Three inhabiting places of of Bonan Ethnic Group

The new and old “three inhabiting places”

The “three inhabiting places of Bao’an nationality” are the regions that Bao’an nationality lives in compact communities. In the past, it referred to Bao’an town, Xiazhuang and Gasa’er in Tongren county, Qinghai province, now it refers to the “Ganmei” (that is the two adjacent villages of “Ganhetan” and “Meipo”), “Dadun” and “Gaoli” villages in Jishishan autonomous county of Bao’an, Dongxiang and Sala nationalities, Gansu province. The form of Bao’an nationality and the birth of their clan name all have close relationship with the geographical name of “three inhabiting places of Bao’an nationality”.

In history, Bao’an nationality was ever called as “the Huis”, they dwelled in the present Tongren county, Qinghai province. That place had been a Tibetan community originally. Since the Yuan Dynasty, the Mongolians and the Semu people that came to the east came to live there in succession. After the Ming Dynasty, the rulers began to station soldiers there to “garrison the border and defend the foreign kingdoms”. According to legend, during the Hongwu years in the Ming Dynasty, Bao’an castle was ever established near Tongren, and during the Wanli years, Bao’an town was built. In the Qing Dynasty, “Bao’an barracks” was ever stationed here. Therefore, the three places of Bao’an, Xiazhuang and Gasa’er in Tongren region were called the “three inhabiting places of Bao’an nationality”, and the people lived in the three places were called “Bao’an people”. Allegedly, because they could not bear the oppression of the local upper-level Tibetan Buddhism circles in Longwu Temple and part of the headmen, the Bao’an people were forced to migrate during the Xianfeng and Tongzhi years in the Qing Dynasty, after passing through many places, they entered Gansu at last, and settled down in the regions of Dahejia and Liuji, Linxia along the Jishi Mountain, and the present “three inhabiting places of Bao’an nationality” gradually formed. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, they were formally named as “Bao’an nationality” in 1952.