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The History of the Torghut Return Exhibition in Hejing Museum

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Bulag, Uradyn E. 


The exhibition about the history of the Torghut Return contains a set of pictures and maps, shown in the video, demonstrating the history of the Torghuts moving to Russia and their return to their homeland in Xinjiang. A picture painted by Lindai in 2009 portrays the Torghut Return history on a 17.71m by 2.38m canvas symbolising that the Torghuts had lived in Xinjiang for 238 years from 1771 to 2009. A couple of maps show the route from Xinjiang to the Qing summer capital Chengde taken by Torghut Khan Ubashi and his uncle Tsebegdorji. There is a map showing a Qing emissary’s travel from Beijing to Kalmykia, and there is also a sheepskin map of China.The history of the Torghut Return to their homeland has been made the foremost brand in the Bayangol Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture, especially its Hejing county. The elaborately designed exhibition covers the Keraite people in the era of Chinggis Khan who were ancestors of the Torghuts, the Torghut Khanate in the Volga river valley and the story of their return. It emphasises that the Torghuts had lived in Tarbagatai before their migration to the Volga, and they returned home 140 years later due to Russian oppression. Ubashi is portrayed as an historical hero who, inaugurated as a Torghut Khan at the age of 17, embarked on the epical return. Leading 170,000 of his people, he set out on the 13th of January 1771, arriving at Ili a year later, with only 62,137 people. In the same year he himself died at the age of 33.



Torghut Return, Russia, Xinjiang, Qing dynasty, Ubashi Khan, Chinggis Khan

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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