Research on the Origin
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Research on the Origin

    Tu are concentrated in northern Huangshui-to the east of Qinghai Province、along the banks of the Yellow River and its adjacent areas.The majority live in Tu Autonomous Country、Minhe、Datong and Tongren of Qinghai Province,and there are still some living in Tianzhu Tibetan Autonomous County,Gansu Province.In the past Tu people called themselves in very many ways-"Mongour"(Mongol) and "Chagan Mongol"(White Mongol) were used in Huzhu、Datong and Tianzhu;"Tuhun"(Chinese:土昆,namely Tu,warble tone from Tuhun,Chinese:吐浑) was used in Minhe Town;and "Tuhujia" in the others.Tibetan nearby call Tu people "Hor"(generally called for nomads in northern Tibet,referring to Uighur or Mongol according to the Tibetan historical records,and another Tuyuhun) and the others,like Han and Hui people,call them Tu population(Chinese:土人,土民),but after the founding of the People's Republic of China,they,according to their willings,are collectively called Monguor.According to the 2000 Fifth National Census,the total population of Monguor is 241,198.They speak Altaic Mongolic languages and use Chinese characters all along.In recent years they are trying the Tu text based on Latin letters.
    Tu people is closely linked with Mongol.There is a popular fable circulating in Huzhu that the natives traced their origins from Mongol and the descendants of troops-commanded by Ri Lite(Ge Retai)-one of Genghis Khan's followers stationing in today's Huzhu area and Hors.In the past Tu population worshiped Ri Lite as the ethnic ancestor.

    According to the Chinese historical records,Genghis Khan and his troops had extended to Xining area,which could be confirmed by the fact that Huzhu then pertained to Xining.Under attack,Ming Mongols living in Andingwei had moved to today's Tu Autonomous County.And the nomad living in northern and the north of Tibet was generally called Hor once used to refer to Uighur or Mongolia,according to the Tibetan historical records,and it has been used to refer to Tu people in recent time.It is said that Heerjun、Heertun、Heerji and Heerchuan of Huzhu got their names because Hor population had lived there.Studies find that the Hor population are very likely to be Tuyuhuns,which is identical with the fact that the Tu population in Minhe call themselves "Tuhun".And some people believe Hor is the homophone of Huer(Chinese:胡儿).Yaopu,stemming from Tuhun、Qidan、Mongolia and Hun tribes,was the main part of Zupu and Mongolia during the Liao-Jin period,by which the origins of Monguor have traced back to an earlier period.However, the understanding of convergence is that Tu people,Tuyuhuns major,were descendants of Qiang、Tibetan、Mongol、and Han combined.

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