the “European race.” The Irishman would likely find as much in common with the Bulgarian in speech and manners as the native of Shansi with the Cantonese.

Professor Lo Hsiang-Lin’s study of Chinese clan genealogies shows numerous historical migrations among clans within China, as well as widespread intermarriage of Chinese with other ethnic groups—including racial strains from the far reaches of Southwest Asia. Among these various infusions there have been many groups of Semitic and Caucasian peoples. As Rodney Gilbert has observed: “In the time of Confucius there were blond Aryan tribesmen occupying tracts in what is now North-west China, and light eyes and hair in very frequent throwbacks testify that, while the majority of those blonds migrated, a certain number were absorbed. Colonies of Indians, Arabs, Jews and Russians have been absorbed. … Within the bounds of China proper there are scores of fragments of non-Chinese peoples who still maintain their racial identity and their own non-Chinese languages but who are slowly but surely being absorbed and who would, with improved communications, be as Chinese as any others in two or three generations, retaining few traditions of an alien origin.”

These historical differences illustrated in “foreign” groups are still clearly distinguishable in various areas of China. Rene Grousset has pointed out that oasis dwellers in the Tarim Basin are agriculturalists who still differ from the Altaic nomads who surround them: “Their physical appearance, even today, is not Mongolian, but very similar to the Iranian variety of Caucasian.”

Jewish Merchants and Asian Caravan Routes. G. F. Hudson has shown that communication, travel, and substantial cultural and economic intercourse existed between China and the Mediterranean world from earliest Roman times. During Han dynasty times (roughly two centuries before and after Christ) the silk trade between the East and the West reached its height, which brought foreign merchants and traders as well as soldiers and hostages to mingle with the sons of Han. Men risked their lives by land and sea to carry the precious materials to Rome, materials that were, at that time, to be procured only in China.

There is evidence that Israelite colonies had already settled in Central Asia as much as 200 years before the writing of Isaiah 49:12 [Isa. 49:12], which tells of the presence of Israelites in China (“the land of Sinim” ). China was interested in keeping open the roads to the western world at least a thousand years before the Christian era. The antiquity of the camel caravan routes is shown by the fact that the camel, a native of Central Asia, was known in ancient Babylonia by 2000 B.C.

When Israelite colonies reached the trade cities of the Iranic Medes in 720 B.C., a direct road to China had long been marked out for them by the line of Iranic oasis trade colonies reaching clear across Central Asia. These Israelites did not have the task of pioneering through uncharted deserts battling with unknown savages. In every oasis, by means of Iranic speech, they were in contact with nomads who were anxious to trade with them.

Two Jewish fragments already illustrate the significance of Chinese Turkestan for Judaism. Sir Aurel Stein found at a place on the northern caravan route a Persian business letter, written in square Hebrew characters. It has been dated A.D. 708. The other manuscript came from the southern caravan route, some fifteen years earlier, from the ancient city of Tunhuang in eastern Turkestan. In a buried cloister library, Professor Paul Pelliot, the French scholar, found a sheet of paper with antique Hebrew writing. Philippe Berger and Moise Schwab, who published it, date it also in the eighth century. It is, then, the oldest Hebrew manuscript thus far known. It is a simple devotional sheet, composed of passages from the Psalms and prophets. But it is written on paper, which at that date was made only in China.

The Kaifeng Jews. Man’s knowledge of the travels and settlement of “the dispersed of Judah” in China is still very inadequate. Western interest in this subject began in 1605, when a Kaifeng Jew named Ngai T’ien visited the Jesuit missionary and scholar, Matteo Ricci, in Peking. From then on to the closing years of the nineteenth century, foreigners have taken a great interest in these Jewish remnants. Father Ricci’s account of the initial discovery of Israelites in East Asia was a dramatic revelation to the European world. It led to a flurry of research consisting at first of Catholic missionaries, later of Protestants, and finally of Jews.

The conditions surrounding this initial discovery of the Kaifeng Jewish community and some of its possible implications were reported by Ricci:

“We have likewise discovered, as will be explained below, Jews who are living according to the ancient law of Moses. But they number only a few families and as far as we know, they have no synagogues elsewhere except in Kai-feng Fu, the capital of Honan province, and in Hangchow fu, the capital of Chekiang province.

In it (in the Kaifeng synagogue; tr.) the Pentateuch of Moses is without vowel signs, on sheepskin parchment rolled up according to the old fashion. They do not have other books from the Old Testament and also did not know which ones they did not possess. They have preserved the ceremony of circumcision and, moreover, they abstain from eating pork and any kind of meat with sinews according to their ancient ritual.

“It was only a few years ago that we learned for certain that there exist also Christians, especially in the northern provinces, who are called worshippers of the cross. Sixty years ago they flourished to such an extent in regard to the number of their families and their literary and military abilities that the Chinese became suspicious of them; they were perhaps instigated by the Mohammedans who everywhere are our enemies. The Chinese, therefore, wanted to catch them and thus they all went into hiding, some of them as Turks (Mohammedans; tr.) or Jews, but most of them became gentiles (Chinese Confucianists, Buddhists, or Taoists; tr.). Their churches were changed into temples of idols and their descendants, although many preserved the custom of making the sign of the cross over their food and drink, remained so afraid that they did not want to confess to be the progeny of the followers of the cross; and there is nobody, either among them or others, who knows of any occasion to make these crosses. But this symbol of theirs clearly demonstrates that they are the offspring of alien people in China. …”

A book written by Ricci came into the hands of a Jew who came from the province of Honan and whose surname was Ai. Having read this book of foreigners staying in China who worshipped only the “King of Heaven,” he sought out the home of the priests, convinced that they would be followers of the Mosaic law. Through this visit, it was learned that there were ten or twelve Jewish families living in Kaifeng and that there was a beautiful synagogue there, containing courtyards, pavilions, and a central enclosure on the north side where washings and ablutions were performed. On the south side was a slaughterhouse, where animals were killed by the synagogue authorities in the prescribed way. The Kaifeng Jews kept with veneration the Pentateuch of Moses, written on sheepskin parchment, rolled in five scrolls.

Other Jews lived in Hangchow and other parts, the families dating back at least 600 years in that region.

This Chinese of Jewish descent told many stories of the Old Testament, using interesting pronunciations. For instance, Jerusalem he called Heirusoloim, and the Messiah, who he said was still to come, he called Mosicia. He said that many in Kaifeng knew Hebrew, although he himself did not.

Imprint of Israelites in Japan. The Japanese archipelago, composed of four main islands and hundreds of smaller ones stretching over more than 1,500 miles along the eastern shore of the Asiatic continent, is far removed from the homeland of ancient Israel. Yet the accessibility of these islands by sea would permit settlers to come from widely separated geographic regions. Many came from the Asian continent and others from the coastal regions of Southeast Asia and from Polynesia.The earliest known settlers included the enigmatic Ainu, a Caucasian people today surviving only in small numbers in the northern areas of the country; and as in China and Korea, ruddy-skinned, long-nosed Semitic and Aryan types have also appeared. There can be no question but that among the many groups of wayfaring immigrants who have reached the Japanese islands over the distant past, remnants of ancient Israel have been included among their number.

[photo] The two ink-squeezes, above, were taken from the opposite faces of the earliest memorial stone at K’ai-feng. At the left is the first inscription, dating from 1489. The one at the right was made in 1512. Both tell of “the religion of the Israelites” coming to China in the time of the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 220) and of another immigration by way of India in the twelfth century.

A resonant, black marble chime or gong called the worshipers to three periods of prayer each day during the years that the synagogue flourished. The chime is now in the Royal Ontario Museum. It is twelve inches wide, and the four Chinese characters on its face mean “the jade chime of spiritual essence.” Certain characteristics indicate that it was made during the Ming Dynasty.

[photo] Stone image in Korea’s Sokkuram Cave Temple. This tall, long-nosed Aryan or Semitic figure indicates early foreign influence from South and Southwest Asia. It dates from the eighth century.

Brass plates of the Malabar Jews of India. These were inscribed in the fifth century. Courtesy of Cambridge University Library, England.

This painting of a Chinese Jew vividly portrays the blending of races incident to the wanderings and colonization of Hebrew people throughout the world.

                                            Exterior View of the K’ai-feng Synagogue

Dr. Palmer is coordinator of Asian studies at Brigham Young University and a professor of history and religion in the College of Religious Instruction. He has been an LDS chaplain in Asia and is a former president of the Korea Mission. A popular speaker and writer, his latest book is The Church Encounters Asia. He teaches Sunday School in the Edgemont Eighth Ward, Sharon East Stake.

12. In suggesting that present-day Japan represents an amalgam of racial and cultural strains and the minor strains of influence have converged from the far reaches of the Pacific, we are reminded of Hagoth and other seafaring explorers who set out from the shores of the American continent toward the Pacific and were “never heard of more.” (Alma 63:5–8.) In substantiating the theory behind this famous Kon-Tiki expedition, Thor Heyerdahl, in his book American Indians in the Pacific (London: George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1952), shows that early voyages into the Pacific have had a predominant tendency to take a western course from America. His data show that such historic expeditions have reached Southeast Asia, China, Korea, and Japan. Contacts between “Yamato Japanese” and the aboriginal Ainu, and the former’s conscious effort to absorb them into mainstream Japanese race and culture, are covered in John A. Harrison’s The Ainu of Northern Japan (Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, April 1960). On their known religious traditions see Neil G. Munro, Ainu Creed and Cult (New York: Columbia University Press, 1963).
13. Perhaps the most vivid indication of early Korean connections with the peoples of Southwest Asia are the images of tall, lean figures with long noses, sculptured on the walls of the Sokkuram Cave Temple at Mt. Toham, in Kyongju, South Korea, dating from the eighth century. At least one scholar has observed: “The faces of these figures have a distinctly Jewish cast.” See Charles Allen Clark, Religions of Old Korea (New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1932), p. 58. There is supporting evidence of another type in E. A. Gordon, “Some Recent Discoveries in Korean Temples and their Relationship to Early Eastern Christianity,” Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. 5, no. 1 (1914), pp. 1–39.

14. On artifacts and anomalies dealing with Hebraic influence in Japan, the following are of special interest: Herman Dicker, Wanderers and Settlers in the Far East: A Century of Jewish Life in China and Japan (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1962), pp. 156–60; my study of an old Japanese myth, “Did Christ Visit Japan?” Brigham Young University Studies (Winter 1970), pp. 135–60; and Arthur Lloyd, The Creed of Half Japan: Historical Sketches of Japanese Buddhism (London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1911), pp. 49–55, 219.

The Qi Dan People

The origin of Qi Dan
The Aesirs or Dan came from Asia and settled on the shores of the Baltic Sea, where we still live.

The kingdom of Liao.

Other people named Dan did not manage so well through history, such as Dan Xiang and Qi Dan.
A people, who lived in present northeastern China, was called "Qi Dan" by the Chinese and "Khi-tan" of the Mongols. This must mean that they perceived themselves as a people, who belonged to a group of peoples called "Dan" or "Tan". They are interesting for us, because the people of Denmark also called themselves something like "Dan".

They claimed themselves to be descendants of Tuoba Xianbei and their Tuoba royal family.
Sometimes they also called themselves the Great Liao Empire. The name of the modern Chinese province of Liao-ning still reminds of the kingdom of Liao.

                                                  Stone lion from the Liao Empire.

Lion on woven silk carpet from the Liao Empire.

The name "Liao" is also referred to in the document "Hou Hanshu" from Han Dynasty in the description of the western regions, section 19. Here is a description of the kingdom "Alan-liao" (the Alans): "The Empire Yan-cai" has changed its name to "the empire Alan- Liao." The Alans were, as you know, an Indo-European people. These Alans lived thousands of miles west of the Liao people, but it nevertheless indicates that the term "Liao" can have a relation to an Indo-European tradition. Maybe "Liao" meant lion in both languages.

The Liao kingdom seemed to have been just as fascinated by lions, as the Chinese are facinated by dragons. It is tempting to imagine that "liao" means lion, as "löwe", "leon", "leão", "Leeuw" or "Lew" do in the known Indo-European languages.

Westerners knew Qi Dan's country as "Cathay" or "Khitai" and this is the origin of the name China. Russians still use the word Khitai for China.

In China's very early history Qi-Dan was part of "Dong Hu", which means "Eastern Hu". As mentioned earlier, the label "Hu" indicates big noses, big eyes, eye brows, etc.

A people called Qi Dan was first mentioned in the "Wei Shu", "Book of Northern Wei Dynasty". It says: "The country Qi Dan is located East of the country Kumoxi, and they are two different people with the same ancestors". The Northern Wei Dynasty existed from the figure from fourth to the sixtht century AC. In "Wei Shu" it is noted that the Qi Dan were descendants of the Xianbei tribes.

In the Dunhuang documents, P. 1283 (in Tibetan) is told about the Qi Dan people's language: "In the language, they (Qi Dan) and Tuyhun could broadly communicate with each other", i.e. the languages must have been closely related to each other, such as Danish and Swedish. Tuyhun was a branch of Murong Xianbei and Qi Dan descended from Tuoba Xianbei. This indicates that the various Xianbei peoples in the migration time living in present Inner Mongolia and north China mainly spoke the same language. The Xianbei peoples created the Wei Dynasty and many other migration states. Sui and Tang Dynasty originated from Xianbei peoples, who had adopted Chinese culture. Their language must necessarily have had a marked influence on the development of the Chinese language.

There are a striking number of words in Danish and Chinese, which are similar (see Chapter 6 "Similarities between Danish and Chinese Language"), which again indicates that the Aesirs and the Dan, who came from Asia (see Chapter 1 "The aesirs came from Asia"), may have had a common origin with the Xian-bei peoples and other historial peoples of the eastern steppe. (see Chapter 14 "Xian bei - The new White").
The Chinese characters for Xianbei means fresh thieves.

Xianbei means, literally, after the Chinese characters used "fresh (as fresh fish) thieves (moraly flawed people). It sounds a lot like "Xin bei", meaning "new whites". Modern Chinese humor runs much in terms that sound like each other but have different meanings. It must be something that language's character invites. Maybe some witty heads dubbed the "new white" barbarians from the steppe "Fresh thieves".

During the Tang Dynasty Qi Dan's eight people were united under King Kuge. On behalf of the Tang Emperor, he led war against the Turks. He was granted permission to carry the family name Li and thus became related to the Tang emperors.

In their distant past on the steppe the Qi Dan peoples worshiped the Sun, which by then many other peoples did. Their original religion also included that they sacrificed white horses and gray oxen to their gods. They became early devoted Buddhist.

As said before, Qi Dan originally consisted of eight different peoples or tribes. In the last year of the Tang Dynasty, 907 AC, they were again united under King Yelu Abaoji. In 916 AC, he formed the state Qi Dan. He named themselves "Wang", which means king in chinese. In 947 AC King Yelu Deguang renamed the country to "Liao".

Kong Abaoji established his capital, Lin-Huang (pronunciation for Danish: "Lin-Hwang") in the present Inner Mongolia. Note that the suffix -Hwang is very similar to the pronunciation of -vang, as in Dane-vang (an ancient name for Denmark used in medieval folk songs)

Qi Dan also occasionally referred to themselves with the sovereign title: "The Highest Peace", "Tai Ping" in Chinese. (from "Gods Chinese Son"). They have undoubtedly felt about themselves that they were a people who was born to rule.

Kingdom of Liao

Immediately after the formation of the nation of Qi Dan King Abaoji started to expand his kingdom. To the north, he subdued the Turkish Uighurs, who then lived in Mongolia.

To the east Qi Dan conquered the countries of Fuyu and Bohai. They were pooled into one unit that got the name "Dong Dan," it means "East Dan". In some sources it is called the kingdom "Dong Dan Guo" (pronunciation for danish: "Dong Dan Gjår", meaning "East Dan Gard"). King Abaoji's sæn Yelu Bei became East Dan's first king.

Kong Yelu Abaoji introduced a civil servant system inspired by the Chinese mandarin system, pushing the nobilty aside.

Queen Shulu brought prince Yelu Deguang to power in 926 AC. He supported a Tang general's efforts to restore the Tang Dynasty. As a reward Liao, as they now called themselves, received the nearby sixteen northeastern Chinese districts, including present Beijing.

This expansion led to open confrontation with Song Dynasty China.

The Song emperor personally led an army against Liao in order to win the 16 provinces provinces back. But after a few weeks of war against Qi Dan's armored cavalry the Chinese had to see themselves completely beaten, and the Emperor himself fled from the battle riding on a donkey disguised as a poor peasant.

After King Deguangs's death the usurper Yelu Lihu placed himself on the throne. Yelu Ruan took the power from the usurper, but however - he was soon murdered by a relative. His successor, Yelu Jing, balanced between the Qi Dan aristocracy and the large group of dissatisfied oppressed etnic peoples. Yelu Jing was murdered by a servant in 969 AC. General Han Derang then reigned as guardian for the Queen Dowager Cheng Tian and the minor king Yelu Longxu.

The Song rulers sent one army after another against The Liao Tartars, as they called them, but each time they were defeated. Liao's armored cavalry seemed invincible. Song was not in able to win back the disputed provinces.

After many weary battles concluded the two empires in 1004 AC a peace treaty, known as the Chan Yuan Treaty.

It determinded that the border between the two empires stretched through the present Hebei province south of Beijing. This peace lasted more than hundred years.

During Yelu Longxu's long reign experinced the Qi Dan people a steady progress. In his time many beautiful monasteries and pagodas were built, which still stands today. The Qi Dan people and the kingdom's other peoples were treated equally under the law. The slaves' conditions were improved so they became a sort of free serfs.

King Yelu Zongzhen and his successor Yelu Hongjie struggled with contradictions between the Crown and the nobility and power struggles between queens and mistresses. Queen Xuan-yi was accused of witchcraft. Around 1100 AC numerous uprisings took place all over the country.

The culture of the Qi Dan People

                             The wooden pagoda at the Fogong monestary in Shanxi.

Three deer who eat from a tree. Carved in Jade from the Liao dynasty. Unknown origin. Any relation to the fellow Lost Tribe of Naphtali whose symbol was the deer?

A jade figure from the Liao Empire shows three deer that eat from a tree. It reminds about the three deer grazing on the World Tree Yggdrasil in the ancient Scandinavian mythology. However, the Liao tree is not an ash.

By all accounts, the culture of the Qi Dan kingdom was not inferior to the Chinese Song Dynasty culture.

Already the founder of the kingdom, King Abaoji, created an academy in the capital for training of new officials. His successors established local schools and district schools all over the country.

The Qi Dan people were Buddhists and Nestorian Christians. A very large part of the beautiful and stunning pagodas and monasteries, which can be found in Northeast China have been built during the Liao period. The wooden Pagoda at the Fogong Monastery in Shanxi is built during the Qi Dan reign. It has been erected without completely without nails.

Yelu Diela, en brother of Qi Dan's first king, designed a Liao sæt of characters as replacement of the Chinese characters. They are still not fully understood by historians.

Qi Dan princesses and queens wrote poems. A man named Yelp Bei had a large collection of books in his Wanghaitang castle on top of Mount Xiwulu.

Above: The first sign means dan, and this is the same as the one used in the expression for Denmark in modern Chinese. Below: At Suoborigasumu in Balin Youqi is the ruined city of Qingzhou with the white pagoda.

In the kingdom of Liao circulated books, printed with wooden blocks. A well known Buddhist canon was called "Da Zang Jing" and its successor with more special Qi Dan content was named "Dan Zang," i.e. "Dan canon." Here we see that Qi Dan called themselves "Dan".

As an introduction to the traditional annual royal hunting the whole court followed the king to the hunting fields. This tradition was called "nabo". (which means neighbour in Danish).

In the present Inner Mongolia a Qi Dan tomb have been found belonging to the Princess of Chen, a granddaughter of King Yelu Xian. She died, 18 years old in 1018 AC of mercury poisoning. She was buried with her husband, a Qi Dan nobleman. He died at an age of 35 years.

On their heads they wore crowns of gold and silver. On their faces were placed death masks of gold. Their heads rested on cushions decorated with silver and gold, and they wore necklaces of amber, pearls and jade. More than a thousand such artefacts were found in their tomb.

Apparently the Qi Dan women were rather equal with men. The princess of Chen had got the harness for her horse with her in the grave and also her bow and arrow.

Some Chinese sources believed to know that Qi Dan had a strong sense of ethnic superiority over other nomadic peoples, whom they had made themselves masters of. They regarded the subordinate nomad peoples, perhaps Mongols and Turks, as something to be compared with slaves and draught animals, it is said. Others of their subjects, who were permanent residing peasants, were treated a little better. Chinese sources said that the Liao people exploited all these different etnic groups without scruples and reacted with extreme brutality on any insurgency.

To this must be said that the Chinese probably had their knowledge from the Jurchen people, the Manchus, who later conquered all of China and and established themselves as the Qing Dynasty that was in power for several hundred years. They were the mortal enemies of Qi Dan, and maybe they were slightly biased.

The End of the Kingdom of Liao

Jurchen, a tribe was named that lived in the eastern part of the kingdom of Liao. The Chinese knew them as the Nutzen. They became the later Manchus. In King Yelu Hongjie's reign around 1090 AC, they were united under their leader Wanyan Aguda, and they became the strongest power within the kingdom after the Qi Dan people themselves. The new Jurchen leader refused to perform a traditional dance for King Hongjie, which should symbolize his loyalty to the kingdom of Liao. Never the less the king appointed Aguda as prince of Donghuai. But the Jurchens leader was not for sale, and they continued their rebellion. But perhaps they were already sold - to Song Dynasty.

The Qi Dan nation's frequent name changes must reflect intenal disagreements about the leadership. Every time a new group came to power, they introduced a new name to indicate that now a new era had begun. In 947 AC King Yelu Abaoji named his kingdom "Great Liao". King Liao Yelu Longxi revived in 983 AC the name Qi Dan. In 1066 AC King Yelu Hongjie again brought the Liao name to honor and dignity. As mentioned earlier, they also sometimes called themselves for "Taiping", which means "The highest peace" in chinese.

It must have been this division, which eventually crippled their vigor and paved the way for their downfall.

Song Dynasty China made around 1120 AC an agreement with their enemy's enemy. They agreed with the Jurchens to initiate a war against the Qi Dans, attacking their common enemy from both East and West on the same time.

Before long Jurchens were in open rebellion against the kingdom of Liao, while the Song Dynasty Chinese attacked the southern borders.

The Song Dynasty's armies had, as usual, little success in fighting against Liao's iron-clad cavalry. In battle after battle, they were refuted.

But however in a series of battles in present northern Jilien province the Jurchens won victory over the untill then invincible Liao cavalry. This was the beginning of the end.

King Yule Yanxi lost his temper and fled into the mountains followed only by a few family members and servants.

A new king, Yelu Chun, took over the defense of the kingdom. However he died after a few months, and his widow, Queen Xiao, continued the fight. In 1122 AC she finally had to surrender the last city, the present Beijing, to the Jurchen rebels.

In 1125 AC the Jurchens captured the fugitive King Yule Yanxi in the town Yingzhou near the white pagoda, and the Liao Empire ended its excistence. Then the Qi Dan's nation had existed for 218 years.

The Outlaws of the Marsh

"Outlaws of the marsh" is a classic Chinese novel. It is a collection of myths and legends from Song and Yan Dynasty, written together by Shi Nai'an and Luo Guanzong and released first time in a fairly comprehensive form in 1541 AC, many years before the first white Europeans arrived in China. The plot describes among other things the war between the Chinese and the Liao Tartars. The novel was written during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644 AC), and the plot unfolds in the period around 1100 AC.

The leader of the outlaws, Song Jiang, was a historical figure who is also mentioned in other documents from the period. Just as the famous novel "Three Kingdoms" is "Outlaws of the Marsh" was built over some real historical events, but of course with many artistic additions. However, "Outlaws of the Marsh" has in general through a better person portrayal and a more captivating plot. It's actually a great robber story, which completely can be compared with "Robin Hood". "Three Kingdoms" on the other hand may seem a little confusing because it mentions so many names of battles, rulers and generals. The Chinese names are in any case somewhat confusing for us, we feel they all sound more or less alike.

After many brave deeds the robber chief Song Jiang and his men were granted amnesty by the emperor. They were sent to war against the Song Dynasty's enemies. The first one was the Liao Tartars, who lived in the north.

The Kingdom of Liao included, what we formerly called Manchuria, and the eastern plains, including present Beijing, where the country of Yan (Jan) had been located in China's antiquity.

They met Tartar forces that led black flags and banners. Their general is thus described: "On a magnificant prancing horse a Tartar gneral rode forth. He was fair complected, with red lips, golden hair and green eyes, and was tall and powerful. The banner behind him read: "Aliqi, General of the grat Liao Kingdom".(Outlaws of the Marsh IV page 1762). During the fight, however, he was killed by a stone thrown in the face, and the Tartars fled.

It is told in the novel that in the Liao kingdom men buttoned their jacket on left side, like the dancer on the picture does. Besides the musician has brown hair and beard as the the Liao men in the novel.

Then the outlaws met an army led by two royal nephews, Yel Guozhen and Yel Gubao, both immensely brave, they wore golden crowns. Also this army is beaten, and the two nephews perish. (Outlaws of the Marsh IV page 1766)

Later the outlaws met a new army led by the king's younger brother, prince Yely Dezhong. "In the distance they could see the Liao soldiers swarming towards them, like a dense dark fog, like rolling yellow sand dunes. their black flags were rows of raven clouds, their fine steeds were charged with a lethal spirit. Their broad-brimmed hats of green felt were like lotus leaves stired by the breeze in a thousand ponds, their iron helmets were ten thousands leagues of ocean seas gleaming dully neath the winter sun. Each buttoned his tunic on the left side, wore his hair to his shoulders, and dressed in double chain mail over a thick tightly woven robe. Stalwart, dark complected men, they had green eyes and brown hair." (Outlaws of the Marsh VI page 1775) It sounds like an old poem, which had been worked into the novel.

At the Tang Empress Wu Zetian's (624-702AC) funeral attended 61 kings from the North. In memory of the event was made statues of each of the kings, which can still be seen near Xian. Unfortunately, most of them have no head anymore. But we can see that one of them buttons his jacket on the left, he may have been the King of Liao.

It seem that Qi Dan men used broad-brimmed felt hats, which also the Scandinavian god Odin was known to go wear.

Nobody knows how the Dane's old flag the "Raven banner" looked like. Maybe it was simply a black cloth, and "raven" refered to the color and flag's fluttering movements in the wind as well as to the flag's religious significance as Odin's ravens, the god's eyes and ears.

And further in the novel: "The Tartar cavalry were broad shouldered, with waist of steel and legs of iron, and they rode excellent mounts. Their bows were tipped with ram's horn, their poplar arrows had been scoured with sand. their broad tiger skin capes contrasted with their narrow saddles of incised leather. Raised in the border region, they grew up skilled in weaponry. For generations they had been riding the most spirited horses. their infantry marched to the blare of bronze trumpets and the throb of sheepskin drums, their cavalry played flutes and fifes, as they cantered along. (Outlaws of the Marsh IV page 1776).

A King, who participated in Wu Zetians funeral, he buttons his jacket on left side - he must be a Qi Dan.

The King of Liao and his advisers were planning to buy the outlaws to their side with gold, silk, horses and fur. A senior general opposed. He was described: "Around thirty-five, tall and stalwart, he had a fair complexion and rosy lips, brown hair and green eyes, and was possessed of matchless courage and strength."(Outlaws of the Marsh IV page 1793)

During the negotiations, Songjiang was entertained by the native girl's slow dancing.

The general leading of the next Liao army that the outlaws met, looked like this: "A brown bandanna, which covered his forehead, bound his long silky black hair. Over a sleeveless black robe was silver armor chilling to behold. A lion's head belt clasped the the darkly gleaming metal." "His name was Quli Chuqing and his personal guard consisted of 3.000 riders with black shoulder-length hair." (Outlaws of the Marsh IV page 1850)

It sounds, as if there were at least two different peoples in the Liao kongdom, some with brown hair and green eyes and others with smooth black hair.

Lions seem to have been very important to the Liao kingdom, a second General wore a lion's head on the helmet: "How was he attired? A lion's head helmet, armor from the hide of a fleet horse over a fine green robe -(Outlaws of the Marsh IV page 1851)

In the novel the outlaws managed at last to conquer the natives, as opposed to the real history. All Song Jiang 108 heroes survived the campaign against the Liao-Tartars.

Song Jiang and his men's next campaign for the emperor and the Song Dynasty was against real civilized Chinese in the area around the Yangtze River, the Great River. They had rebelled against the emperor. Here many of the outlaws perished.

How did Qi Dan's look like?

There can be no doubt that Dan Qi in general were some pretty broad types with a little short legs, large round faces and in generally big eyes. The noses seemed to have been a little smaller than most Europeans' and they did not seem to have had very deep eye sockets.

Drawings and reproductions of cave paintings on the internet can in general not be relied on because there are hundreds of such counterfeits in circulation. Without exception they all show Qi Dans with exaggerated Modern asian traits. They are held in a modern style that would be a Van Gogh worthy.

Paint is impermanent, and it is highly unlikely that a large number of murals have survived in bright colors through about 800 years in underground caves in an agricultural area, where it rains regularly.

"Stalwart dark men, who had green eyes and brown hair", it is told in the classical novel; and it is a more reliable statements.

In modern China one can see children from mixed couples run around in the hotels. The father is usually European and mother Chinese. Such children have often brown hair, not "dark blond" but really brown.

The mixing of races has started early, as Chinese historians express themselves. Perhaps most Qi Dan once past been Indo-European types, but Chinese women are quite attractive, as demonstrated in the poem "When Hujia" (see link below), so perhaps over time more and more children have been born more dark-haired.

The royal family and the senior generals in the novel are pictured with golden or brown hair and green eyes. According to Qi Dan's own tradition they descended from the Xianbei Tuoba's lineage. Tuoba must have been the Royal family above all, several hundred years after their empire, Northern Wei, had been destroyed they emerged again as the kings of Qi Dan and Dan Xiang (Tangut). They were really "kings who returned", like Tolkien wrote. Precisely Xianbei and their Tuoba dynasty was known for having "yellow head". (se chapter 14. The new Whites - Xianbei)

Moreover, this rather square type, with large round heads and relatively short legs, are easy to recognize, for example, at ordinary, non-academic, people in the city of Dalian and its vicinity. In China, not academic people can be assumed to come from families, who have lived in the same place for generations. On the other hand academics are often after their education sent to many other places in the country.

The Western Liao Empire

A Liao nobleman, Yelu Dashi, met with the fugitive King Yelu Yangxi during the attack of the Jurchen and Song Dynasty. But he judged apparently, that the war was lost.

He gathered the defeated Qi Dan and led them to Kasgar in Tarim Basin. On the other side of the Tien Shan Mountains, they also established a capital in Balashagun in the resent Kyrgyzstan. Where th Wusun once lived and where the west-Turkish Khan received the Buddhist pilgrim, Xuanzang, in 645 AC.

Here in Central Asia King Yelu Dashi proclaimed in 1124 AC a new kingdom of Liao. It became also known as Kara Khitan, which means Black Khitan. Perhaps because of their Qi Dan black banner color. Chinese historians regard them among their forefathers and call it the kingdom of Western Liao.

Already by then the area was mainly inhabited by Muslim Turks.

With their usual determination Qi Dan immediately began to build up a kingdom as substitute for that which they had lost. They worked apparently with stunning ease. Soon Western Liao or Kara Khitan stretched from Mongolia to the Oxus River. Qi Dan built their Buddhist temples and Nestorian Churches everywhere. The Muslims Imans gnashed their teeth in impotent rage. It was one of the few times in history, when Islam was rolled back from an area, which it had once conquered. The rumors reached the Crusaders in Palestine and gave them new courage.

Qi Dan also called themselves for "Gur Khan", it is Turkish and means "Masters of the World", rather ambitious, you have to say.

It is said that Kong Yelu Dashi was also known as King "David".

Central Asia around 1200 AC prior to the Mongol conquests.

During their expansion westward they clashed with the Seldjuk Turks, which had established a Sultanate in present Persia under Sultan Sanjar. In September 1141 AC the Qi Dans defeated the Turks in a battle at Qatawan, near Sarmakand. Qi Dan's army was led by King Kong Yelu Dashi with the Christian name "David".

The news about these victories over the Muslims reached the crusaders in the Kingdom of Jerusalem and fueled the myth of the Christian king, Prester John, who would come from East and defeat the Muslims forever.

In 1143 AC king Dashi was followed by Queen Xiao Tabuyan.

Her son, Yelu Yieli, succeeded her on the throne in 1150 AC. Kong Yieli was also known under the christian name "Elias", it is said.

In 1164 AC he was followed by his sister Queen Yelu Pusuwan.

Yelu Zhilugu ascended the throne in 1177 AC, and he should be the last ruler of the Western Liao. It is said that his Christian name was "Georgos".

Some reports says that Qi Dan arrested some leading Muslim imans in Kasgar and elsewhere. This brought them in further contradiction to the overwhelming Turkish Muslim population. It is fairly sure that the leading Muslims probably felt more loyalty to their fellow-muslims in the neighboring state to the west, the Muslim Sultanate Khwarizm, than against their own state, such as Muslims often do.

In 1211 AC a Mongol chieftain Kuculug, escaped to the Western Liao. He was fleeing from his rival and mortal enemy, Genghis Khan. Kuculug belonged to the Mongolian Naiman tribe, who were Nestorian Christians. Somehow he succeeded to put themselves on the throne in his new country. Kong Yelu Zhiligu ended his life in prison. In 1218 AC invaded Genghis Khan and his Turkish-Mongol army, the Western Liao. They met little resistance and was welcomed as liberators by the Muslim population. Kuculug fled westward, but the Mongols overtook him and killed him.

Then the Western Liao had existed for 90 years.
The modern provins of Guanxi. 

It is said that the Mongols deported many surviving Qi Dans to the present Guanxi Province in South China, where they resisted the Ming emperors until well into their reign. One of our friends comes from Guanxi, and her grandmother had blue eyes, no one knows why, she says.

When you stand and look at the China map, it strikes one that Qi Dan's old area is called Liao-ning. In the area around Liao-ning are also many other place names which ends with the -ning. The same suffix, as in so many Danish village names; I think Mesinge, Revninge, Kertinge, Hjorting and so on. Also in Guanxi, where the last Qi Dans should have ended their days, some city-names have ending like -ning or the like. There is the capital of Guanxi, Nan-ning (Nan means south in Chinese). In northern Guanxi is also located a Nan-Dan, meaning South Dan. (It may possibly be a Reminisce from the Cultural Revolution meaning Red South - I do not know).

On the website was a discussion about the Chinese's partial Caucasian origin. One topic was the relatively high frequency of blue eyes in Guanxi. A discussion participant from Guanxi told that his grandfather had told him that in the last years of Qing Dynasty the imperial soldiers came and wanted to kill all the children with blue eyes, as they could get hold of. Mothers of such children hid in the forests. The soldiers said that such children would otherwise grow up to be great leaders and come and rule over them.

The modern province Liao-ning. 

Perhaps the grandfather or great-grandfather, who it probably could have been, remembered the time around 1900 AC, where Boxers and Qing Dynasty soldiers persecuted Chinese Christians, "Foreign devils" and most likely also domestic devils, who had the same devilish apperance as the foreignerns.

Today, the modern province of Liaoning is mainly populated by descendants of immigrants from the Chinese core provinces of Hebei, Henan and Shandong in particular. In late Qing Dynasty in the seventeenth century when the American settlers traveled west, the Chinese went North.

The Israelite Mummies of the Tarim Basin

In the dry hills of the central Asian province of Xingjiang, archaeologists have unearthed more than 100 corpses that could be as much as 4,000 years old -- astonishingly well-preserved and Caucasian! Who were these people, and where did they come from? All evidence indicates they were displaced Israelites building a new homeland following the collapse of the Assyrian Empire that enslaved them! by Bertrand L. Comparet and John D. Keyser

EDITORS NOTE: In this article the authors refer to Aryans (Arians). Unfortunately, due to the misuse of this term by the Nazis, this is considered politically incorrect these days. If the term lndo-European is substituted, it means the same. i.e.: the Caucasian races.

The Disappearing Tribes

The ten northern tribes of Israel essentially vanished from their former Kingdom of Israel by circa 721 BC. They had been a powerful kingdom in the Eastern Mediterranean region for centuries prior to that time. They had been allied to the city-states of Tyre, Sidon, etc. in what historians now call the Phoenician Empire. Their alliance dominated the ancient world’s maritime trade routes and, from the time of King David onward, became a powerful military power on land as well. They were exceedingly blessed by YEHOVAH God during the time of Kings David and Solomon, but a long succession of retrograde kings led to a steady decline in the strength and influence of the kingdom of Israel.

During an approximately 20 year span between 740-720 B.C., the ten tribes of Israel went into foreign exile in several waves. At the beginning of this period, the Assyrians took captive the tribe of Naphtali and the Gileadite tribes of Gad, Reuben and half the tribe of Manasseh (II Kings 15:29). By circa 721 B.C., all of the ten tribes of Israel who had formed the northern kingdom of Israel had been removed from their lands (II Kings 17:18).

While the House of Judah remained in the Promised Land for a time, many have puzzled over the fate and future of the ten tribes of Israel. Where did they go? While the Bible foretold that the tribes of Israel would scatter, literally, to all four directions (Genesis 28:14), the remainder of this article is devoted to connecting one (or several) of the exiled tribes of Israel to one largely-ignored area in the region of Xinjiang in China: the Scythians or Tocharians.

According to the historian Strabo, "Most of the Scythians, beginning from the Caspian Sea, are called Dahae Scythae, and those situated more towards the east Massagetae and Sacae; the rest have the common appellation of Scythians, but each separate tribe has its peculiar name. All, or the greatest part of them, are nomads. The best known tribes are those who deprived the Greeks of Bactriana, the Asii, Pasiani, Tochari, and Sacarauli, who came from the country on the other side of the Iaxartes, opposite the Sacae and Sogdiani" (Strabo, 11-8-2).

The main Scythian tribe which migrated into the Parthian Empire was the Massagetae, accompanied by the allied tribes of the Dahae, the Tochari, the Asii, the Sacaruli and other clans such as the Parni, Aparni and Chorasmii. The Massagetae were composed of the Israelite tribe of Manasseh, while the Dahae may have been part of the tribe of Dan. The Tochari, in all likelihood, were descended from the Israelite tribe of Issachar since Tola was one of the clans of Issachar -- see Numbers 26:23. When you combine the syllables from the names "Tola" and "Issachar" you get the term "To-chari." These tribes that migrated into Parthia were, in fact, the Scythians who had lived in the steppes east of the Caspian Sea.

When the Assyrian Empire fell, many of their formerly subject peoples were suddenly free to migrate to new lands. One such people were the Israelites -- including the tribe of Naphtali, and one such group migrated to the steppes east of the Caspian Sea. The half-tribe of Manasseh stayed in that region while the tribes of Naphtali and Issachar went even further into Asia -- reaching at least as far as the Tarim Basin of northwestern China.

Aryan Ancestors On the Silk Road

The Israelite tribes of Reuben, Gad and half-Manasseh were placed by Tiglath-Pileser in the mountain district of Great Media, a region expressly called Hara (1 Chronicles 5:26; Ar being a mountain). (Sacarauli would have the name Isakar. Har means mountain in Hebrew. Hara would be the same because vowels don't really count in Hebrew) In fact all ten tribes of Israel were placed in the "cities of the Medes" (2 Kings 17:6). Herodotus 7:62 says, "The Medes were once universally known as Arians." Hara was named Aria, Ariana and Arachosia by the Greeks (see Ptolemy). It contains the city of Harat or Herat.

According to author Yair Davidy, "Hara became a Scythian center and was the general region connected with the monotheistic Zoroaster (Zarathustra) who was himself associated with both Scythians and Hebrews. Southeast of Hara was the province of SAKASTAN which was peopled by Sakae (Scyths) whose presence in that region is now dated to before 600 B.C.E. This date is consistent with the date of Assyrian Exile [of the northern ten tribes] and the period following it. The people of Sakastan had a tradition that King Solomon of Israel had once ruled over them. Similarly, to the northeast of Hara was Bactriana, which also became a major Scythian region at one stage, and the Jews of Bactria believed that the Lost Ten Tribes had been in their area. Both Bactriana and Sakastan were considered part of Hara" (Yair Davidy, The Tribes: The Israelite Origins of Western Peoples, Russell-Davis Publishers, Hebron, Israel, 1993, p. 56).

According to the black obelisk discovered in the ruins of the palace of Nimrod which is now in the British Museum, the people or leader of the Arians was called ESAKSKA (Isaac) and their principal cities were "Beth-Telabon, Beth-Everak and Beth-Tsida" in 670 B.C. -- all Hebrew names.

This information connects the Israelites with the Arians. These Arians must have migrated to Thrace because, according to Stephanus, Thrace was called Aria. From Thrace they migrated to Germany since Tacitus mentions the Harii there in southeastern Germany (Ger. 43). The Thracian SCYTHIANS pricked and stained their bodies (Herodotus 5); so did the Arii of Germany (Tacitus); the Belgae of Britain (Caesar de Bell. Gall.), and the Piks of Norway and Scotland (Herodian; Claudian). Some of the Scythians, however, went east.

Political correctness has gotten a slap in the face recently from a number of archaeological discoveries in the Orient which indicate that the founders of many Eastern civilizations -- which are so revered by trendy New Age types who despise anything Caucasian and European --were in fact racial Aryans. One famous example is the country of Iran, which takes its name from its original conquerors; until 1978 one of the many formal titles of the SHAH was "Lord of the Aryans."

Explorers have been studying several sites in the Tarim Basin of the Taklimakan Desert in northwestern China, along the route of the Silk Road, since the middle of the 19th century. The most important sites were at Ǘrümchi, Chärchän, and Turfan to the east of the basin. Numerous Bronze Age sites contained burials of more than 2,500 people, many of them interred with magnificent textiles of non-Asian origin. The great surprise was the European features of the mummies, and in the case of Chärchän man, his 6’6” height. What could they have been doing there, more than 1,000 miles from settlements of similar-looking people?

In 1934, Swedish archaeologist Folke Bergman explored the lost Xiaohe cemetery in the Tarim Basin. He reported his findings in 1939. Due to the onset of World War II and the subsequent closing of China to Western scientists, Xiaohe was not studied again until 2000, when the Xinjiang Archaeological Institute “rediscovered” it. The burial site consists of 167 graves, many of them intact, from the late Bronze Age nearly 4,000 years ago. The Europoid mummies found at the site exhibit blond hair, long noses, and slender bodies and are in many cases completely preserved and appear lifelike. This preservation is due to the arid, saline conditions in the desert.

Politically Correct?

Now the politically correct academic and scientific establishment who want to rewrite history to make it "Afro-centric" (and get rid of "dead Caucasian European males") have gotten another jolt of reality from the truth. Recent excavations in the Tarim Basin, in Xinjiang province, have uncovered more than 100 naturally mummified corpses of people who lived there between 4,000 and 2,400 years ago, INDICATING THAT THE ARYAN INCURSION INTO ASIA WAS IN FACT FAR EARLIER AND FAR MORE EXTENSIVE THAN ANYONE PREVIOUSLY BELIEVED.

The bodies were amazingly well preserved by the arid climate, and according to the New York Times "...archaeologists could hardly believe what they saw." The mummies had long noses and skulls, blond or red hair, thin lips, deep-set eyes, and other unmistakably Aryan features.

Dr. Victor H. Mair of the University of Pennsylvania said: "Because the Tarim Basin Caucasoid corpses are almost certainly representatives of the Indo-European family, and because they date from a time period early enough to have a bearing on the expansion of the Indo-European people from their homeland, it is thought that they will play a crucial role in determining just where that might have been."

One such mummy of a teenaged girl with blond hair and blue eyes, found in a cave, has become quite a tourist attraction in Beijing. She has been nicknamed "The Lady of Tarim" and she is on display to throngs of museum visitors in the Chinese capital.

Apparently she was a princess or a priestess of some kind some 3,000 years ago, for she was buried in fine embroidered garments of wool and leather, along with beautiful jewelry, jars and ornaments of gold, silver, jade and onyx. Her remains are in such a remarkable state of preservation that the dead girl looks as if she were just sleeping.

The Truth of Diffusionism

"Diffusionism can now be taken seriously again," chortled one historian, Michael Puett of Harvard. Diffusionism is the theory that the ostensibly advanced Middle Eastern and Oriental civilizations of the ancient world all benefited from contact with Aryan migrants, merchants, wandering tribes, etc. and acquired much of their knowledge and attributes from these contacts; this theory can actually explain quite a lot about history, from the Indo-European roots of the Hindustani language to the Quetzalcoatl legend of the Aztecs to the mysterious ruins of Zimbabwe which were so clearly never built by blacks.

Diffusionism has been replaced over the past twenty years by the new, politically correct dogma of "independent invention," which holds that there was no contact at all between Caucasian people and any Asian or pre-Columbian civilization, or if there was it was bad because all Caucasian males are "imperialist exploiters"!

The politically correct theory teaches that EVERYTHING in ancient non-Caucasian societies was invented by the indigenes, EVERYTHING WITHOUT EXCEPTION, no ideas or influence from European contact, nothing good or beneficial at all even if there was any Caucasian contact, which there wasn't because Caucasian males are not the world-exploring people they are supposed to be! I guess we made up Leif Ericson and Magellan. Don't laugh; We have heard both of those idiocies advanced seriously by "Afro-centric historians."

According to the independent invention theory, the list of things non-Caucasians have independently invented includes the dozens of Asiatic dialects from Hindu to Punjabi to Uighur, all clearly based on a common Aryan root language; pure coincidence, say the politically correct professors! The agricultural techniques of the Aztecs and Incas such as crop rotation and terrace farming, so similar to ancient Roman and medieval European practices; bah, say the intellectual gangsters of liberalism, the Indians made it up themselves!

The Mayan pyramids and calendar and astronomy, almost duplicates of Greek and Egyptian knowledge (Egyptians who were NOT in any way, shape or form Negroes!) those are all products of the brilliant Maya civilization alone, according to the official line. The same Mayas' predilections for cannibalism and sacrificing young children by drowning them in sacred wells is ignored.

The blue eyes and broken Welsh language of Missouri's Mandan Indians; the Celtic-style megaliths and stone round towers of New England; the Viking ruins of L'Anse Aux Meadow in Newfoundland; the runic inscriptions on Connecticut's Dighton Rock and the Minnesota Kensington stone; Shaka the Zulu's organization that was based on Napoleon's system, which he got from a French hunter and trader who was a Napoleonic veteran; the stone ruins of Zimbabwe so utterly unlike anything ever found anywhere else in black Africa and resembling nothing so much as a Bronze Age Celtic fort; the long Aryan features of the Easter Island statues -- no way! According to the left-wing academic establishment, NOTHING was ever learned by non-Caucasians from contact between Third World cultures and Aryan man. How politically correct academia will explain away those hundred blond-haired, blue-eyed mummies from China I don't know -- but I'm sure it will be good!

The Mummies of Xinjiang

In the dry hills of this central Asian province, archeologists have unearthed more than 100 corpses that could be as much as 4,000 years old. Astonishingly well preserved -- and Caucasian. One glimpse of the corpses was enough to shock Victor Mair profoundly. In 1987, Mair, a professor of Chinese at the University of Pennsylvania, was leading a tour group through a museum in the Chinese city of Urumqi, in the central Asian province of Xinjiang, when he accidentally strayed into a gloomy and newly opened room.

There, under glass, lay the recently discovered corpses of a family -- a man, a woman, and a child of two or three -- each clad in long, dark purple woolen garments and felt boots. "Even today I get chills thinking about that first encounter," says Mair. "The Chinese said they were 3,000 years old, yet the bodies looked as if they were buried yesterday."

But the real shock came when Mair looked closely at their faces. In contrast to most central Asian peoples, these corpses had obvious Caucasian, or European, features -- blond hair, long noses, deep-set eyes, and long skulls.

"I was thunderstruck," Mair recalls. "Even though I was supposed to be leading a tour group, I just couldn't leave that room. The questions kept nagging at me: Who were these people? How did they get out here at such an early date?"

The corpses Mair saw that day were just a few of more than 100 dug up by Chinese archeologists over the past 16 years. All of them are astonishingly well preserved. They come from four major burial sites scattered between the arid foothills of the Tian Shan ("Celestial Mountains") in northwest China and the fringes of the Taklimakan Desert, some 150 miles due south.

All together, these bodies, dating from about 2000 B.C. to 300 B.C., constitute significant additions to the world's catalogue of prehistoric mummies.

Unlike the roughly contemporaneous mummies of ancient Egypt, the Xinjiang mummies were not rulers or nobles; they were not interred in pyramids or other such monuments, nor were they subjected to deliberate mummification procedures. They were preserved merely by being buried in the parched, stony desert, where daytime temperatures often soar over 100 degrees. In the heat the bodies were quickly dried, with facial hair, skin, and other tissues remaining largely intact. Where exactly did these apparent Caucasians come from? And what were they doing at remote desert oases in central Asia?

Any answers to these questions will most likely fuel a wide-ranging debate about the role outsiders played in the rise of Chinese civilization. As far back as the second century B.C., Chinese texts refer to alien peoples called the Yuezhi and the Wusun, who lived on China's far western borders; the texts make it clear that these people were regarded as troublesome "barbarians."

Until recently, scholars have tended to downplay evidence of any early trade or contact between China and the West, regarding the development of Chinese civilization as an essentially home-grown affair sealed off from outside influences; indeed, this view is still extremely congenial to the present Chinese regime. Yet some archeologists have begun to argue that these supposed barbarians might have been responsible for introducing into China such basic items as the wheel and the first metal objects.

Exactly who these central Asian outsiders might have been, however -- what language they spoke and where they came from -- is a puzzle to most academia. No wonder, then, that scholars see the discovery of the blond mummies as a sensational new clue.

Although Mair was intrigued by the mummies, the political climate of the late 1980s (the Tiananmen Square massacre occurred in 1989) guaranteed that any approach to Chinese archeological authorities would be fraught with difficulties. So he laid the riddle to one side as he returned to his main area of study, the translation and analysis of ancient Chinese texts.

Then, in September 1991, the discovery of the burial of a man's corpse at 5,000 feet sparked a new wave of interest and activity. Photos of the Ice Man's corpse, dried by the wind and then buried by a glacier, reminded Mair of the desiccated mummies in the Urumqi museum. And he couldn't help wondering whether some of the scientific detective methods now being applied to the Ice Man, including DNA analysis of the preserved issue, could help solve the riddle of Xinjiang.

With Chile having become more receptive to outside scholars, Mair decided to launch a collaborative investigation with Chinese scientists. He contacted Xinjiang's leading archeologist, Wang Binghua, who had found the first of the mummies in 1978. Before Wang's work in the region, evidence of early settlements was virtually unknown.

The "Red Hillock"
In the late 1970s, though, Wang had begun a systematic search for ancient sites in the northeast corner of Xinjiang Province. "He knew that ancient peoples would have located their settlements along a stream to have a reliable source of water," says Mair.

"As he followed one such stream from its source in the Tian Shan" says Mair, "Wang would ask the local inhabitants whether they had ever found any broken bowls, wooden artifacts, or the like. Finally one older man told him of a place locals called Qizilchoqa, or -- Red Hillock."

It was here that the first mummies were unearthed. This was also the first site visited last summer by Mair and his collaborator, Paolo Francalacci, an anthropological geneticist at the University of Sassari in Italy.

Reaching Qizilchoqa involved a long, arduous drive east from Urumqi. For a day and a half Mair, Wang, and their colleagues bounced inside four-wheel-drive Land Cruisers across rock-strewn dirt roads from one oasis to the next. Part of their journey eastward followed China's Silk Road -- the ancient trade route that evolved in the second century B.C. and connected China to the West.

Finally they reached the village of Wupu; goats scattered as the vehicles edged their way through the back streets. Next to the village was a broad green ravine, and after the researchers had maneuvered their way into it, the sandy slope of the Red Hillock suddenly became visible.

"It wasn't much to look at," Mair recalls, "about 20 acres on a gentle hill ringed by barbed wire. There's a brick work shed where tools are stored and the visiting archeologists sleep. But you could spot the shallow depressions in the sand where the graves were."

As Mair watched, Wang's team began digging up several previously excavated corpses that had been reburied for lack of adequate storage facilities at the Urumqi museum. Mair didn't have to, wait long, just a couple of feet below the sand, the archeologists came across rush matting and wooden logs covering a burial chamber with mud bricks. Mair was surprised by the appearance of the logs: they looked as if they had just been chopped down. Then the first mummy emerged from the roughly six-foot-deep pit. For Mair the moment was nearly as charged with emotion as that first encounter in the museum.

"When you're standing right next to these bodies, as well preserved as they are, you feel a sense of personal closeness to them," he says. "It's almost supernatural -- you feel that somehow life persists even though you're looking at a dried-out corpse."

Mair and Francalacci spent the day examining the corpses, with Francalacci taking tissue samples to identify the genetic origins of the corpses.

"He took small samples from unexposed areas of the bodies," says Mair, "usually from the inner thighs or underarms. We also took a few bones, usually pieces of rib that were easy to break off, since bone tends to preserve the DNA better than muscle tissue or skin."

Francalacci wore a face mask and rubber gloves to avoid contaminating the samples with any skin flakes that would contain his own DNA. The samples were placed in collection jars, sealed, and labeled; Mair made a photographic and written record of the collection.

So far 113 graves have been excavated at Qizilchoqa; probably an equal number remain to be explored. Based on Carbon-14 dating by the Chinese and on the style of painted pots found with the corpses, all the mummies here appear to date to around 1200 B.C. Most were found on their backs with their knees drawn up -- a position that allowed the bodies to fit into the small burial chambers. They are fully clothed in brightly colored woolen fabrics, felt and leather boots, and sometimes leather coats. The men generally have light brown or blond hair, while the women have long braids; one girl has blue tattoo marks on her wrist.

Besides pottery, resting alongside them are simple items from everyday life: combs made of wood, needles of bone, spindle whorls for spinning thread, hooks, bells, loaves of bread, and other food offerings. The artifacts provide further proof that these were not the burial sites of the wealthy: had the graves been those of aristocrats, laden with precious bronzes, they probably would have been robbed long ago.

The Woman in the Hat
However, Wang and his colleagues have found some strange if not aristocratic, objects in the course of their investigations in Xinjiang. At a site near the town of Subashi 310 miles west of Qizilchoqa, that dates to about the fifth century B.C., they unearthed a woman wearing a two-foot-long black felt peaked hat with a flat brim.

Though modern Westerners may find it tempting to identify the hat as the headgear of a witch, there is evidence that pointed hats were widely worn by both women and men in some central Asian tribes. For instance, around 520 B.C., the Persian king Darius recorded a victory over the "Sakas of the pointed hats"; also, in 1970 in Kazakhstan, just over China's western border, the grave of a man from around the same period yielded a two-foot-tall conical hat studded with magnificent gold-leaf decorations.

"The Behistan rock," declares Steven M. Collins, "depicts a Scythian leader being brought before Darius wearing a tall, pointed hat: a traditional headgear of Israelite leaders. That the hat was worn only by the Scythian identifies it as a uniquely Scythian trait. Herodotus confirmed this headgear was uniquely Scythians:

'The Sacae, who are Scythians, have high caps tapering to a point and stiffly upright, which they wear on their heads' (The History, 7.64).

"It was, specifically, the 'Sacae' Scythians who wore headgear which was traditional among the Israelite/Phoenician people. This offers further cultural evidence that the Scythians descended from the Israelites of the old Phoenician Empire in the Mideast, NOT from wild tribes in the Asian interior" (Steven M. Collins, The "Lost" Ten Tribes of Israel...Found, CPA Books, Boring, OR, 1995, p. 185).

The Subashi woman's formidable headgear, then, is an ethnic badge and, also, perhaps a symbol of prestige and influence. Subashi lies a good distance from Qizilchoqa, and its site is at least seven centuries younger, yet the bodies and their clothing are strikingly similar.

Ancient Surgery

In addition to the "witch's hat," clothing found there included fur coats and leather mittens; the Subashi women also held bags containing small knives and herbs, probably for use as medicines. A typical Subashi man, said by the Chinese team to be at least 55 years old, was found lying next to the corpse of a woman in a shallow burial chamber. He wore a sheepskin coat, felt hat, and long sheepskin boots fastened at the crotch with a belt. Another Subashi man has traces of a surgical operation on his neck; the incision is sewn up with sutures made of horsehair.

Mair was particularly struck by this discovery because he knew of a Chinese text from the third century A.D. describing the life of Huatuo, a doctor whose exceptional skills were said to have included the extraction and repair of diseased organs.

The text also claims that before surgery, patients drank a mixture of wine and an anesthetizing powder that was possibly derived from opium. Huatuo's story is all the more remarkable in that the notion of surgery was heretical to ancient Chinese medical tradition, which taught that good health depended on the balance and flow of natural forces throughout the body. Mair wonders if the Huatuo legend might relate to some lost Asian medical tradition practiced by the Xinjiang people. One clue is that the name Huatuo is uncommon in China and seems close to the Sanskrit word for medicine.

The woolen garments worn by the mummies may provide some clue to where exactly the Xinjiang people came from. A sample of cloth brought back by Mair was examined by University of Pennsylvania anthropologist Irene Good -- a specialist in early Eurasian textiles. Examining the cloth under a low-power microscope, she saw that the material was not, strictly speaking, wool at all.

Wool comes from the undercoat of a sheep; this material appeared to have been spun from the coarse outer hair (called kemp) of a sheep or goat. Despite the crudeness of the fibers, they were carefully dyed green, blue, and brown to make a plaid design.

They were also woven in a diagonal twill pattern that indicated the use of a rather sophisticated loom. The overall technique, Good believes, is "characteristically European" and, she says, the textile is "the easternmost known example of this kind of weaving technique." Similar textile fragments, she notes, have been recovered from roughly the same time period at sites in Germany, Austria, and Scandinavia.

Horses and Wagons

Another hint of outside connections struck Mair as he roamed across Qizilchoqa. Crossing an unexcavated grave, he stumbled upon an exposed piece of wood, which he quickly realized had once belonged to a wagon wheel. The wheel was made in a simple but distinctive way, by doweling together three carved, parallel wooden planks. This style of wheel is significant: wagons with nearly identical wheels are known from the grassy plains of the Ukraine from as far back as 3000 B.C.
Most researchers now think the birthplace of horse drawn vehicles and horse riding was in the steppes east and west of the Urals rather than in China or the Near East. As archeologist David Anthony and his colleagues have shown through microscopic study of ancient horse teeth, horses were already being harnessed in the Ukraine 6,000 years ago. The Ukraine horses, Anthony found, show a particular kind of tooth wear identical to that of modern horses that "fight the bit."

The world's earliest high-status vehicles also seem to have originated in the steppes; recent discoveries of wooden chariots with elaborate spoked wheels were reported by Anthony to date to around 2000 B.C. Chariots do not seem to have appeared in China until some 800 years later. A number of artifacts recovered from the Xinjiang burials provide important evidence for early horse riding.

Qizilchoqa yielded a wooden bit and leather reins, a horse whip consisting of a single strip of leather attached to a wooden handle, and a wooden cheek piece with leather straps. This last object was decorated with an image of the sun that was probably religious in nature and that was also found tattooed on some of the mummies.

And at Subashi, archeologists discovered a padded leather saddle of exquisite workmanship. Could the Xinjiang people have belonged to a mobile, horse-riding culture that spread from the plains of eastern Europe? Does this explain their European appearance? If so, could they have been speaking an ancient forerunner of modern European, Indian, and Iranian languages?

Though the idea is deemed highly speculative, a number of archeologists and linguists think the spread of Indo-European languages may be linked to the gradual spread of horse-riding and horse-drawn vehicle technology from its origins in Europe 6,000 years ago. The Xinjiang mummies may help confirm these speculations.

The Tocharian Language
Intriguingly evidence of a long-extinct language belonging to the Indo-European family does exist in central Asia.

It has long been known that around the first century A.D. the northwestern part of China was inhabited by a Caucasian people who spoke a language called by scholars Tocharian.

In the early part of this century, French and German archaeologists excavating in the northwest provinces discovered extensive written manuscripts in this language, and when they cracked the code, so to speak, they were astonished at the similarities between this supposedly isolated Oriental tongue and ancient Germanic and Celtic languages.

This language is recorded in manuscripts from the eighth century A.D., and solid evidence for its existence can be found as far back as the third century. Tocharian inscriptions from this period are also found painted in caves in the foothills of the mountain west of Urumqi, along with paintings of swash-buckling knights wielding long swords. The knights are depicted with full red beards and European faces.

Could the Xinjiang people have been their ancestors, speaking an early version of Tocharian?
"My guess is that they would have been speaking some form of Indo-European," comments Don Ringe, a historical linguist at the University of Pennsylvania, "but whether it was an early form of Tocharian or some other branch of the family, such as Indo-Iranian, we may never know for sure."

Perhaps a highly distinctive language would help explain why the Xinjiang people's distinctive appearance and culture persisted over so many centuries. Eventually they might well have assimilated with the local population -- the major ethnic group in the area today, the Uygur, includes people with unusually fair hair and complexions.

That possibility will soon be investigated when Mair, Francalacci, and their Chinese colleagues compare DNA from ancient mummy tissue with blood and hair samples from local people. Besides the riddle of their identity, there is also the question of what these fair-haired people were doing in a remote desert oasis. Probably never wealthy enough to own chariots, they nevertheless had wagons and well-tailored clothes. Were they mere goat and sheep farmers? Or did they profit from or even control prehistoric trade along the route that later became the Silk Road? If so, they probably helped spread the first wheels and certain metalworking skills into China.

"Ultimately I think our project may end up having tremendous implications for the origins of Chinese civilization," Mair reflects. "For all their incredible inventiveness, the ancient Chinese weren't cut off from the rest of the world, and influences didn't just flow one way, from China westward."

Unfortunately, economics dictates that answers will be slow in coming to those who don't understand the Israelite connection. The Chinese do not have the money to spare for this work, and Wang and his team continue to operate on a shoestring. Currently most of the corpses and artifacts are stored in a damp, crowded basement room at the Institute of Archeology in Urumqi, in conditions that threaten their continued preservation. If Mair's plans for a museum can be financed with Western help, perhaps the mummies can be moved. Then, finally, they'll receive the study and attention that will ultimately unlock their secrets.

Israelite Comparisons.

The Scythian tribes -- of which the Tarim Basin people were a part -- had a well-developed, though nomadic, way of life. These nomads dwelled mainly in tents or wagons. They raised some crops, but their main talent was in tending livestock: cattle, sheep, goats and especially horses!

The Scythians were acknowledged to have been the best horsemen of their day, and no cavalrymen could match their skill in fighting. In about 512 B.C., Darius the Great tried to subdue them north of the Danube River and the Black Sea, but he failed. On numerous occasions the Scythians defeated the powerful armies of their enemies -- the Assyrians, Persians and Romans. In fact, it was some of the hard-riding, violence-loving Scythian tribes which later laid in the dust the might and glory of Rome!

As we have seen, archaeological evidence and historical records reveal that the Scythians were fair-skinned peoples closely akin to, if not identical to, today's northwestern Europeans! In fact, archaeologists have discovered burial mounds containing the frozen bodies of Scythian chieftains and their retainers:

"The chieftains were exceptionally tall and strong and...racially the Altai [a Scythian tribe] were predominantly [of] European type....At least one man had black wavy hair and one woman a luxuriant soft pile of dark chestnut tresses. A silver and gilt amphora [vase] discovered in 1862 in a grave at a site called Chertomlyk, also on the Dnieper, bears in relief on its gleaming surface a group of Scythians who could be American wranglers: one is roping a shaggy-maned steed, another is removing hobbles from a saddled horse....The Budini [another Scythian tribe, were] a powerful people with bright red hair and deep blue eyes....Sometimes the Scythians prepared a sort of haggis [a Scottish dish] by boiling the flesh of a cow in its own skin.

"They were in all respects a passionate people -- bearded men with dark, deep-set eyes, weather-cured faces and long wind-snarled hair. They drank from the skulls of slain enemies and flaunted the scalps of their foes as trophies. In a time when nations had not yet developed skilled cavalrymen and relied almost entirely on foot soldiers and chariots, the Scythians came riding at the gallop, shooting fusillades of singing arrows from their bows.

"Herodotus also reported that the Scythians liked to get high from marijuana! 'In order to cleanse their bodies, the men make a booth by fixing in the ground three sticks inclined toward one another, and stretching around them woolen felts; inside the booth a dish is placed on the ground, into which they put a number of red-hot stones, and then add some hemp seed. Immediately it gives out such a vapor as no Greek vapor bath can exceed'" (Frank Trippet, The First Horsemen, Time-Life Books, New York, 1974, pp. 9, 18, 105-106, 112, 122).

So the ancient Scythians not only looked like most of our American and British peoples (and others of northwestern European descent) today, they even appear to have passed on some of their terrible habits to our modern peoples -- their descendants!

"Round the Black Sea...are to be found, if we except SCYTHIA, the most uncivilized nations in the world. No one could claim that the rest have any of the arts of civilized life, or have produced any man of distinction" (Herodotus 4:46). Aeschylus says "The Sacae (or Scuths) were noted for their good laws, and were preeminently a RIGHTEOUS people." Colossians 3:11 contrasts Barbarians with Scythians. Thucydides says, "In respect of military strength and number of soldiers, NO single nation, either in Europe or Asia, could match the SCUTHS" (Thucydides 2:97 spoken about 420 B.C.).

As Psalm 105:20 says, "He [YEHOVAH God] increased His people Israel greatly, and made them stronger than their enemies." Herodotus adds, "They have, in one respect...shown themselves WISER than any other nation upon the face of the earth... Possessing no houses but wagons, and carrying these about wherever they go, accustomed, one and all, to fight on horseback with bows and arrows, and dependent for their food not upon agriculture but upon their cattle: how can they fail of being unconquerable, and even unassailable?" (4:46). "NO weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper" (Isaiah 54:17).

Their oaths were accompanied by ceremonies identical with those of the MEDES; they used skulls as drinking cups, like the Northmen of later years; their weapons were the spear, the battle-axe and the bow; they made BOOTHS like the Israelites; they had fables of griffins, the representations of which on the Scythian tombs are almost exactly like the winged lions of the Assyrians.

Describing their sacrifices, Herodotus says, "After flaying the beasts, they take out all the bones, and put the flesh into boilers or cauldrons of a large size, then placing the BONES of the animals beneath the cauldron, they set them ALIGHT, and so boil the meat" (Herodotus 4:61). In Ezekiel 24:5 we read, "take the choice of the flock, and BURN also the BONES under it, and make it boil well." Professor Rawlinson thinks both these passages refer to the same custom.

Finally Herodotus says regarding sacrifices, "they NEVER USE SWINE; nor, indeed, is it their wont to breed them in any part of their country" (Herodotus 4:63). Yes "the SWINE...IS UNCLEAN to you" (Leviticus 11:7). Strabo says of the Dacians "that the care of worshipping the Supreme Being is GREAT among this nation, is not to be doubted, after what Posidonius has related, 'and they even ABSTAIN FROM ANIMAL FOOD from religious motives,' as likewise on account of the testimony of other historians" (Strabo 7:3:4).

While the Scythians considered horses their most precious possession, they raised other animals as well: sheep, goats, cattle and wool-coated oxen called yaks. Archaeological evidence shows that sheep were the Scythian's second most important herd animal. They used it for meat, skin, wool and milk. In every grave excavated so far -- from richest to poorest --archaeologists have found offerings of mutton, which is the flesh of an adult sheep.

Herodotus says, "HEMP groweth abundantly in this land of Scythia, and of this the people MAKE GARMENTS that are very like to garments made of FLAX. These people possess neither houses, cities, nor cultivated land: but lived in wagons and on the produce of their cattle." This reminds us of Hosea 2:2-14 which says, "Plead with your mother, plead...Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a DRY LAND, and slay her with thirst...For she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink...For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal. Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and My wine in the season thereof, and will RECOVER my wool and MY FLAX given to cover her nakedness."

"Wearing a tall, pointed cap," writes Steven M. Collins, "was also a cultural trait of the Israelite-Phoenicians. Evidence of the Phoenician trait has been found in both the Old World and in ancient America. In the Old World, an example of Phoenicians wearing such caps is found on a relief from Persepolis as shown in the Encyclopedia Americana. Dr. Barry Fell's America B.C. shows a terra-cotta figurine found in an American burial mound depicting a Phoenician with a tall cap, the 'characteristic high-crowned hat, the hennin, worn on formal occasions' (Fell, America B.C., p. 168). Israelite high priests wore tall hats called miters (Exodus 28:37-29:6). The miter had a 'forefront' (Exodus 28:37), and a blue decoration 'high upon the miter' (Exodus 39:31), verifying that it was a tall cap. This type of headgear was adopted by Israelites in leadership positions. Harper's Bible Dictionary shows tall, pointed hats as an example of 'Hebrew royal attire' (see 'Dress,' example no. 9, p. 227).

"The matching headgear of the Israelite-Phoenicians and the Sacae-Scythians is one more cultural factor supporting the conclusion that the Scythians were the displaced ten tribes of Israel" (Steven M. Collins, Israel's Lost Empires, Bible Blessings, Royal Oak, MI, 2002, pp. 210-211).

Israel dwelt among the monuments -- the BARROWS and MOUNDS of Southern Russia, the CAVES in which the Getae lived in memory of that to which Zalmoxis retired -- and ate unclean food. Therefore Isaiah 65:4 says Israelites "remain among the GRAVES, and lodge in the MONUMENTS; that eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels." Pliny (Natural History 4:12) calls them "CAVE-DWELLERS." (the Chinkuki Israelites were also cave dwellers. Their Asian look was gotten obviously by mixing with locals) "Set thee up WAYMARKS, make thee HIGH MOUNDS" (Jeremiah 31:21). "They [Scythians] set to work, and raise a VAST MOUND above the GRAVE all of them vying with each other, and seeking to make it as tall as possible" (Herodotus 4:71).

Drunkenness was prevalent among Israelites (Deuteronomy 21:20-21). "Woe to the...drunkards of Ephraim" (Isaiah 28:1-3). "Howl all ye drinkers of wine" (Joel 1:5). "Woe to them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them" (Isaiah 6:11-13). When Spartans want to drink purer wine than normal, they give the order to FILL SCYTHIAN FASHION (Herodotus 6:84). The SCYTHIANS were driven out of Media by being invited to a feast and made DRUNK and then murdered (Herodotus 1:106). (like the Lamanites)
Tacitus says the Kimbri were Germans and "the Germans never to have intermarried with other nations; but to be a Race, Pure, Unmixed, and stamped with a distinct character. Hence a family likeness pervades the whole though their numbers are so great" (Tacitus de Morib. Ger. c.v.). In a similar fashion Israel was sifted through a sieve, but not one grain was allowed to fall to the ground (Amos 9:9). "SCYTHIANS are dead-set AGAINST FOREIGN WAYS" (Herodotus 4:75). Their destiny was to "DWELL ALONE" (Numbers 23:9).

The Obvious Israelite Origin

According to Steven M. Collins, "A large body of the ten tribes of Israel moved from Palestine to the Black Sea region of south Russia when Samaria fell. Even as the Israelites were herdsmen and exporters of grain, so were the Scythians. Even as the Israelites had been skilled in metallurgy from the time of Solomon, so were the Scythians. Even as the Israelites had civilized tastes, so did the Scythians. The Israelites were descendants of Isaac, and the Scythians bore the name of Isaac ('Sac-ae' or 'Sak-a'). The Israelites fled to the Black Sea regions in about 721 B.C., and the 'Scythians' were first noted in the Black Sea regions soon after this date. There is no doubt about the origin of the Scythians: They were displaced Israelites building a new homeland in the Black Sea region and in parts of the Russian steppe" (Steven M. Collins, Israel's Lost Empires, Bible Blessings, Royal Oak, MI, 2002, p. 206). So, too, were the blond-haired, long-nosed mummies of the Tarim Basin.

Chinese Israelitish Ethnic Groups: Jingpos, Chiang Min (or Qiangs), Kaifeng Jews

Not only Jyutping (the name of the romanization of Cantonese Chinese language. Some people say dialect) is a word similar to Jew or Yahud. In fact in Canton (Guangdong) is where the British had the entrepeneurial colony of Hong-Kong & the Portuguese the entrepeneurial colony of Macau. If China is an entrepeneurial country, the area of Canton is even more so. Was the Chinese people influenced by the Israelites & Jews to revere so much their ancestors, the mountains & trade? Even nowadays that these former colonies are under Chinese dominion they're amongst the most important global trading hubs in the world. Moreover, is is a coincidence that they were until the last decade of the 20th century under British & Portuguese dominion when they lost all (the Portuguese) & most (the British) of their empires? The long association of these two nations, considered to be Israelite nations, makes these two cities candidates to have Israelite ancestry. The Chinese festival of lanterns might have been created after the Jewish festival of lights.

The Chiang Min are very religious. They differ from the Tibetans in that they are not Lamaists.

                                                                      Qinghai Temple

For the Chinese anthropologist Zhang Sui the Bailan Qiang people of Qinghai Province appear to be of Jewish descent.

                 Ngawa Prefecture within Sichuan, China, holds another great Qiang population

Many scholars with no knowledge of each other agree that the Lost Sheep of Israel (the 10 tribes) ssojourned Kashmir & Tibet. There's a possibility that Jesus visited Tibet as He's said to have visited Japan, Kashmir (India), Britain... In fact Tibetan Bhuddism has many traditions in common with Christianity. Even in the old Tibetan books has been the word "Mashih".

Was the Yuan (Mongol) dynasty of China tolerant with minorities because of having an Israelite origin?

Certain traditions of the Chinese like their great love for their ancestors, interest in genealogy...could have been received from the Israelite Chiangs, Kaifeng Jews...

The Tiu-kiu-Kiou Jews are according to many different webs, Jews from some eastern Asían countries including China, Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia.

The Achangs 

The Achangs or Achang people of China are believed to descend from the Israelite Qiangs. Perhaps during the travels of lost ten tribes of Israel thru China the Achangs got lost from the main Israelite group. That's what is believed that happened to the Chinkukis for example.

Jingpo (Kachin Chinese) in Yunnan

The animist Miao, Dong and Jingpo continue to maintain traditional customs and taboos and, along with the Dai, they also practice ancestor worship. These minorities also utilise traditional doctors who use herbal medicines.

Longchuan County in Yunnan province is located in Dehong Thai and Jingpo Ethnic Autonomous Prefecture. The total population of Longchuan County is 178,200 and major ethnic groups include Jingpo, Thai, Achang, Lisu, De’ang and Hui. Ethnic minorities represent 56% of the total population, of which the Jingpo represent 27.2%.

Within Longchuan County, we focus on Nonglong village given the large proportion of ethnic Jingpo: 96.28% (2000 census). The village comprises five natural villages and nine working teams, with 396 households and a population of 1,670 (of whom 1603 are Jingpo)...

The average annual income per person is less than ¥ 3,000. In recent years, along with the promotion of sugar cane plantation, the village income has increased.

The biggest challenge in this region is transportation: according to local police, only 30% of roads are stonepaved. The rest of the roads are mountainous and people often travel on foot. Many traditional religious practices have been preserved in the village while their forms and contents have changed.

Religious professionals are known as “Gongsma” in Jingpo language. Although aboriginal officials or headmen no longer exist, their descendants still enjoy certain prestige among local population.

Jingpos are primarily animists. A large number of traditional customs and taboos have been preserved within their culture. People’s belief systems tend to be traditional.

Nonglong village in Longcuan County, has a strong Jingpo community. It is not a wealthy community, with an average annual income per person of ¥ 3000, but the development of sugar cane plantation, has seen an increase in the income of the villagers.

This region is the core of the Jingpo mountains and the culture is well preserved. Most people can fluently speak the Dashan dialect of the Jingpo language but few people can write in Jingpo.

Cases have been found among Jingpo people where doctors at hospitals recommend patients to conduct certain religious rituals to cure certain diseases. If one feels unwell, one should hold rituals to pay tribute to spirits. “Tribute to spirit” rituals vary due to different spirits.

Stories were related about how seriously ill patients who had been abandoned by hospitals
recovered from treatment by traditional doctors. Sometimes, hospital doctors also persuade the family of patients to try traditional doctors. They even allow them to conduct treatments in traditional ways in hospital rooms. There is no direct distinction between “tradition” and “modernity”.

Though Jingpo women normally practice confinement (like Jewess women), they sometimes have to take care of housework and even go to the field to work seven days after their delivery.

Jingpo men often described women’s hardship and were happy to acknowledge that their wives dominate internal family affairs. Many Jingpo women said: I manage the housework and control the family income. My words count.

Yunnan's ethnic minorities

Men also informed the researchers that many family issues will be decided based on consultation. Among Jingpo communities, gender relations tend to be equal. Men tend to openly admit that their wives manage the family and have to be consulted for family decisions (unlike neighboring Chinese).

Although Jingpo, Dai, and Hui communities to some extent have a preference for sons, no cases were described of the abandonment or drowning of girl infants (unlike Chinese). Neither the Jingpo nor the Dai showed visible signs of differential treatment between male and female children.

Longchuan County has always been the most important port for trade and business in sino-Burmese border since ancient times. Yet there is no natural barriers between Longchuan County and Burma.

Longchuan County has the largest Jingpo population all over the country. Jingpo People mainly held belief in primitive religion. However, as the missionaries came into this area spreading Christianity during modern times, big changes occurred in the traditional culture.

Some scholars believe that Christianity has already become the most important bond in maintaining the Jingpo’s ethnic identity. When elaborating on Jingpo’s culture, scholars acknowledge that it is characteristic of the coexistence of Christian culture and primitive beliefs.

For the significance of its progress, Christianity had indeed greatly promoted the local development in rational ideology, culture accumulation, ethic cohesion among Jingpo People.

But it also shouldn’t be overlooked that the persistence on traditional culture in Longchuan is not easy to shake because of Jingpo People’s slow change in livelihood transformation and the specific geographic location.

Seal Date of Levi

The Levi Seal Date, in 1842, identifies nearly to the day the Treaty of Nanking.

This treaty is wide afield from normal Seal Date treaties, but the subject of the treaty is Britain establishing 5 autonomous city-states in China including the most famous, Hong Kong.

This makes great sense because Levi was to be scattered into city states, cities-of-refuge really, across ancient Israel. Hong Kong, especially, would remain a city of refuge for people fleeing mainland China for 150 years. In this we could include the city of Macau & Singapur that has similar characteristics & majority of ethnic Chinese.

Biblical city-states in China, essentially the "end of the world" from Europe, implies strongly that China is also considered a Biblical country that is inherited in part by Abraham's seed.

Chinese Assimilated Israelites Among the Hans

The Arab people counts more than one hundred million, but they're not homogeneous religiously nor ethnically. Apart from the Arab Hidden Jews & the Arabs that are not aware of their Jewish ancestry, Berber ancestry...there are many so called Arabs that don't consider themselves to be so. 

They have a point because they are the offspring of Arameans, Phoenicians, Greeks (Byzantines), ancient Egyptians, Christian Crossaders (French, English...), Nubians... This is the case with the Lebanese, Syrians, some Egyptians... 

If this happens in a populaation of about 290 million people, it would be even more so with more than the 1000 million people that are the Han Chinese. The Hans had large families until the Chinese communist tyranny imposed the one child policy, but that doesn't make Hans multiplying to reach a thousand million people out of thin air.

What happpened is that the Chin dynasty (but most Chinese governments too) absorbed many other ethnic groups into the Hans. This haappened ceenturies ago so this assimilated peeoples that are counted as Hans now have, at least in part, other ethnic & cultural backgrounds (Israelitee in some cases), even if they are not aware of their roots.

Some come from asssimilated: Kaifeng Jews, Chiangs, Christian Nestorians & likely Karens, Chinkukis... as well. All of them being Israelites. The Karens & the Chinkukis were once in China & some maay haave stayed & assimilated into the Han ethnicity. The Nestorian Christians were in China as well & must have assimilated because they haven't vanished away.

I don't deny the fact that the different Chinese governments have persecuted & eliminated its minorities though, but part of them have gone abroad or have assimilated.

It is known that the Chiangs were once counted in the millions, but through extermination & assimilation they are currently less than a million. As a fact many of the Kaifengs have assimilated into the Hans too. Although several of them assimilated are aware of their roots, the level of assimilation through the centuries has made large numbers of Israelites lose their identity in China & be counted as Han Chinese. 

Perhaps the Chins (part of the Chinkuki ethnicity) received their name from the assimilationist Chin (or Qing) dynasty. The Chiangs or Qiangs might have received it from the them too.

Luckily for them they run away with other Israelites to what is now India, Bangladesh & Myanmar. The Shans were in China & moved to Burma. They are likely Israelites too. The Kachins might be Israelites too & are living in areas of both China & India. 

The history of assimilation has been repeted everywhere for Israelites & gentiles alike. There are millions of Israelites that don't even know what they are.

Uyghur Israelites?

The Uyghurs might not be Israelites, but there are Israelitish looking people (a well as blood) among them: the blue eyed & blond ones or the ones with Semitic features. They are descendents of ancient Turkish Uyghurs, Iranian Saka (Israelite Iranian speakers really) tribes... The second group is really Semitic ethnically (not speaking though). The celebrated Tarim mummies are regarded as ancestors (in part at least) of the Uygurs. 

The said mummies have European looking features, red hair included. They are considered to have been Saka speakers. Tarim is in Uyghuristan, but interestingly there's another Tarim in Yemen, a nation of Israelite origin. The truth is genetic studies agree that Uygurs have more European (Israelite) roots than Asian ones. Caucasian features like full beard or not very slanted eyes. Modern Uyghurs have many people with Caucasian features, sometimes even with red or blond hair & green or blue eyes, because of intermixing with Iranian speaking Israelites. 

Kashi or Kish, an Israelite personage in the Old Testament, could be the origin of the Uyghur city of Kashi/Kashgar. This personage's name is also present in the near Hindu Kush, Pakistan & among the neighboring Pashtuns.

The Uyghur city of Hotan/Hetian might have Hittite (Hethite) origins. Peoples from the Middle East, like the Hethians, mingled with the Israelites & their mongrel (mostly Israelitic though) descendants ended up in Central Asia. The meaning of the Hebrew word Aral is "to count as foreskin (as uncircumcised)". The Israelites might have named this famous lake & city, since they sojourned in Central Asia for centuries. Nevertheless these Israelites were Lost Israelites & they were not as Israelites, but as Sakas, Scythians, Ephtalites, Parthians...

The historical area of what is modern day Xinjiang consisted of the distinct areas of the Tarim Basin & Dzungaria, and was originally populated by Indo-European Tocharians and Saka peoples, who practiced Buddhism. They came under Chinese rule in the Han dynasty as the Protectorate of the Western Regions and in the Tang dynasty as the Protectorate General to Pacify the West. The Tang dynasty withdrew its control of Xinjiang in the Protectorate General to Pacify the West and the Four Garrisons of Anxi after the An Lushan Rebellion.

The Kingdom of Khotan was an ancient Buddhist kingdom that was located on the branch of the Silk Road that ran along the southern edge of the Taklamakan Desert in the Tarim Basin (modern Xinjiang, China). The ancient capital was originally located to the west of modern-day Hotan (Chinese: 和田) at Yotkan. From the Han dynasty until at least the Tang dynasty it was known in Chinese as Yutian (Chinese: 于闐, 于 窴, or 於闐). The kingdom existed for over a thousand years until it was conquered by the Muslims in 1006. Tumshuq was not a far distant kingdom.

Map of Tarim Basin kingdoms in the 3rd century C.E. Hotan was one of the main towns (& eventually kingdom) of the Chinese Silk Road.

(Eastern) Saka or Sakan was a variety of Eastern Iranian languages, attested from the mentioned ancient Buddhist kingdoms of Khotan and Tumshuq in the Tarim Basin, in what is now southern Xinjiang, China. It was a Middle Iranian language. The two kingdoms differed in dialect, their speech was known as Khotanese and Tumshuqese.

These people, the Sakas, received their name after Isaac. So they were just Israelites under another name.

The two dialects shared features with modern Pashto. The Sakas or Scythians were also Israelite ancestors of the Pashtuns, so no wonder Pashto was a similar language.

The two known dialects of Saka were associated with a movement of the Scythians. No invasion of the region is recorded in Chinese records and one theory is that two tribes of the Saka, speaking the two dialects, settled in the region in about 200 BC before the Chinese accounts commence. This agrees with the biblical record in that the kingdom of Israel was taken over, & its people captive, in 700BC.
The Saka language became extinct after invading Turkic Muslims conquered the Kingdom of Khotan in the  Turkicisation & Islamicisation of Xinjiang.

Khotanese and Tumshuqese were closely related Eastern Iranian languages.

Other than an inscription from Issyk kurgan that it is tentatively identified as Khotanese (although written in Kharosthi), all of the surviving documents originate from Khotan or Tumshuq. Khotanese is attested from over 2,300 texts preserved among the Dunhuang manuscripts, as opposed to just 15 texts in Tumshuqese.

Kurgans are considered to be Israelite burying mounds. The Issyk kurgan, in south-eastern Kazakhstan is less than 20 km east from the Talgar alluvial fan, near Issyk town.

Esik (Kazakh: Есік, also spelled Issyk, Yesik and Yesyk) is a town in Almaty Region of Kazakhstan, the administrative center of Enbekshikazakh District. It is located on the Issyk River, at the foot of the Tian Shan, 53 km east of Almaty and 112 km over the mountains from Issyk Kul Lake, Kyrgyzstan. Issyk is said to be another form of Isaac. Not by chance the Kyrgyzes have an epic heroe called Manas. Manas is identified as Manasseh, Joseph's son & Jacob’s grandson. Joseph's sons, Ephraim & Manassah, were in a way adopted by Jacob in order that they would be counted with the rest of tribes as Israelite tribes of their own. In the same way Manas was Jakyb’s son. And the parallelisms with the two stories go on & on & on.

The Shakya were a clan in southern Nepal, so not very far away from Hotan.

The Shakyas (or Sakyas formed an independent republican state known as the Śākya Gaṇarājya. The Shakya capital was Kapilavastu, which may have been located either in Tilaurakot, Nepal or Piprahwa, India.

The best-known Shakya was the prince Siddhartha Shakya (5th century BCE), also known as Siddhārtha Gautama, Shakyamuni, Gautama Buddha, or simply the Buddha, who was an ascetic and sage on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. He was born into a noble Israelite family.

Shakya or Sakya is just another name for Saka. And the Sakas received the name from Isaac. By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said in Genesis 21:12, "In Isaac your seed shall be called". In Hebrew vowels don't really count & the consonantical sounds of these words are the same.

The Healing Ritual and the Lantern Festival 

In the Budhist Healing Ritual it's necessary to light 7 lamps. This has clear reminiscences to Judaism. It's not the only remarkable resemblance. Alexandra Soper has suggested that the “light worship” in the Healing Ritual should be connected with the Christian tradition.

                                                                    Lantern Festival

“If we are dealing with lamps in sevens,” Soper argues, “it is impossible not to think of the seven-branched candles of the Israelites (Exodus, xxv, 31–37), or of the ‘seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God’ (Revelations, iv, 5).” The theory that Budha was really an Israelite makes sense.

Part of the Qiangs of southwest China (upper Min river valley) have declared that they are the offspring of Israelites indeed.

Qiang people

The Qiang people (Chinese: 羌族; Mandarin Pinyin: qiāng zú; Jyutping: goeng zuk) are an ethnic group of China. They form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China, with a population of approximately 200,000 in 1990. They live mainly in mountainous region in the northwestern part of Sichuan province on the eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau.

Qiang people were mentioned in ancient Chinese texts as well as inscriptions on the oracle bones of 3,000 years ago. However the ancient Qiang people referred to in these ancient texts were a broad group of people and the ancestors of the modern Tibeto-Burman speakers, they are therefore not the equivalent of the modern Qiang people who are a small branch of the ancient Qiangs. Many of the people formerly designated as Qiangs were gradually removed from this category in Chinese texts as they become sinicized or reclassified, and by the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) periods, the term Qiang denoted only the non-Han people living in the upper Min River Valley and Beichuan area, the area now occupied by the modern Qiangs.

The territory of the Qiangs lies between the land of the Han Chinese and the Tibetans, and the Qiangs would fall under the domination of either the Han Chinese or the Tibetans. There were also fightings between different Qiang villages, and the Qiang people constructed watchtowers and houses with thick stone walls and small windows and doors due to the constant threat of attack. Each village may have one or more stone towers in the past, and the Qiang stone watchtowers remains a distinctive feature of some Qiang villages.

Qiang people were mentioned in ancient Chinese texts as well as inscriptions on the oracle bones of 3,000 years ago. However the ancient Qiang people referred to in these ancient texts were a broad group of people and the ancestors of the modern Tibeto-Burman speakers, they are therefore not the equivalent of the modern Qiang people who are a small branch of the ancient Qiangs. Many of the people formerly designated as Qiangs were gradually removed from this category in Chinese texts as they become sinicized or reclassified, and by the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) periods, the term Qiang denoted only the non-Han people living in the upper Min River Valley and Beichuan area, the area now occupied by the modern Qiangs.

The modern Qiangs refer to themselves as /ʐme/ (rma, 尔玛 erma in Chinese, or RRmea in Qiang orthography), or a dialect variant of the word. However, they did not define themselves as the Qiang people (羌族, Qiang zu) until the twentieth century as Qiang is a Han Chinese classification. Many however have sought to gain Qiang status due to government policy of prohibition of discrimination as well as economic subsidies for minority nationalities which has made minority status an attractive option since 1949. The number of Qiangs has therefore increased due to the reclassification of people, and there are about 200,000 Qiang people today in Sichuan, predominantly in the Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, in the counties of Maoxian, Wenchuan, Lixian, Beichuan, Heishui, and Songpan.

On 12 May 2008, the Qiang people were heavily affected by the major Sichuan earthquake, whose epicenter was in Wenchuan County.

Modern Qiang people speak one of the Qiang languages which are members of the Qiangic sub-family of Tibeto-Burman. However, Qiang dialects are so different that communication between different Qiang groups is often in Han Chinese. The education system largely uses Chinese as a medium of instruction for the Qiang people, and as a result of the universal access to schooling and TV in Chinese, very few Qiang people cannot speak Chinese, but there are many Qiangs who cannot speak the Qiang language.

Until recently, the Qiang lacked a script of their own, and the Qiangs carved marks on wood to remember events or communicate. In the late 1980s a writing system was developed for the Qiang language based on the Qugu (曲谷) variety of a Northern dialect using the Roman alphabet. The introduction has not been successful due to the complexities of the Qiang sound system and the concomitant difficulty of its writing system, as well as the diversity of the Qiang dialects and the lack of reading material. The Qiangs also use Chinese characters.

The often matrilineal Qiang society is primarily monogamous, although polyandry and cross-cousin marriages are accepted. Since most women are older than their husbands and lead agricultural activities, they act as the head of the family as well as the society.

                                                                 Qiangic languages

The Qiang find marriage important. In the past, marriages were arranged by an individual's parents, with approval from the individual. It is still not unusual for the bride to live in her parents' home for a year or so after her marriage. In the past, children were usually separated from their parents after marriage, except for the first son and his family. However, such customs have been gradually discarded since the Chinese Civil War.

The Qiang also have strict customs regarding birth and death. Prior to the birth of a baby the pregnant woman is not allowed to go near the riverside or a well, attend a wedding ceremony, or stand in the watchtower.

Upon delivery a Duangong shaman is invited to help the delivery procedure and strangers are not allowed to wail or enter the house afterwards. This is ensured by hanging a flail on the house gate for a week upon the birth of a boy and a bamboo basket upon the birth of a girl.

After she has given birth, the woman is not allowed into the kitchen for one month thereafter. It would be considered a sinful action against the kitchen and family gods. Neither is she allowed to leave her home, unless it is burning down, or meet any strangers for the first forty days after delivery. It is believed that there is a real danger of evil spirits (or infectious diseases) coming into the house, which could harm the mother. A ceremony of initiation into the family is conducted for the baby, when a cow is sacrificed on the home altar and the baby receives its name.

Stillborn or premature babies are not considered human beings by the Qiang. Instead, the stillborn is considered to be a demon, which caused the woman to become pregnant in order to cause problems for the family. They are buried unceremoniously.

The Qiang today are mountain dwellers. A fortress village, zhai 寨, composed of 30 to 100 households, in general, is the basic social unit beyond the household. An average of two to five fortress villages in a small valley along a mountain stream, known in local Chinese as gou 溝, make up a village cluster (cun 村). The inhabitants of fortress village or village cluster have close contact in social life. In these small valleys, people cultivate narrow fluvial plains along creeks or mountain terraces, hunt animals or collect mushrooms and herbs (for food or medicine) in the neighboring woods, and herd yaks and horses on the mountain-top pastures.

This Qiang traditional house reminds of the booths of the Israelite festival of Sukkot & red around the door makes me think of the painting of the doorposts with blood when the Israelites were in Egypt.

Owing to its ethnic diversity, Qiang culture has influenced and been influenced by other cultures. Generally, those who live nearer to the Tibetans are influenced by the Tibetan culture, while the majority are more influenced by the Han Chinese, which has close links with its ethnic history.

Both the menfolk and womenfolk wear gowns made of gunny cloth, cotton and silk with sleeveless wool jackets. Following age-old traditions, their hair and legs are bound. The womenfolk wear laced clothing with decorated collars, consisting of plum-shaped silver ornaments. Sharp-pointed and embroidered shoes, embroidered girdles and earrings, neck rings, hairpins and silver badges are also popular.

Millet, highland barley, potatoes, winter wheat and buckwheat serve as the staple food of the Qiang. Consumption of wine and smoking of orchid leaves are also popular among the Qiangs.

The Qiangs live in granite stone houses generally consisting of two to three stories. The first floor is meant for keeping livestock and poultry, while the second floor is meant for the living quarters, and the third floor for grain storage. If the third floor does not exist, the grains will be kept on the first or second floor instead.

Skilled in construction of roads and bamboo bridges, the Qiangs can build them on the rockiest cliffs and swiftest rivers. Using only wooden boards and piers, these bridges can stretch up to 100 meters. Others who are excellent masons are good at digging wells. Especially during poor farming seasons, they will visit neighboring places to do chiseling and digging.

Embroidery and drawn work are done extemporaneously without any designs. Traditional songs related to topics such as wine and the mountains are accompanied by dances and the music of traditional instruments such as leather drums.

The majority of the Qiang adhere to a polytheist religion, known as Ruism, a religion that involves belief in the White Stones that were worshiped as representing the sun god, who will bring good luck to their daily aspects of life. Others, who live near the Tibetans follow Tibetan Buddhism. Small minorities of Muslims and Taoists exist as well.

The Qiang worship five major gods, twelve lesser gods, some tree gods, and numerous stones were also worshiped as representatives of gods. A special god is also worshiped in every village and locality, who are mentioned by name in the sacred chants of the Qiang priests. Mubyasei, also known Abba Chi and as the god of heaven, is also considered as the supreme god. This term is also used to refer to a male ancestor god, Abba Sei. In certain places, Shan Wang, the mountain god, is considered to represent the supreme god. The Qiang people have also adopted many practices of the Taoists as well.

For some Qiangs, most White Stones were placed on the corners of their roofs or towers, as a good luck symbol for the sun. A square stone pagoda, which is located on the edge of many Qiang villages and on the top of a nearby hill as well. The pagoda is usually over two meters high and its uppermost part is inlaid with a circle of small white stones. A larger white stone is also placed at the pinnacle as well.

A small pagoda is also sometimes built on the roof of a house, with a pottery jar that contained five varieties of grain is placed within the pagoda. On top of the pagoda, a white stone is placed together with ox and sheep horns. By tradition, the door of a Qiang house is supposed to face south and the pagoda is built on the northern end of the roof in line with the door. Every morning, the Qiang family will burn incense sticks or cedar twigs in the pagoda and kowtow to it, praying for the protection of the family by the god of the white stone.

However, with modernization, worship of the White Stones is not nearly as common as it used to be. There are several legends that explain the origin of this stone worship.

At the legendary time when the Qiang people moved into Sichuan from the Tibetan Plateau, they placed white stones on every hilltop and crossroads, for they did not want to forget the route leading back to their original homeland. These piles of white stones also act as a token of their affection for their homeland and the people they left behind at the same time.

Upon arriving at the territory of the local Geji people, the Qiang fought a losing battle. Jirpol, witnessing the condition that they were in, instructed the Qiang to find a strong white stone and attach it to rattan sticks and fight with this weapon, tying some sheep wool to the neck of the stick as well. Victory was on their side, and the Qiangs began to look upon the white stones as gods to be worshipped.

The Chiang Min Tribe of China Are Israelites

The polyandry practised by the Qiangs seems to be like a deviation of the levirate marriage. So it is with the roll of the Qiang shaman that resembles the Israelite priest.

Is Yu, the mythical ancestor of the Qiangs, Judah or is he the very Yahweh, the God of Israel?

Some scholars consider the legendary Yellow Emperor of China & the Qing Chinese dynasty to be the origin of the Qiang. If the Qiang were Israelites, the Qing dynasty & the Yellow Emperor may have been Children of Israel too. The entrepeneurial spirit of the Chinese, together with their love for their ancestors & their love for mountains may have been received by a minoritarian elite, like a ruling dynasty, just as in the case of Japan. The Ox-king festival may have Israelite origin because making a king of an ox is similar to worsshipping it as the ancient Israelites did with the golden calf. Some Qiang agree that this Han Chinese costum wasn't there before, as if hinting that iw was a Qiang costum. The lunar calendar is typically Hebrew & used by Qiangs, Amerindians...The Qiangs have classified themselves as the strongest military opponents of the Hans in the past. Is it because the Qiangs were such good warriors as the ancient Israelites, Pashtuns...?

In Wikipedia there's an article about the remarkable relation between ancient Hebrews & watchtowers. Romans, British, Chian Mings, Philippinians & Yemenis are cited in this article. It's noteworthy that, except for the Romans, all these peoples are considered to have Israelite origin. The Romans were in contact with "Barbarian" Germanic Israelites, Carthaginian Israelites, Parthian Israelites (Parthia was the other superpower peering Rome) & Judeans, so the Romans might have taken the watchtower from some of them. The Filipinos are the only ones that don't have a strong Israelite claim so far. The Muslim Yemenis have a high proportion of the Cohen gene. This, together with the historical Israelite migration to Yemen and the Jewish kingdom of Yemen, confirms that Yemenis are Israelites Again I include in the category of Israelite Muslim Yemenis. It's also noteworthy that the Qiangs worship trees as pagan Israelites worshipped in groves.

Little Israel In Qiang land, China. Different people have been awed at the celebrated flat roofed Qiang traditional buildings. Their watchtowers were good allies againts the invading Chinese. Their houses look as if taken from a town in Judea. Indee several scholars have suggested that the Qiang's houses look Israelite.

                                        Modern Palestinian houses & ancient Israelite houses

Ramallah - رام الله A Palestinian Arab home in Ramallah with its guest-chamber, the large upper room - 1900

                                                          Typical Chinese Buildings

It's remarkable that the Qiang  build watchtowers  as it's costumary in the Middle East & it's even more remarkable that they often build 13 floors, the number of tribes that result from adding the two sons-tribes of Joseph to the 11 tribes. The men's gown might be blue to represent the color of heaven like Jews identified blue with heaven (in the blue fringes they added to their clothes). Their consumpsion of pork might have been taken from the the great appreciation the Chinese have for pork (as with the Marranos, the Jews that were forced to join Catholicism) as it happened with the idol worshipping taken from the Chinese. It's shocking that the Qiangs celebrate New Year the same date as the Jews. Whereas the Qiangs do it the 1st of october, the Jews do it either in this day or around it. It's even more shocking the use of teh lunar calendar.

Obviously the origin of the sacrifices made by the Qiangs to the spirit on New Year comes from the sacrifices offered to Yahveh. The fact that the Qiang worship sheep can be attributed to the important shepherd culture of ancient Israel & that ancient Israel used sheep as a sacrifice to God, but in an appostate way worshipping the sheep instead of the Lord. The Israelites even had a shepherd king, David, being him with his son Solomon, the most important king. Further, Jesus Christ names himself the Good Shepherd. Their dwelling places in the highest areas of the earth must have been taken as a blessing received by God because of the importance the Israelites gave to mountains. 

Jiuding mountain of the Qiangs. Their holy mountain. The Jiuding, their most revered & beautiful mountain, sounds a bit like the word "Judean" or "Yahudim" in Hebrew. In the Qiang area there's also a celebrated cave & a former temple, both called "Yu", also resembling the word "Jew", but it's more likely that it was received from the name of Yaweh, losing some vowels as usually happens with Semitic languages. The Chinese Hans with Qiang origin should be researched in order to find these "Lost Israelites" as it has been done with the Kaifeng Jews. It's remarkable that the Qiang are wonderful masons as the ones that made Solomon's Temple  from which it's believed that the Freemasons (thru the Knight Templars) received more than only masonry.

It's noteworthy that the Qiang society is matrilineal, just as the conservative & orthodox Jews inherit their Jewishness. The Qiang costum of staying in the house for a month after giving birth resembles the Jewish costum of leaving the woman separated during menstruation. However since Chinese civil war this tradition is disappearing. Prior to birth women are forbidden to go to rivers, stand in watchtowers or attend weddings, being also a costum similar to the female Jewish seclusion during mesntruation. It's as if watchtowers were somehow sacred, reminding the Jewish appreciation for other high places like temples or mountains. The cypher 40 of the prohibition of leaving the house until 40 days pass is found in Noah's 40 days of flood & Jesus Christ of fasting. Sacrificing cows, like in the case of the future red heifer, is an Israelite tradition. It's also noteworthy their worship of 12 lesser gods. Many cultures started worshipping their ancestors as gods. Where these 12 gods originally the 12 patriarchs of Israel? I belief so.

There's a city in Nigeria called Aba, the Hebrew word for father. It's found in Iboland, and Ibos have Hebrew origin. There's another Aba in western China in Tibet and surroundings. This is were the Erma (Chiang) live. Can we see the possibility in Aba having origin in Aramaic too? It's interesting that the Qiangs have marriages in high esteem just as ancient Israel did. Another point in common between the two is that marriage in olden times were arranged by one's parents. The Qiang worshipped tree just as the pagan Israelites worshipped in groves. 

The supreme god of Qiang is called Abba, a word that means father in Aramaic. This is interesting because they consider Abba to be a male ancestor. Was this Abba, Abraham, the father of the believers? Well, they also claim to to descend from Abraham.

These are clear deviations from the original Israelite believe. Another deviation from the Israelite faith is the consideration by some of the Qiangs as their Supreme God a mountain called Shan Wang. The meaning of the name of the mountain is "Mountain God". This clearly resembles the high esteem given to mountains by old Israel: Sinai, Moriah, Gerizim... In fact the most sacred place of the ancient lsraelite religion, the Temple of Solomon, was built on a mountain. Moreover the Temple is called in several scriptures' passages as the Mountain or Mountain of the Lord. From Mountain of the Lord to Mountain of God to Mountain God there's not a big step linguistically nor semantically for apostate Israelites. The tradition of deifying mountains is attributed to the Chinese but seems to be more logical to be the other way around as in the case of the Greek's worshipping of the Olympos mountain. Indeed in Christianity, Islam & other beliefs they have holy places, hermitages or shrines on top of the mountains, tradition probably taken from the Jews & other Israelites.

Do the stones that the Qiangs worship have anything to do with the 12 stones of the breastplate of the Israelite priest, the Urim & Thummim, the 12 stones found in the Jordan river. As Joshua 4:6 says "That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?"

These biblical accounts, especially the biblical refence show us the importance of certain stones the Lord gave for the people of Israel, npt being the lesser reason to be recognized as its people in the future, specifically in our days previous to the coming of the Messiah. The worship of the Qiangs toward particular stones could have been easily changed from their original god given purpose.

The Chiang Min

This tribe, numbering about a quarter of a million, lives on the Chinese-Tibetan border approximately where the Shinlung say they once dwelled. Ethnically Chinese, they were monotheistic even before they converted to Christianity. According to their tradition, they are “sons of Abraham”; when they sacrifice an animal, they plant 12 flags around the altar, to recall their ancestors' 12 sons. 

Some people call them Israelite Tibetans for the area of their dwelling. It's remarkable that they passed thru Tibet & that Lhasa, capital of Tibet, has almost the same name of an ancient Israelite city mentioned in Genesis 10:19 (Laish or Lasha, depending on the time or version). But it's not the only Biblical name repeated in the area of the Hindu Kush & the Himalaya & around it (in brackets the Biblical name or explanation): Samarkand (meaning city of Samaria in the local language), Pishgah (Pisgah), Rezin (Rezin), Samaryah (Samaria), Gozana (Gozan)...

                                                                  Chiang min priest

In the book Isaiah we find the Hebrew name Sinim. Sin is Hebrew name for China. And the inhabitants Chinese are called "Sinim". The verse reads:

"Behold, these are coming from afar. These from the north and the west and these from the land of Sinim. Shout O Heavens and rejoice O earth, for Adonai has comforted his people. And has taken back His afflicted ones in love."

In fortlike villages in the high mountain ranges on the Chinese-Tibetan border live the Chiang-Min of Szechuan. According to the Scottish missionary, Reverend Thomas Torrance, who visited Chengdu in 1918, the Chiang-Min are descendants of the ancient Israelites who arrived in China several hundred years before the common era.

Torrance issued several publications in the 1920s on the subject of the customs and religion of the Chiang, and in 1937 produced his work China’s First Missionaries: Ancient Israelites – a culmination of his ideas concerning the origins and life of the Chiang-Min. 

Torrance notes that the Chiang-Min "...retain unquestionable marks of being members of the Israelitish branch of the Semitic race..."among them unmistakable Semitic features. He finds many customs common to ancient Israelite religion. The Chiang-Min believe in one God and serve the Abbah Molan, reminiscent of the Israelite Malach or messenger of God (angel). "In times of calamity or acute distress, the people have a moan or cry of a ‘Yawei’ sound - very suggestive...of the Biblical name of G'd."

The Chiang conception of sacrifice, too, according to Torrance, came from the ancient Israelites. The plough used by the Chiang is similar to the ancient Israelite plough and is drawn by two oxen, this in accordance with the stipulation in Deut. 22:10: "You shall not plough with an ox and ass together." Chiang-Min priests, like the ancient Israelite priests wear girdles to bind their robes, and bear a sacred rod shaped like a serpent, reminiscent of the Biblical Nehushtan (the brass serpent made by Moses: Numbers 21:9; II Kings 18:4).

There are Jews who established communities in various parts of China, chiefly in Kaifeng, who probably arrived in the region in the 10th-11th centuries as traders via the "Silk Route." 

Many missionaries who came into contact with the Chinese Jews in the 17th through 19th centuries were convinced that they were descendants of the Lost Tribes who had either arrived through Khourasan and Turkestan or on the sea route through India and the Malayan archipelago; most authorities, however, claim they are of Persian Jewish origin.
Apparently the Chiang, Shinlung (from the Indo-Burman border) and Karen (from Thailand) were once one and the same tribe.

The Chiang or Chiang-Min (name given by the Chinese), an ancient people number about 250 thousand people live in the mountainous area of northwest China, west of the Min River, near the border of Tibet, in Szechuan.

The language of the Chiang tribe had been forgotten and they had also lost their ancient script. Today they speak Chinese and two other languages, one that originates from Tibet and the other is a slang which is called Chiaring.

The area which they live is famous for its rare animals and plants including the Panda bear. The Chiang people live in villages similar to fortresses which are generally built on hilltops. In the past they were a great people who ruled the provincial territories from Kansu in the north to Liyunan in the south.

Historical maps during the Han dynasty (3rd century BCE - 3rd century CE) show that this tribe the Chiang spread to the northwest part of China. They themselves see themselves as immigrants from the west who reached this area after a journey of three years three months. The Chinese treated them as Barbarians and they denominated the Chinese as idol worshipers.

Hate and enmity existed between the Chinese and this tribe for a long time. They lived independently until the middle of the 18th century when they became part of the general population to earn more freedom. The religious pressure from the Chinese, the spread of Christianity, and the influence of intermarriage caused the Chiang tribe to generally and greatly give up their special monotheistic way of life.

However it is still possible even today to learn about the past traditions of the Chiang tribe through their customs and their faith which they still keep. This tribe had been living a special Israelite way of life for 2300 years.
According to their tradition, the Chiang tribe is the descendant of Abraham and their forefather had 12 sons. Those among them who did not take Chinese wives after their victory in war still look Semitic. 

The character traits of this people are integrity, love of neighbor, mutual aid, generosity, modesty, shyness, gratitude, and stubbornness. They also have a fear of heaven or respect for God.

They believe in one God whom they call Abachi meaning the father of heaven, or Mabichu, the spirit of heaven, or also Tian, heaven. As a result of Chinese influences they all call Him God of the mountains as the mountains are the central place for worship of God, although the God of Israel appeared to the Israelites often in mountains & Israelite worshipping places are usually called "mountains" in the Bible.

Their concept of God is that of an all powerful God who watches over the entire world, judges the world fairly, rewards the righteous, and punishes the wicked. This God gives them the opportunity to do repentance and to gain atonement for their actions. In times of trouble, they call God Yah-weh.

They also believe in spirits and demons and they are forbidden to worship them, but this is probably a Chinese influence. In the past they had written scrolls of parchment and also books but today they only have oral traditions. They themselves do not understand the prayers that they recite every week.

The Custom of Sacrifice Among the Chiang Tribe

The Chiang tribe lives a very special way of life based on the offering of animal sacrifices which seems to have been seen among the Ten Tribes of Israel. It is forbidden to worship statues or foreign gods and anyone who offers a sacrifice to another god faces the death penalty.

This worship is performed in two ways. It is public sacrifice on platforms erected on mountain tops on which they build altars of stone which may not be fashioned with tools and on which they offer special sacrifices.

They also have domestic of personal sacrifices on domestic altars built on flat surfaces on the roofs of their houses. There is an atmosphere of holy worship in all these sacrifices. They are performed by priests whose priesthood is passed down through inheritance from father to son. This was the same in ancient Israel.

These priests wear clean white clothes and perform the sacrifices in a state of purity as the priests in ancient Israel did (1 Samuel 15:27). I recall that Japanese Shinto priests also wear clean white clothes at holy events.

The priest of the Chiang tribe wears a special head turban. The priest is ordained in a special ceremony in which sacrifices are also offered. Unmarried men may not be a priest, which was the same in ancient Israel (Leviticus 21:7, 13). 

The the Chiang tribe does not have statues of images but they do have two symbols of holiness. A clean white sheet of paper and a piece of natural white stone. These symbolize absolute purity and perhaps the written parchment which they had in the past. Before one worships God, you must become holy and purify yourself.

It is perhaps because of the Assyrian influence of the past that they try to build their altars next to trees or branches. The altar itself is built of earth which is molded into stones which are then laid one on top of the other without being cut of fashioned by any tool of metal. It is important to remember that in the Torah, the ancient altar could not be made of cut stones (Exodus 20:25), since the sword or whatever tool to be used to cut the stone was also an instrument of war and harm.

The main part of the service is performed at night perhaps to conceal it from other Chinese or because of the special effect of the silence and the tranquility of night. This was also ancient Israeli tradition. It is interesting that the important rituals of Japanese Shinto religion are also performed at night.

Before the offering of sacrifices, one is required to wash one's self and one's clothing and to dress in clean garments. Sacrificial animals themselves must be washed and purified. There is a special place for purification and washing. The elders and priest place their hands on the head of the sacrifice which is to be slaughtered then offer their prayers.

Strangers are forbidden to approach the place of worship. The priest of the Chiang tribe perform the service solemnly. "Unclean ones" are also forbidden to approach the service (Leviticus 21:17-23). These were the same in ancient Israel.

The purpose of the sacrifice is a type of atonement and to bring God's blessings upon those offering the sacrifice. The sacrifice has the purpose of taking away sin and blood must be sprinkled on the corners of the altar to be granted atonement and to have one's prayers accepted.

Prayer Words of the Chiang Tribe

One of the prayers pronounced by the priest of the Chiang tribe in China includes the following prayer: "Priest of God, You are the Priest of the generations who are witnesses to the fact that our sacrifice is pure and has not been changed by us, but has been performed in the same manner since ancient times. We hereby fulfill our vows. We have not eaten impure foods for three days and we have not been in impure places. We have gathered in the holy place, the bundles of grass for the sprinkling of the blood are in their places and we have brought the sacrifices and have lowered the rope on the bundles of grass for the sprinkling of the blood."

Following the prayer many of the organs of the animal are burnt with the meat in the fire and the priest receives the shoulder, the chest, the legs, and also the skin, and the meat is divided among the worshipers. At the time of the sacrifice 12 flags (at the time of the Old Testament every tribe had its own symbol & standard or flag) are placed around the altar in order to teach that they originate from a father who had 12 sons. This system of sacrifices is very similar to the sacrifices brought in ancient Israel at the time of the dispersion of the Lost Tribes.

Among the ceremonies that the Chiang tribe has include the sprinkling of blood on the doorpost to insure the safekeeping of the house, and the laws of levirate marriage which was an Israeli custom as I mentioned earlier. It is considered shameful for a woman to leave her hair uncovered and therefore, they wear white scarves. Mixed dancing of men and women does not take place. And they have a custom of closing all forests for 50 years after which they have a special ceremony to mark their opening. This is like a custom in ancient Israel.

The Chiang tribe also has a purification of the earth as well as a ceremony with a white scroll or parchment. They show great love for parchment and take care to make sure that it remains unblemished. They also practice trances for witchcraft and to expel demons and this may be a Chinese influence.

The Chiang tribe has a new year feast, a feast of feast, and a feast of thanksgiving, but circumcision is not performed. But after the 7th day or at the eve of the 40th day of the child's life, a white rooster is slaughtered in the child's honor and he is given a name.

The Qiang Ethnic Group

The Qiang people are nomadic and worship sheep as the totem. The Qiang flute is their traditional music instrument. The design composed of a sheep horn and a Qiang flute reflects the long history of the Qiangs and embodies the Qiangs’ art and culture as well.

The environment and the population—Rosy dawn on the top of Jiuding Mountain and the Dayu’s hometown

The Qiangs call themselves “Erma” which means local people. The Qiang ethnic group has a population of 306 072 who mostly distribute in Maoxian, Wenchuan, Lixian, Beichuang and Mianyang City Pingwu in Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province. A small number of Qiangs dwell in Ganzi-Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province and Guangzhou Privince.

Qiang picture with 12 circles that may represent the 12 tribes of Israel.

The Qiangs area is at the east edge of Qinghai-Xizang Plateau where there are many mountains and deep canyons. The Jiuding Mountain is 4982 meters high above the sea level and the landscape named “the rosy dawn on the top of Jiuding Mountain” is widely well known and it’s one of the symbols of the Qiangs area as well. The Mingjiang River is the mother river of the Qiangs, which is rich in water resources for electricity. The area abounds in Chinese prickly ashes, walnuts, tea trees, lacquer trees as well as Chinese caterpillar fungus, bulb of fritillary, antlers and musk, which are used as medicine. In the Wolong nature preservation zone there are such rare animals as giant pandas, gold monkeys, etc. In addition, the beautiful scenery attracts lots of visitors from around the world.

Moreover, the place is the birthplace of Dayu where there are such famous historical remains as the Yu Cave and the Yu Temple. Dayu was the hero in regulating rivers and watercourses. According to the legends, he was also do selfless that he hadn’t gone home for thirteen years because of work even if he had passed by home for three times. In addition, he built up the first dynasty of Xia.

The long history—The ancient ethnic group with its name unchanged for 3 000 years

“:Qiang” was a name given by the ancient Hans to the nomadic people in west Chian. Over 3 000 years ago, inscriptions on bones or tortoise shells in the Shang Dynasty recorded the Qiang people. Some Qiangs were merged in the course of the forming of the Huaxia people, the ancestors of the Hans today. Since the Zhou Dynasty the Hans have assimilated some ancient Qiangs, who gradually came to the Central Plains. And some Qiangs, migrating southeast from the Hehuang River valley, lived together with the local people and developed into the ethnic groups of Tibetan-Myamnese language family. More than 2,000 years ago, some of the Qiang tribes, such as Maoniu, Baima, Canlang, Ranlong. ect, which were differentiated from each other through totems, lived in the southeast area. Among these, the Ranlong tribe, which distributed in the upper reaches of the Minjiang River and the northeast of Sichuan Province, gradually mixed together with immigrating Qiangs of different times and a few of Tufans and Hans, and developed into
the Qiangs today.

The language and the religious belief

The Qiang language, which has two types of dialects, the south dialect and the north dialect, belongs to the Qiang language branch of the Tibetan-Myanmese language family of the Chinese-Tibetan system. Formerly, the Qiangs had no written script of their own and Chinese become the written form of the Qiang language. In 1958, alphabetic writing was created and tried out in the Qiangs area. And now, 70% of Qiangs use the Qiang language and 30%, Chinese. The Qiangs believe in primitive religion and parts of them believe in the Tibetan Buddhism and the Taoism. There are no professional clergymen, and the amateur wizards are called “Shibi”.

The stone house—The watchtower and the blockhouse

Generally speaking, a Qiang village consists of tens of households. These castle-like villages are mostly located on the semi-mountain. Watchtowers, some thirteen or fourteen stories, penetrating into the cloud, are well laid out and magnificent. Watchtowers appeared over 2 000 years ago. Every floor is divided with plank and people go up and down through singe wood stairs. In walls are there small holes. According to the Later Han Dynasty, the Ranlong Qiangs “all lived at the foot of mountains and made stone house, with high of over ten meters.” And this style of building has never changed since the Han Dynasty up till now. What a miracle in the history of architecture! Generally, the local-style dwelling houses are blockhouses made of piled up stones.

These houses are two or three stories high, square-shaped, with plat housetop and walls made of flagstones. The first floor is for livestock and poultry, the second retained as bedrooms and the third for grain storage. The plat roof can be used for sunning ground for drying grains and playground for elderly people and children as well. The Qiangs are so good at building that they can build walls without drafting and plumbing line. And these walls are of perfect structure, plat and angular. Solid, practical, warm in winter and cool in summer, these houses embody the wisdom of the Qiangs.

The peculiars bridges—bamboo-chain bridges, rising bridges, slant-bridges, and stone bridges

In order to get over cliffs and precipices the Qiangs created various bridges. Take the chain bridge for example, the Qiangs link up the two sides of a river with a thick bamboo rope and people hang themselves to the bamboo rope with a hemp rope on their waists and fly from one side of a river to the other side. And the rising bridge is also called wood bridge with suspended arms. Logs are paved layer upon layer on both sides of a river and reach to the center of a river layer by layer and join together at last. The bridge is paved with planks so that it is convenient for people and animals to cross. And the slant-bridge is the same as a plank roadway built along perpendicular rock-faces by means of wooden brackets fixed into the cliff, keeping close to the cliff. The most remains are stone bridges. Among them many stone bridges, which the Qiangs take pride in, were made in the Tang and Ming Dynasties.

The costume and ornament—The woolen outer coat and Yunyun shoes

The Qiangs today mostly wear traditional clothes. Men generally wear long blue gowns with buttons down the front right, which are made of gunny clothes. With sleeveless and collarless woolen jackets out, the Qiang men have their heads covered by black scarves and legs banded with puttees and waists bound by cotton-hemp belts. What’s more, they have a big pocket hanging in front of their chest, which are made of embroidered silk fabric and are used to contain money, tobacco, and gunpowder, etc. The Qiang women’s costume is bright-colored. They wear embroidered long garments and embroidered aprons and ribbons.

They generally wear black scarves and some women in certain areas prefer white. The Qiang women are fond of ornaments such as silver badges, ornaments for collar, rings, eardrops, bracelets and so on. The Qiang women do well in crossing stitch and embroidering that are mainly used to ornament aprons, scarves, vamps, collars, sleeves, etc. They embroider a wide range of things and those designs are all lifelike. Among these, the Yunyun shoes, a kind of fabric shoes, are the most unique things and the Qiangs wear them on days of jubilation. Tips warped, the Yunyun shoes are ship-shaped and unique with the uppers of shoes embroidered designs of colorful clouds.

The dietetic customs—The “the gold wrapped silver”, “the plump pork” and “Zajiu”

The Qiangs’ staple food includes maize, wheat, highland barley, potatoes and buckwheat and they eat several kinds of vegetables such as rape, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, ect. The Qiangs steam maize flour into pellet-shaped “Yumizhengzheng”. Mix rice and maize flour, and then get the “silver wrapped by gold”. The Qiangs are used to hanging pork on roof beams in order to air-dry the pork and make “plump pork”. The plump pork, having been preserved for a long time, is very delicious, the fat bright and transparent and the thin of fine color and luster.

Unique in style, the Zajiu wine is a kind of traditional drink, with a history of over 1 000 years, which are made of buckwheat, wheat, barley or maize fermented. Zajiu wine is necessary to happy event and there is a fixed ceremony of drinking: a toastmaster, who is of noble character and high prestige, makes a speech for the wine and spaying a little wine to offer a sacrifice to Heaven, Earth, and spirits. Then, he sticks the staff into the wine jug and people suck the wine in age order, singing and dancing and enjoying themselves.

The festivals and the pastimes—The Qiang’s New Year, the Shalang Dance and the Qiang flute

The New Year of Qiangs, on October 1st of lunar calendar, is the most important festival for Qiang people. The main activities for the festival are offering sacrifices to the spirit, dancing the Shalang Dance and other traditional entertainment. Other traditional festivals include the “meeting of offering sacrifices to the mountains” and “women’s day”. The Shalang Dance, also called the Qiangs Guozhuang, is a kind of ancient dance for pleasing oneself. When dancing Shalang Dance, men and women with rich dress dance around a fire, arm in arm, singing and dancing, going against a clock.While taking a break, people cheer and drink Zajiu wine. The sheepskin drum dance is another kind of well-known dance of the Qiangs, which Shibi, the wizard of the Qiangs, dances while offering sacrifices to the Heaven and ancestors. The dance is bold and unconstrained and enthusiastic, which embodies the bold and generous disposition of the Qiangs.

Qiangs' flute is the most well-known instrument. The poem of Out of the Great Wall written byWangzhuhuan in the Tang Dynasty goes as follows: “The Yellow River reaches as high as the top of the white cloud; the lonely town lies amid the mountains proud. Why should the Qiang flute complain that no willow grows? Beyond the Gate of Jade no vernal wind will blow.” And the Qiang flute mentioned in the poem id still being used by the Qiangs. The thin bamboo tubes standing side by side are made of oil bamboo peculiar to Minjiang area and the bamboo oboes are put in the top of the flute. The flute is played in a special way named “blowing cheek and exchanging air”. While playing the flute, the player breathes in as he breathes out in order to make continuous, beautiful melody.

Erma or Chiang

The modern Qiangs refer to themselves as erma in Chinese. "Behold, These are coming from afar. These from the north and the west and these from the land of Sinim." This prophecy, spoken by Isaiah, promised the return of Lost Israelites from all corners of the Earth and from Sinim.

Interestingly, Sinim is the Hebrew word for China. In fort-like villages in the high mountain ranges on the Chinese-Tibetan border live the Chiang-Min of West Szechuan. It has been claimed that the Chiang-Min are descendants of the ancient Israelites who arrived in China several hundred years before Christ.

                                              Do the many colors of these women have any relation with Joseph's many color's tunic? If they are Manassehites like their related Shinlung it would be likely.

The missionary Torrance, who visited Cheng-du in the early party of this century, insisted that the Chiang-Min strongly resemble the Israelite branch of the Semitic race.

He observed that several of their customs were reminiscent of ancient Israelite tradition. Said Torrance: "The plough the Chiang use is similar to the ancient Israelite plough and is drawn by two oxen, never by an ox and an ass. This in accordance with the Biblical stipulation: 'You shall not plough with an ox and ass together.'"

The Chiang-Min  believe in one God. During "times of calamity or acute distress," writes Torrance, "they issue a moan or cry which sounds like 'Yawei', suggestive of the biblical name of God. The Scottish missionary also claims that the Chinese conception of Sacrifice came from the ancient Israelites.

Finally, Chiang-Min priests, like the ancient Israelite priests, wear girdles to bind their robes, and bear a sacred rod shaped like a serpent, reminiscent of the brass serpent fashioned by Moses in the wilderness.

The Han Chinese Jews of Kaifeng

Archeological evidence points to Jews in China as early as the 8th century. Many travelers, including Marco Polo in the 13th century, wrote of meeting Jews. In fact, during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), a Ming emperor conferred seven surnames upon the Jews, by which they are identifiable today: Ai, Lao, Jin, Li, Shi, Zhang and Zhao. Interestingly, two of these Shi and Jin are the equivalent of common Jewish names in the west: Stone and Gold.

Jyutping is a romanization system for Cantonese, nevertheless Jyut is very similar to Jew or Yahud having the J & t, very similar to the y & d.

Kulanu was privileged to host the speaking tour of Shi Lei, a descendant of the ancient Jewish community of Kaifeng, China. The Kaifeng Jews were also known as "Blue-Turbaned Muslims" by the Chinese, because of their similitude in both Abarhamic religion & non-Han looking outfit.

My son who lived in Shanghai for six years was always quick to point out the importance of family ties, an appreciation of one´s history and the fierce commitment to education and self betterment that both Jews and Chinese share. One should also mention that both peoples seem to possess an innate talent for and understanding of commerce and have a strong desire to succeed.
                                                                                                                                                       Shi Lei holding model of historic Kaifeng Synagogue. The synagogue occupied the same site for 800 years,

Even more important for Jews, however, has been the tolerance and respect the Chinese have always shown to Jews who managed to find their way to China seeking a safe harbour from persecution by other nations. Whether a thousand years ago in Kaifeng, the capital of the Song Dynasty (called Dongjing at that time) or during the various miggrations of the 19th and 20th century to Manchuria and Shanghai when Jews left Eastern and Western Europe seeking safety, they were welcomed by the Chinese rulers and allowed and even encouraged to remain. There were no enforced ghettos in China, no funny hats or badges to distinguish Jews from others or to show derision. There were no expulsions or forced conversions. There was no boat of refugees turned away from the shores of mainland China as the ship The St. Louis was turned back from the coast of the United States and forced to return to Nazi Germany, where the Holocaust was in full swing. Instead, in each instance and through many centuries, Jews were met with tolerance and acceptance, their talents admired and appreciated.

Where do Shi Lei and his family fit within this rich interculteral story? According to Shi Lei, his forebears were among the first wave of Jews seeking a safe haven approximately 1,000 years ago when Jews left Persia and traveled east along the Silk Road. At risk and at the mercy of anti-Jewish ethnic groups, these courageous and hardy folk, tired of the precariousness of their existence and looking for a peaceful and secure environment, braved the dangers and rigors of the road to reach China. Rumours of a vibrant and successful society in Kaifeng had reached them in Persia, and so they set out not knowing whether or not they would be welcomed by an unfamiliar people.

When he heard there were people of Jewish ancestry in Kaifeng, he organized a conference and invited them all to attend. I believe he thought that was a good way to get to know the community and maybe even convert them. But what happened was quite different. when everyone came together, they recognized their unique, shared history and heritage and wanted to embrace it.

According to Chinese custom, it is the male family member who carries the tradition. In spite of this custom, my mother and grandmother always felt they belonged to the Kaifeng Jewish community and celebrated our family´s Jewish heritage. THe synagogue occupied the same site in Kaifeng for 800 years, through numerous repairs and replacements, until its final disintegration in 1850.

Pottery figurines with Middle Eastern features, made in China c. 600 CE, found along the Silk Route.

It definitely is not a burden. I feel strongly about my Jewish identity. And very connected to it. Rabbi Marvin Tokayer came to visit Kaifeng and met our family. As my father was the person most knowledgeable about our history, Rabbi Tokayer took a special interest in me and he arranged for me to go to Israel to study and learn about Judaism. I must say it was a bit of a culture shock. Israelis are very direct and Chinese people are not. They are very polite. I was also very interested to see the diversity in the country... Jews from so many different countries, Ethiopian, European, Yemenite, Russian, Indian... My Chinese background fit right in.
The people in the Kaifeng community were impoverished in the XIX century, and in order to survive they sold their books and Torahs.

Most of the descendants now are young, in their twenties or teens. They are learning about Jewish festivals and rituals. They are also learning English. If they want to go to study in Israel, they need to learn English. On Friday nights, we often meet in our community centre/museum, which is my grandfathers old apartment. we usually have twenty to thirty people who come. we light the candles and recite some prayers. People are eager to learn more.

Shi Lei examining Kaifeng Torah with (from left) Kulanu supporter Shep Wahnon, Rabbi Marvin Tokayer and Kulanu president Harriet Bograd.

We went into a museum and had come across a number of pottery figurines with Middle Eastern features, depicting tradesmen journeying through China along the Silk Route. The little sculptures dated from 7th to 9th centuries and were very realistic - indeed, they looked like our own relatives. Shi Lei was happy now, as we carefully studied the tradesmen and the camels accompanying them. His ancestors were here in the museum after all, if only figuratively, and he was able to honor them.

At its peak, during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Kaifeng Jewry numbered about 5,000 people. Concerned, perhaps, about their community’s sense of collective memory, the Jews of Kaifeng decided to erect steles (stone monuments), on which they inscribed the history of their sojourn in China. Two of the steles, which were erected in 1489, 1512, 1663 and 1669, now sit in the Kaifeng Municipal Museum, a lasting testimony to the Jewish life that once thrived there.

According to Dr. Wendy Abraham, a leading scholar on the history of Kaifeng Jewry, many Chinese Jews had risen to high ranks in the Chinese civil service system by the 17th century. But by the middle of the 1800s, widespread assimilation and intermarriage had all but erased the Chinese Jews’ practice and knowledge of Judaism. After the last rabbi of the community died sometime in the first half of the 19th century, Kaifeng’s Jewish community all but disbanded.

Nowadays, there is no community in Kaifeng per se, just a few hundred individuals who identify themselves as descendants of the city’s Jewish community. “There is no rabbi, no synagogue. There is nothing left, only memory. Only memory.”

Shi Lei’s grandfather would recount to him the distant memories he still preserved of Jewish practice. “When my grandfather was a kid, maybe when he was 8 years old or so, he saw the celebration of the Passover,” says Shi Lei. “His father, my grandfather’s father, used a traditional Chinese writing brush to dip in chicken’s blood mixed with water. After dipping, he would dip this on the doorpost of his home.” The ritual echoes the Biblical command given by G-d to the Children of Israel prior to the exodus from Egypt.

Other vague memories of Jewish customs were also passed down. “My grandfather, when he was a kid, he saw some kipahs, or yarmulkes, which were put in the medicine chest of his mother.
“When the new year in China comes, some other people from the Shi clan, they come to my grandparents home and visit my grandparents so that at that time we can meet each other. So you can see it is only about individuals.”

Mystery of the Ten Lost Tribes China

In the mountainous area of northwest China, west of the Min River, near the border of Tibet, in Szechuan lives an ancient people called by the Chinese, Chiang or Chiang-Min, who numbers about 250 thousand people. The language of the Chiang tribe had been forgotten and they had also lost their ancient script. Today they speak Chinese and two other languages, one that originates from Tibet and the other is a slang which is called Chiaring. The area which they live is famous for its rare animals and plants including the Panda bear. The Chiang people live in villages similar to fortresses which are generally built on hilltops. In the past they were a great people who ruled the provincial territories from Kansu in the north to Liyunan in the south. Historical maps during the Han dynasty (3rd century BCE - 3rd century CE) show that this tribe the Chiang spread to the northwest part of China. They themselves see themselves as immigrants from the west who reached this area after a journey of three years three months. The Chinese treated them as Barbarians and they related to the Chinese as idol worshipers. Hate and enmity existed between the Chinese and this tribe for a long time. They lived independently until the middle of the 18th century when they became part of the general population to earn more freedom. The religious pressure from the Chinese, the spread of Christianity, and the influence of intermarriage caused the Chiang tribe to generally and greatly give up their special monotheistic way of life. However it is still possible even today to learn about the past traditions of the Chiang tribe through their customs and their faith which they still keep. This tribe had been living a special Israeli way of life for 2300 years. According to their tradition, the Chiang tribe is the descendant of Abraham and their forefather had 12 sons. Those among them who did not take Chinese wives after their victory in war still look Semitic. The character traits of this people are integrity, love of neighbor, mutual aid, generosity, modesty, shyness, gratitude, and stubbornness. They also have a fear of heaven or respect for God.

They believe in one God whom they call Abachi meaning the father of heaven, or Mabichu, the spirit of heaven, or also Tian, heaven. As a result of Chinese influences they all call Him God of the mountains as the mountains are the central place for worship of God. Their concept of God is that of an all powerful God who watches over the entire world, judges the world fairly, rewards the righteous, and punishes the wicked. This God gives them the opportunity to do repentance and to gain atonement for their actions. In times of trouble, they call God Yah-weh.

Before the offering of sacrifices, one is required to wash one's self and one's clothing and to dress in clean garments. Sacrificial animals themselves must be washed and purified. There is a special place for purification and washing. The elders and priest place their hands on the head of the sacrifice which is to be slaughtered then offer their prayers. Strangers are forbidden to approach the place of worship. The priest of the Chiang tribe perform the service solemnly. "Unclean ones" are also forbidden to approach the service (Leviticus 21:17-23). These were the same in ancient Israel. The purpose of the sacrifice is a type of atonement and to bring God's blessings upon those offering the sacrifice. The sacrifice has the purpose of taking away sin and blood must be sprinkled on the corners of the altar to be granted atonement and to have one's prayers accepted.

Early Israelite Immigrants (947-950 A.D.)

The Israelites settled in China as early as the Five Dynasties (947-950) or the third year of King Dynasty (1163 A.D.). Israelite temples were built across China, during the King and Tang Dynasties in Kaifeng, Yangzhou, Ningbo, Hangzhou and Ningxia. The Chinese called Judaism the 'Religion of Muscle Picking' (may be because God touched the socket of Jacob's hip while wrestling with him, Genesis 32:25), or the 'Ancient Religion'. Since the Israelites wore blue hats during ceremonies, they were also known as the 'blue hats'. The Bible or the Pentateuch was known as the 'Heavenly Scripture' or the 'Way of Scripture'. The Jewish temples were called the Qing Zhen* Temple. The emperor of China awarded three monuments to the Israelites, who eventually mixed with the Chinese, adopted Chinese customs and last names like Li, Zhao, Ai, Zhang, Gao, Shi, and Kim. By late Qing Dynasty, the Israelites were completely blended into the Chinese. * Qing Zhen is a term used by Chinese for foreign religions like Muslim and Judaism.


A once-thriving Jewish community whose members are likely to be descended from Persian Jewish traders who settled in Kaifeng in the 10th & 11th centuries. Most Kaifeng Jews assimilated with local Confucians in the 16th century, but 500 contemporary descendants of those Jews have revitalized their Jewish practices.


During WWII, Shanghai’s small Jewish community of merchants and descendants of silk traders became a safe haven for almost 30,000 European Jews who were fleeing from the Nazis. During the war they were allowed to practice freely and even build their own autonomous government. Though most emigrated to the U.S. after the war ended, some Jews still live in Shanghai and practice an increasingly "Chinese" Judaism.

The Kaifeng Stone Inscriptions Revisited

By Tiberiu Weisz

Abstract: Our knowledge of the Chinese Jews derives from two primary sources: one is the stone inscriptions, carved in grey limestone by the Jews and the other the eyewitness reports of missionaries, travelers and adventures who encountered Jews in Kaifeng in the 18th century and later. Scholars scrutinized both sources and reported many inconsistencies in the eyewitness reports. The inscriptions, however, were a source of puzzlement. The Chinese text posed particular challenges, and scholars had to rely on the translation of Bishop Charles White, a missionary who resided in China for forty years and had a good command of the Chinese language but little knowledge of Judaism. Weisz’s new annotated translation of the Chinese text identifies many biblical sources veiled in the intricacies of the Chinese language. This article is a summary of his findings.

What are the Kaifeng stone inscriptions and why are they important? Why the need for a new translation? And most important of all, is there anything that the inscriptions tell us about ancient Judaism that can serve as a lesson for today?  These are just some of the questions that any sophisticated reader today has on his or her mind when thinking of the ancient stone carvings that the Jews in China engraved over five hundred years ago. For one thing, after living in China for over fifteen hundred years devoid of any contact with other Jewish communities, the Chinese Jews felt that their community was on the verge of extinction. They were determined to record their existence in China and remind future generations that at one time some Jews played an important role in Chinese society: some acquired an education and competed in the examination system to become scholars; others earned the highest academic degrees to become officials and gained respect in the society. There were also prominent shopkeepers, artisans, traders and military officers.

But acceptance into Chinese society came at the expense of Judaism. Though the Chinese had never exerted any pressure on the Jews, or on any other minorities to convert, the social structure of Chinese society put enormous demands on the Jews and required them to accept and act according to local customs. The Confucian ethical code may have seemed to be compatible with many tenets of the Torah, but it was so inflexible as to accept nothing less than complete compliance. In addition, the rigid administrative system caused further erosion of the Jewish lifestyle. To climb the administrative and social ladder, Jews needed to devote considerable time and effort to the study of the Chinese classics. All this came at the expense of study of the Torah. When the Jews felt that the end was near, they pooled their resources and inscribed their religious beliefs on a stele that was erected in the second year of the Hongzhi period, the equivalent of 1489. This was perhaps the most comprehensive and informative of the inscriptions, but to our disappointment it was long on rituals and short on historical details. This stele can be seen today encased in glass in the Kaifeng Museum of Jewish History. It is five feet tall, about thirty inches wide and about five inches thick, made of dark grey limestone and sits on a base that is about twenty inches high. Some of the Chinese characters are still decipherable; others are so faded that it is hard to read them. This inscription contains about 1800 characters. Its content is divided into three sections, the first telling us about the Chinese version of the biblical story of Abraham and how the religion was born. The second section tells us about the rituals and worship of the Chinese Jews at that time. The third segment recounts the imperial audience that was handed down in oral tradition. Each segment seems to be composed by someone knowledgeable in his field. On the back of this stele is another inscription dated the Chinese equivalent of 1512, consisting of over 1000 characters. This inscription was composed by a Jew or someone who knew about Judaism. He stated that Judaism would not exist without the Torah.  This inscription was perhaps the most puzzling to scholars as it appeared to contain no historical indicators and therefore was considered of very limited historical value. But from a Jewish perspective, it provided a wealth of information about the life of the Jews at the time. It constantly compared Judaism with Confucianism, perhaps the first ever attempt to compare the two cultures.

The other stele was dated the equivalent of 1663 on one side and has not been seen since its disappearance from the gate of the Anglican Church where it had been placed by Bishop White in 1912.  On the obverse side is engraved an incomplete text that appears to be the middle section of a text that largely pays tribute to the Jews who contributed to the restoration of the temple. This stele, according to White, is about two feet taller than the earlier stele. Fortunately, Bishop White preserved an ink rubbing that is reproduced in his book Chinese Jews. Side one contains about 2200 characters written by a non-Jew who had Jewish friends or neighbors and made some very interesting observations about Jewish customs and rituals. It provided more historical details regarding the temple and the community in action. The composer also pointed out many similarities between Judaism and Confucianism.  The reverse side of this stele is an acknowledgment of those Jews who had contributed to the restoration of the temple and the community. Since the introduction and the ending are missing, we have no way of dating it so by default it was dated 1663b, though it is more likely that it was composed at a later period.

The Chinese Repository published a translation of the 1489 and 1512 inscriptions and Bishop Charles White improved it with his own translation in the 1940s. In addition, he also annotated the text, identified some of the Chinese sources and expressed his surprise that the inscriptions contained no biblical references. That was, as far as I know, the last English translation of the stele and it became the accepted, if not the “official” guide to the inscriptions. Many scholars and researchers intrigued by the topic of the “orphaned colony” of the Chinese Jews published articles and books on the subject, basing their research on White’s translation. Then in 1972 Donald Leslie, an Australian scholar, published a monograph, The Survival of the Chinese Jews, that was intended to be a definitive resource book about the Jews in China. It dealt with the many facets of the Jewish presence in China, and it incorporated many new details derived from local gazetteers but, as far as the inscriptions were concerned, White’s translation was the standard. Leslie also agreed with White’s conclusion that “we hardly find passages from the Jewish Law translated into Chinese” (Leslie, p. 102), and expressed his frustration that the inscriptions lacked any solid historical landmarks. He attached little importance to the 1663a inscription as most of the material seemed to be addressed in the 1489 stele. He also wondered why the 1512 inscription was written. I addressed these issues and reported my preliminary findings in two articles published in Points East, a newsletter of the Sino-Judaic Institute.

So why was there a need for a new translation? Differences of opinion would not justify such an endeavor, but when inaccuracies and mistranslation of characters went undetected for almost a century, that prompted me to take a closer look at the Chinese text. I came upon those errors while researching my book on a comparative cultural study of Judaism and China. A literary analysis of Chinese and Hebrew sources pointed to an indirect but unmistakable link between the land of Israel and China as early as the seventh century BCE. The wisdom of Solomon (965-926 BCE) had reached the ears of Laozi (604-531 BCE), the composer of a five-thousand-character book called the Daodejing [The Annals of the Way and Virtue] and, in some ways, comparable to biblical wisdom literature. How did Laozi incorporate biblical literature into the Daodejing?  This prompted me to re-examine the stone inscriptions with a Jewish and Chinese historical context in mind. To my disappointment, neither Western nor Chinese literature published on the Chinese Jews correlated the inscriptions to any historical context, let alone in to a Jewish context. I asked myself, why not?  The obvious reason could be that the original text did not contain history, and the uninterrupted and unpunctuated text left us a story that we did not understand. Some of the style was standard Chinese but some extended segments contained irregular grammatical structures that appeared completely meaningless and incomprehensible. Could it be that those segments held the key to the inscriptions? They puzzled researchers and went unexplained until now.

To start with, I broke the Chinese text into individual phrases and sentences and set each phrase on a new line. The key was in the details and I kept an open mind to every possibility. The text contained many parallel structures and incomplete quotes that I found to be traceable. As I traced those quotes to their source, I started to get a picture that was very different from any previously translated texts. The 1489 inscriptions, for instance, revealed three different styles that I attributed to three different composers. I made a note of this in the introductory chapter on the “Testimony of the Inscriptions” (p. xix) in my book The Kaifeng Stone Inscriptions. Then the style of the1512 inscription reminded me of the writing of some Chinese neo-Confucians that depicted a tapestry of daily life in China.  But the real revelation came when I realized that the last segment of the 1512 inscription resembled a Hebrew prayer. This particular segment puzzled many scholars because it contained a peculiar structure that hardly related to anything. It portrayed a vision and since it invoked the name of Heaven, I realized that it was a prayer. And indeed when I juxtaposed it with the Hebrew prayer book, I realized that it was the Chinese version of the Amida, a prayer that the Chinese Jews had memorized and, as time passed, composed their own version. Nevertheless it was the Eighteen Benedictions. This information also shed some light on the antiquity of the Jews in China: the text emulated a pre-Yavneh version composed in exile by members of the Great Assembly (Knesset Hagdola ca. 500-300 BCE). It did not include the birkat haminim (benediction against the heretics) or the nineteenth benediction which was added later, in the first century CE. I also realized that the English language compounded the problem. The Chinese Jews did not know English or any other Western languages, and they handed down the prayer through oral tradition in the original Hebrew. As time passed they remembered less of the Hebrew but still remembered the spirit of the Amida and composed a Chinese version. The Chinese Jews added the text of the prayers to remind future generations of their tradition.

The 1663a inscription confirmed my findings. It was composed by a non-Jew who described either what he had seen or what he had been told by his Jewish neighbors. Like the previous inscriptions, the 1663a stele described the rituals but, unlike the other stele, did not repeat the actual words of the prayers. The reason: the composer was a bystander who neither knew the prayers nor understood them. He jotted down his observations and noted that the Jews prayed three times a day and that was “when man was to see Heaven”. What he added after this observation was interesting. He recapped what he had heard the Jews say or chant at the conclusion of the ceremonies and when I juxtaposed this with the Hebrew text, I realized that it was the pronouncement of the birkat hakohanim [Priestly Blessing]. That custom was prevalent during the Temple periods when the kohen hagadol [high priest] performed the sacrificial rites. Then he would come down from the altar and, raising his hands over the whole assembly of Israel, pronounce the Priestly Blessing or the birkat hakohanim (Numbers 6:24-26). Though the words in the inscriptions were Confucian in nature, the structure and the intent coincided with the biblical Hebrew version. Another interesting aspect of this inscription was the composer’s descriptions of some of the practices of the Jews that corresponded to similar practices in China. He often quoted from Chinese literature to show that the Jews practiced something that was not too different from the Chinese. Inadvertently, he created the first comparative study of Judaism and China.

Long on rites and prayers and short on history, the inscriptions seemed to be of little historical significance. None of them elaborated on the past or on how and when the Jews settled in China. The little they did say about their past was hard to corroborate and their origin was shrouded in mystery. Even more puzzling was the fact that they mentioned an audience with a Song emperor (960-1279) without further explanation. This sentence became critical in recreating the history of the community, and unfortunately, a mistranslation diverted the attention of scholars who then built on the incorrect translation. Once I corrected the translation, the text displayed evidence of the roots of the community that could be traced to antiquity and their history could be corroborated by both biblical and Chinese sources. After captivity and exile, a group of Levites and kohanim [priests] left Babylon and wandered eastwards, first heading toward India where they stayed for several generations. Later, after several more generations, the descendants continued their journey northwards where they came across a place that answered a biblical description. (Psalms 104:8-10). Being devout believers, they saw a biblical prophecy come true. They settled there and lived in isolation for several more generations until they were accidentally discovered by a Chinese military expedition in 108 BCE.

They would have stayed anonymous had not General Li Guangli left us a sentence describing their appearance as strange. That description was deemed insignificant in the massive amount of Chinese annals and very few scholars paid any attention to it. But from a biblical point of view that description depicted the (distinguished) headdress of observant Jews who lived by the precepts of the Torah. When the Chinese army withdrew from the Western Regions, they encouraged the more domesticated tribes to come and live under the protection of the Chinese administration. For China this was a policy of pacification, the tribes would serve as a buffer zone between them and the Huns, and at the same time the settlers would be exposed to the Chinese culture. This was the first step of sinicization.  Many, if not most of the domesticated tribes preferred the protection of the Chinese to the uncertainty and unpredictability of the Tatars. They migrated and settled in the area of Gansu Province of today. At the beginning of the second century CE, when the Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE) started to disintegrate, the Chinese abandoned the Western Regions and the settlers followed their journey unobstructed into the heartland of China.  Thus the descendants of the isolated Jewish community, who left Babylon several centuries earlier and established a settlement at the outskirts of the Taklamakan Desert, found itself migrating again, this time into China proper. Based on the reading of the inscriptions, part of the community remained in the Gansu area while others dispersed to other regions. With the rising anti- Buddhist sentiments in the Tang Dynasty (609-960 CE), the Jews joined the mass exodus of religions out of China and went back to the Western Regions. Then, at the invitation of Emperor Taizong (976-998), the second Song emperor, the Jews returned to China and were bestowed land to build their place of worship. They remained in obscurity until 1605 when Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit missionary, reported an encounter with a Chinese Jew in Beijing. Later missionaries also confirmed the existence of the community, but the strongest evidence of the legacy of the Jews in China was contained in the stone inscriptions.

Three of the four inscriptions were dedicated to the rebuilding of the temple. The community went to extraordinary lengths to preserve and restore the temple and one may wonder: what was so important about the temple to deserve such dedication? Reading the existing literature, the impression is that it was an ordinary synagogue: it functioned as a place of worship and community center. But when the text was juxtaposed with biblical history, it revealed that the temple played a far more important role. The Jews in China continued the biblical tradition that accorded the servicing of the temple to the Levites and kohanim (priests) who performed the rituals that were associated with the First Temple (960- 586 BCE). The temple became the focal point of the community. Besides being used as a place of worship and sacrifice, it was also a source of pride that provided the Jews a sense of belonging, and they attributed their long survival to the Temple. In the absence of the temple, the function of the kohanim would have ceased to exist and the community would have vanished without a trace. In addition, the temple work (avodat kodesh) supplemented the income of the kohanim who received a salary from local sources and from teaching. Each time the temple was destroyed, the kohanim lost this source of income and they could barely provide the necessary services to keep the community together. After each disaster, the community lost members and some of them dispersed never to return.  To rectify this situation, the entire Jewish community in China contributed resources to rebuild the temple. Some contributed their salary; others contributed labor, while the kohanim contributed their skill to restore the scriptures.

Each time the temple was rebuilt it was in Kaifeng, even though that city ceased to be the seat of the Chinese emperor after 1126 CE.  The Chinese court relocated to Hangzhou to establish the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), and Kaifeng became the abandoned capital. Yet the Chinese Jews built and rebuilt the Temple in Kaifeng. Why?  From a Jewish perspective, the events that led to the destruction and the fall of Kaifeng and the subsequent fall of the dynasty in 1126 CE were reminiscent of the Jewish experience in antiquity. The First Temple that was built by King Solomon in ca. 960 BCE was looted and destroyed along with the sacred city (Jerusalem) in 586 BCE. That also brought an end to the Kingdom of Israel, the Ten Tribes being led into exile. Seventy years later, Ezra, the last prophet that the Chinese Jews mentioned, rebuilt the Temple in Jerusalem and asked the exiles to return. These events were ingrained in the mind of the Chinese Jews, and they viewed the conditions in China at the time (ca. 1100-1163 CE) as a prophecy come true. Their own times mirrored the events that led to the exile of their distant ancestors in the Land of Canaan. Kaifeng suffered the same fate as Jerusalem: it was destroyed the course of conquest, the Chinese emperor was driven into exile and the dynasty fell into the hands of the Jurchen “barbarians” who established the Qin Dynasty. The Temple in Kaifeng became the symbol of Jewish persistence in China, directly epitomizing their fate and indirectly the fate of the sacred city, Jerusalem. Equipped with the biblical blueprint of the Temple envisioned in Ezekiel, it was completed in 1163 and was modeled to be as imposing as the Bet  Hamikdash  [Temple].

In light of the new translation and readings of the inscriptions it is evident that the orphaned colony was Jewish in origin with roots that went back to the exile period. Does that mean that the Jews in Kaifeng today and their offspring are Jewish? Efforts were made by some Jewish organizations to recognize them as Jews but most of the Jewish authorities refused to recognize them as such. Their objection is based on the halakha [law] that says that every male Jew must be circumcised on the eighth day after birth (or after conversion), and follow the dietary laws of the Torah. A further obstacle was imposed by the “Who is a Jew” clause that stated that a Jew is a Jew only if born to a Jewish woman. Since none of these conditions prevailed, they are not Jews. The former commandment was biblical in nature while the latter one was halakhic, meaning that it originated in the Oral Law. Since they could not perform circumcision safely, they had to abandon that practice. The 1512 inscription indicated that the Jews in China made every effort to follow the biblical commandment of the dietary laws. And since marrying a foreign woman was not a biblical precept, the Chinese Jews continued the tradition that was widely practiced in exile. They followed a tradition that was pre-rabbinic, and they had never heard of any development in Judaism that was post-exilic.

The halakha started to develop after Ezra returned to Jerusalem and did not become the Oral Law until several centuries later, by which time the Chinese Jews had already been isolated for generations. They had never heard of Mishna, Midrash, Talmud etc., such terms being unfamiliar to them. They were unaware of the split between Judaism and Christianity, still calling themselves Israelites.  In a sense we have a pure sect of observant Jews that lived according to the precepts of the Torah and not the oral tradition.  Circumstances forced them to adapt to the environment, and to maintain their beliefs, formulating their own halakha incorporating many of the local customs. They did the same thing that our sages did in Jerusalem, Babylon and the Diaspora: they developed a set of rules that accorded with the local conditions without compromising the sanctity of the Torah. They followed their own halakha for over 1500 years in isolation and, even as late as the 18th century, when the missionaries encountered the Jews of Kaifeng, were still living by the same precepts. They never abandoned the ways of the Torah and never ceased to believe in Elohim; they built and rebuilt the temple, the symbol of their existence, and the Kaifeng Jews left the stone inscriptions so that future generations might know how to be a Jew in the sea of Chinese culture.

A Delightful Introduction to Chinese Jews

Chinese and Jewish. To most American Jews this seems an unlikely combination. However, the topic is an old one, going back to the major role of Jews in the silk trade to China that long preceded Marco Polo's visits.

Many sources are available in English, thanks to the efforts of the Sino Judaic Institute and to the 1992 conference on "Jewish Diasporas in China: Comparative and Historical Perspectives," sponsored by the John K. Fairbank Center for East Asian Research at Harvard University.

Written records are few about the origins of this community, but it is known that in the 8th century Rhadinites, a Persian Jewish community of traders, were well established in the silk business. Most likely, the permanent Jewish communities are a derivative of their activities.

An important source of information is the body of legends passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth. Professor Xu Xin has written a book about legends of the most famous of the cities chosen by Diaspora Jews, Kaifeng. He collected many from meetings with the community elders, from the famed Wang Yisha (emeritus curator of the Kaifeng Museum, whose legends had not previously been written in English) and from other scholars who had also visited Kaifeng and interviewed Jewish descendants.

Professor Xu has blended these legends into a single book that provides a historical flow from the Jewish origins in the 10th century to the present. Although the author has taken some artistic privileges to make the legends readable, he has been very true to their essence because he believes (as do other historians) that legends are an authentic historical form that also conveys values and conflicts as well as information.

The reading is delightfully easy and concise. This makes the reader proud of both the civility and dignity of the Jewish and Chinese cultures. For those who have often noted the similarity of behavior of Chinese and Jews, this book provides added impetus and information to casual observations.

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