Kumo Xi

Kumo Xi

The Kumo Xi (CJKV|t=|s=|p=Kùmò XīXu Elina-Qian, p.296b] , called the Xi since the Sui dynasty) were a steppes people located in current Manchuria (north East China). Their history is widely linked to the more famous Khitan.Xu Elina-Qian, pp.268-271] The Kumo Xi-Khitan were united in a tribal Kumo Xi entity, but when the previously defeated Kumo Xi leaders insisted to fight again with the Northern Wei and when the battlefield seems to favor Wei, the Khitan fled away, leaving the Kumo Xi be crushed alone on the battlefield (388).Xu Elina-Qian, pp.263-264 for details on this hypothesis: there is no clear source about this Khitan fled, but the following decades show that Khitan were not weakened by the 388's defeat as much as Kumo Xi were.] The Kumo Xi were so heavily defeated by Northern Wei that Khitan freely split from Kumo Xi, starting their independent history.

In the early Tang period (7th c.), the [now named] Xi were subordinate to the Khitans. After the Khitans' Li-Sun Rebellion (696-697) and the Khitans' Ketuyu revolt (730-734), the Xi were back to the leading position. The Xi were then back to a golden age, being really active from 755 to 847, providing wide support to An Lushan and the An Shi Rebellion (756-763), plundering frequently their neighbours, etc. This aggressive and shiny policy seems to have consumed Xi forces, especially demographic vitality, compare to more calm Khitans. Kumo Xi aggressive policy face to China provoked successives heavy and disastrous battlefield defeat (760's, 795 , 830 , 847 ).

When the Uyghur Empire (744-840) collapsed in the 840's with Tang dynasty already displaying signs of division, the Xi rose in rebellion (847) and were subsequently disastrously defeat by Zhang Zhongwu . The Xi were never able to recover, while the calm Khitans raised to eventually absorb the remnants of Xi people, and established the Liao Dynasty.

Cultural heritage

It is believed that the "xiqin" (a bowed string instrument that is the ancestor of the Chinese "erhu") was derived from a Xi instrument.

References

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