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Xianbei

From Academic Kids

The Xianbei (鮮卑, written Xiānbēi in pinyin or Hsien-pei in Wade-Giles) is a significant nomadic people residing in modern Manchuria and eastern Mongolia before migrating into areas of the modern Chinese provinces of Shanxi, Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Hebei, Inner Mongolia, and Liaoning. Possibly some tribes of these people living too in ancient Eastern Heilungkiang or Hulun Manchu Imperial province, actual Khabarovsk or Amur land in actual Russian Far East .

The Xianbei people actually consisted of a federation of sizeable non-Han groups of which the most important was the Tuoba (拓跋). They first become a significant part of Chinese culture during the Han period, where they occupied the steppes in Mongolia, Hebei and Liaodong. After the fall of the Han dynasty, the Xianbei formed a number of empires of their own, including the Yan Dynasty, Western Qin, Southern Liang and most significantly, the Northern Wei (see Sixteen_Kingdoms). By the time of the Tang dynasty they had largely merged with Han populace by adopting Chinese customs, administration and language. Both the founders of the Sui dynasty, Yang Jian, and of the Tang dynasty, Li Yuan, were born of Tuoba princesses, and were thus, by definition, half-Xianbei in ethnicity.

A Chinese ruler of Xianbei origin was recorded as having had fair hair as were later some Tatars from the same area. They may be related to modern-day Turkic tribes.

See also:

de:Sien-pi zh:鲜卑

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