Page:Mongolia, the Tangut country, and the solitudes of northern Tibet vol 2 (1876).djvu/144

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122

RELIGION AND GOVERNMENT. THE DUNGANS;

and are dreadfully superstitious. Charlatanism and soothsaying are with them mixed up with the doctrines of their faith. The more devout make annual pilgrimages to Lhassa. Lamas are highly venerated, and exercise boundless influence over the people; but temples are not numerous here as in Mongolia, and the Gigens often live in black tents along with ordinary mortals. Their bodies are not buried in the ground after death, but are exposed in the forest, or on the steppe, to be devoured by vultures and wolves.

The Tangutans are governed by their own officers, who are under the control of the Chinese governor of Kan-su. The latter usually resides at Si-ning, but on the occupation of that town by the rebels, he transferred his seat of government to Djung-ling. On the recapture of Si-ning by the Chinese troops in the autumn of 1872, he returned to his former residence.

The Mahommedan insurrection, which, about ten years ago, spread over all the western dominions of China, and at first appeared to have every chance of success in its struggle with the Manchu government, is now completely on the wane. The insurgents or Dungans,[1] as we call them, known to the Chinese under the name of Hwei-Hwei, on the first outbreak of the rebellion, succeeded in attaining

  1. This name is quite unknown to the Mahommedans or Chinese in those districts we visited. The Chinese call all Mahommedans in China by the general name of Hwei-Hwei. They are all Sunnis, but divided into several sects. [It would appear that Dungans, as used here, is simply the equivalent of Chinese Mahommedans.] — -Y.