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Migration routes of Ejnee Torghuts

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Bulag, Uradyn E. 


Galsang (Galsangpuntsug) is a Halh whose grandfather fled Mongolia in the 1930s. In this video, he talks about the woes suffered by the Ejine Torghuts covering three topics: Arubjur’s migration routes from the Volga to Ejine; Muslim rampage in Ejine, and new territorial disputes between the Ejine banner and the Han Chinese from Gansu.Galsangpuntsug says that Arabjur’s migration followed the following routes: Kazakh steppes – Altai – Hobogsair – Tarbagatai – Zultus – Dang Serten – Gasin Aman. After Gasin Aman, the only pass for their return journey, was blocked by Qing dynasty or Jungar Khanate, they moved around Shar Tal for a couple of years before settling in Ejine at the end of 1731. After the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1912, the Ejine banner was first ruled by the Mongolian-Tibetan Affairs Bureau of the Republican Government, then Ningxia province and Gansu province, before it was finally allocated to the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in 1956. From 1969 to 1979, it was put under the jurisdiction of Zhangye city of Gansu province. The Muslim rebellion devastated the Ejine Torghuts. In this rebellion, the Torghuts lost half of their population from around 1,000 to 500. Pushed out of their territory for nine years, their monasteries were destroyed, and the ruling prince was killed and stripped of his seal. After the rebellion was quashed by the Qing army, Torghut elders convened at Öbögedin Nuur (Elders’ lake) where they settled for three months to recover the people who had survived. The Qing also restored the seal to the new ruling prince of the banner. According to him, the Ejine banner has been losing territory to the Han Chinese of Gansu province. In 1834, the banner leased the southern borderland to Han Chinese for 100 years, using the tax income to support the banner’s monasteries. In 1934, the lease was extended for further 60 years, but the banner has never been able to get the land back since the expiration of the lease. In 1958, the Chinese Communist Party requisitioned for military use the banner’s two sums, a monastery and a farm, and Han Chinese reclaimed the other side of the military base without permission from the Ejine banner. In the past ten years, more Chinese have poured in to cultivate herders’ lands; they have bulldozed their houses and forced them out. This is one of the most significant problems confronting the banner nowadays.



Arubjur’s migration routes, Ejine banner, Muslim rampage, administrative history

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Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge

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Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin