Who are the real owners of “Uyghur Caries”? – Uighur

Uyghur caries are the product of the life quest of the Uyghur people in accordance with the climate and natural conditions they live in, as well as the essence of the Uyghur people’s wisdom. Aqueducts are mainly distributed in Turpan and Hamul areas. They are underground water engineering structures that use the characteristics of low rainfall, abundant groundwater circulation, and steep terrain to connect wells and bring groundwater to the surface. Kariz are the traces of the historical traces of the Uyghur people, and have made an indelible contribution to the emergence of Bostanlik culture.

Since the last quarter of the 19th century, the Chinese rulers have been implementing a series of assimilation policies to make the Uyghur land a part of China and the Uyghur culture a part of the Chinese culture. Among these, the most prominent is the strategy of making the Uighurs lose their language, land, culture and national moral standards, and turn them into a part of the so-called “Chinese nation”. According to this strategy, China destroys the cultural and artistic heritage and various inventions created by the ancestors of the Uyghurs, who are the rightful owners of the East Turkistan lands, and all the cultural examples created in the history of the Uyghur homeland are not related to the Uyghurs. They are putting fake “ends” on the market. One of the typical examples of this is the construction of the underground water infrastructure created by the ancestors of the Uighurs, the Kariz.

Kariz-Uighurs are a vivid example of the long history of water construction culture. Historical sources and archaeological investigations show that Kariz has a history of more than 2,000 years in the Turpan-Komal basin. However, Chinese government propaganda touts Kariz as one of China’s three ancient constructions, along with the Great Wall.

In the 60-part documentary “Historical Narrative of Xinjiang” broadcast by the China Central Television Station and funded by the Party Propaganda Department of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, it was revealed that the karsts in the Turpan-Komul Basin were created as a result of the influence of the ditch and well drilling technology in the Central Plains of China. Several waterworks in history have been promoted as a continuation of construction projects.

According to researchers in the field of hydrology, it is known that historically, the wells and water structures built in the inland provinces of China were mainly to tap and use surface water. A reservoir is a water structure typical of the arid regions of Inner Asia. In fact, the nature of water projects in these two regions is fundamentally different. Therefore, the wells in the Central Plains of China have no connection with the Uyghur Kariz in the arid geography, either in terms of technical structure or water use concept. In fact, researchers argue that the kariz of the Uyghur homeland have some structural and geographical similarities with the kariz of Central and Western Asia, including ancient Iran.

Kariz is an underground water construction and cultural construction that has deeply penetrated the life and culture of the Uyghurs in the Turpan-Komul Basin since ancient times. Geological and archaeological investigations conducted in the Uyghur region, as well as some kariz mining tools and related life items found in the process, show that kariz has a history of at least 2500 years. Mr. Ghopurnuridin, who has been engaged in the study of quarrying for many years and compiled the archives of all the quarrying in the Turpan basin, has put forward several basics about the history of the Uyghur quarrying in his book “Underground Construction – Mining in Xinjiang”. He emphasizes that the “stone map” found on the ancient rock carvings found in the Koji area of ​​Toxun County reflects the description of the complete underground water infrastructure structure, which includes all the components of Kariz. Abdur Qayyum Khoja, one of the Uyghur archaeologists, in his special article published in the “Xinjiang Culture” magazine, confirmed that the age of the carvings in the mountains of Toksun corresponds to 2200-2700 years ago.

In his book “Ancient Central Asia”, Abdushukur Muhammedin noted that the irrigation system of the people living in the arid region of Central Asia is a very important irrigation method.

Due to the lack of large rivers in the Turpan-Komul Basin, the seasonal streams flowing from the Tiryat Mountains could not meet the water needs of the region. Moreover, the geographical features of the Turpan-Komul Basin extended from the lower foothills of the Tiryat Mountains along the natural slope to the orchard areas in the center of the basin. This would be ideal for the use of coring techniques in the area to bring groundwater to the surface. Because of that, the Turpan-Komul basin became the most concentrated place for Kariz people in the Uyghur region.

Of course, it is not enough to look for the discovery of kariz from archaeological finds and written materials, because kariz is not only an isolated construction, but also a folklore phenomenon that is closely connected with the real life of people and socialized. In the course of many years of production, various forms of religious practices, rituals, observances and folklore related to Kariz have emerged among the Uyghur people and continue to this day.

The names of kariz are colorful, and are closely related to the geographical features of villages, natural phenomena, animals and birds, musical instruments, people who live there, people who buy kariz or people who dig kariz. For example, Kariz names such as Dalankariz in Turpan, Imin Ahun Kariz, Nine Boy Kariz, Angry Kariz, Dutar Kariz, Dutar Kariz, and Lamjin Big Kariz are from that sentence. These characteristics of Kariz are important in the study of the ethnographic components of each country, the root of place names, or the study of dialects.

Kariz is the essence of the collective wisdom of the Uyghur people, imbued with a strong collective spirit. This great water-works, the Kariz, urges men to common labor and common benefit; Encourages people to protect nature, expand gardens, and strengthen unity and love among fellow citizens. Kariz means creating a dialogue with nature and enjoying nature’s rewards with wisdom; Kariz means protecting the flora and expanding the habitat in dry areas; Kariz means building a gardening culture with strong internal energy!

Kariz is also a very colorful stage of Uyghur folklore culture, and the Uyghur people have stories, couplets, proverbs, idioms, place names, and family nicknames about Kariz. , as well as a series of diets related to caries. The history of Kariz in Uyghur written literature is also very long, and the famous classic work “Babur Namaze” and Mullah Musa Sairami’s “Tarihi Hamidi” contain statements about Kariz.

Mr. Dursun Özden, a Turkish researcher who has been researching about Uyghur caries for many years and wrote books such as “The Miracle of Uyghur Caries” and “The Road to Turpan Caries”, said that the Uyghurs built a network of caries systems in Teklimakan Rivers and Turpan Basin 2500 years ago, and the total length of caries When calculated together, it will exceed 5000 kilometers. Mr. Dursun Ozdan emphasizes that Kariz is a cultural miracle in history, a symbol of Uyghur, and it has opened a new chapter in the history of Asia.

For years, Chinese writers have been promoting Kariz as an aqueduct connecting the Central Plains of China. They are marketing a series of satires about how Lin Zeshu, the most famous official in China’s recent history, taught the locals how to dig wells and use groundwater in Turpan.

Lin Zeshu is hailed in Chinese history as a “patriotic hero” who led the app ban movement. It is known that he was exiled to the Uyghur region during the Manching period and stayed there for 3 years. There is no evidence in the Chinese books describing Lin Zeshu’s life or in his own autobiography that he participated in the construction of waterworks in the Uyghur region or that he pioneered the construction of canals. Of course, Chinese writers attributing the genius of the Uyghur Kariz in the Turpan Basin to Lin Zeshu, a Chinese official who was exiled to Uyghur land in the middle of the 19th century, is nothing more than forced history.

Today, the Kariz, which used to be the source of life in the Turpan-Kumul Basin, are severely damaged and are in danger of extinction. Aquifers are on the verge of drying up due to over-drilling of power wells, climate change, inadequate investment by the Chinese authorities and lack of awareness of aquifer protection. During 2017 on-the-spot phone interviews conducted by Free Asia on kares, local authorities confirmed that 90 percent of kares in the Turpan Basin are on the verge of drying out.

The current plight of miraculous inventions is truly depressing. Kariz, which has provided the Uyghur people with water and life support for centuries, is currently dying. The Uyghur people have a valuable proverb: “When a man dies, the light goes out, and when a woman dies, the tree moves.” The fate of Kariz shows the concern of the Uyghur people for their land, as well as their strong desire for the fate of the farming culture and the Bostan culture that have been established in this land for thousands of years.

***The views expressed in this review are the author’s own and do not represent the position of our radio station.



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