Ma Jianzhong and Kevin Stuart. 1996. ‘Stone Camels and Clear Springs’: The Salar’s Samarkand Origins. Asian Folklore Studies 55(2):287-298.



The Salar are a Turkic-speaking Islamic people who live primarily in Xunhua County in eastern Qinghai. Their origins are uncertain, but the Salar themselves maintain that during the thirteenth century their ancestors left Samarkand in present-day Uzbekistan and eventually settled in their present location. This accords with current historical hypotheses, and is suggested in the doye oyna, a type of play that contains elements relat- ing to the Salar's migration. The present article describes the background of this play and gives an English translation.

Key words: Salar, Samarkand, doye oyna, white camel
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