Sokendai Review of Cultural and Social Studies


Migration of Oirat Mongolia in the 20th century:
A preliminary study on the case of “Gansun”


(SOKENDAI (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies),
School of Cultural and Social Studies,
Department of Regional Studies)

Key words:

Mongolia, Oirat, migration, Xinjiang, Hoboksair

This paper, examines the identity and consciousness of a group of people known as “Gansun.” They now resid in the Hoboksair-Mongolian autonomous county of Xinjiang, China This clan had migrated to Gansu Province at the beginning of the twentieth century, but many had later returned to Hoboksair The name “Gansun” differentiates themd from the Hoboksair-Mongolian (Oirat Mongolian) group. The members of this “Gansun” group share the memories of the past migrations, and this creates a sense of togetherness. Recently they often visit Gansu Province to see their relatives, and such visits play a vital role in strengthening the group, consciousness of the “Gansun.” The paper elucidates how these three factors, the name “Gansun,” memories of the migration, and the visiting of relatives, have helped from and reinforce the group identity.