The Tajiks, with a population of 33,538, mainly live in Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County in the southwest of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. A few can be found in Shache, Zepu, Yecheng and Pishan counties in the western edge of theTarim Basin.
Celebrating the Tajik Lantern Festival.
Located in the eastern part of the Pamir Plateau, Taxkorgan is surrounded by many high mountains. In the south is the world second highest peak-the Qogir rising 8,611 meters above sea level. In the north is the snowcapped Muztagata Mountain at an altitude of 7,546 meters, which brings forth a large amount of huge and amazing glaciers at its foot. The flatland in the river valleys of these mountains has been built into productive farms by the enterprising Tajiks.
As early as the pre-Qin period, ancestors of the Tajiks had made their homes on the Pamirs. From the 2nd century B.C., Taxkorgan had become an important passage when the Silk Road was opened. Throughout their history, the Tajiks actively absorbed the creams of both eastern and western cultures and developed a distinc?tive history and civilization of their own.
Tajik women greet each other by kisses.
The Tajik people, most of them are Moslems, have their own language, but the commonly used is the Uygur language. Their nomad life is supplemented by farming.
A horse racing competition.
The Tajiks are by nature straightforward and strong. In their ancient legends, an eagle symbolizes heroism. They make flutes out of eagle bones and imitate the eagle's movements in dance. Moreover, the Tajiks are excellent riders who frequently hold contests in such as polo and sheep snatching.