Dungan Sisterhood  

A muslim refuge in Yrdyk


The Dungan are a muslim people of Chinese origin. Their ancestors began settling in the territories of the former Soviet Union in the late 19th century, fleeing persecution, slavery and the aftermath of the Hui wars in China. Today, more than three-thousand Dungan live in and around Karakol and in the small village of Yrdyk, forming of the largest and most stable Dungan community worldwide. Amongst them, five sisters or Uighur origin have set out to create a thriving community for generations to come. Their efforts in  matchmaking,  education and creating jobs for the young  has attracted the attention of the Dungan diaspora across Central Asia, especially those seeking refuge from the persecution within the autonomous region of Xinjiang, China.  

Dungan Sisters —

All images copyright of Guan Nan Li