Tangut

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The Tangut identified with the state of Western Xia were traditionally thought of as a Qiangic-speaking people who moved to northwestern China sometime before the 10th century AD. Recent research indicated that the term "Tangut" most likely represented the Donghu people; "-t" in Mongolian language means "people".[1][2] Whereas "Donghu" was a Chinese transcription, its Mongolian reference was "Tünghu".[3]

Contents

Origin

Tangut is typically regarded by Chinese scholars to represent the "Qiang" of the "Dangxiang" (Chinese: 党项; pinyin: Dǎngxiàng). Historically the "Qiang" was a summary term for the multiple ethnic groups who lived in northwest China and included the Tibetans, authentic Han, and a small portion of the Miao/Hmong.[4][5] After the Xianbei migrated from the northeast to the northwest to found the Tuyühu (often misspelled as Tuyuhun Empire (284–670), they were referred to as "Qiang Hu",[6] to whom term "Tanghut" was referred. Historical records and recent archeological findings shows the link of Li Yuanhao and the royal family's lineage with Tuoba Xianbei tribes.[7]

History

The founder of the Tangut, the Tuoba Xianbei, was a famous prince of the Tuyühu (often misspelled as Tuyuhun Empire (284–670), Tuoba Chici. In the end of the Tang Dynasty, the Tuoba brought troops to suppress the Huangchao Rebellion on behalf of the Tang court and took control of the Xia State, or Xia Zhou, in northern Shaanxi in 881. After the Tang fell in 907, the Tuoba descendants formally declared resistance against the expanding Northern Song in 982 by Li Deming (李德明) and proclaimed independence to establish the Tangut Empire by his son, Li Yuanhao (李元昊) in 1038. It was known in the Chinese language as "Xi-Xia" (西夏), and the Tangut people called their state "phiow¹-bjij²-lhjij-lhjij²", which translates to "The Great State of White and Lofty."

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