In a message dated 05/03/2002 01.22.31 AM, [log in to unmask] quotes me
and writes:

>> Buddhism was introduced to China around the beginnings of the C.E. but
>> was not widespred till around the T'ang dynasty (618-907 C.E.)
>So the conclusion might be justified that *all* Tocharians were Buddhists
>long before *all* Chinese were. ;)

    A possible conclusion. I much prefer being a little more vague by saying
Buddhism was "widespred" amongst the Tocharians a little earlier than it was
"widespred" amongst the Chinese. In this context, one can also replace the
word "widespred" with "well-known."

>> >> Also, the Chinese word for "dog" is originally a Tocharian word, yes?
>> >>The Tocharians introduced dogs or dog-breeding to China, yes?
>> >The word for "dog" in Tocharian (both A and B) is: ku.
>>     I forget the Mandarin, but the Cantonese (Yue) is _gau_.
>Which seems to confirm your theory.

    Well, someone evidently had to bring the idea of dog-breeding to China. I
think I read somewhere that the Chinese called the Tocharians the "Dog
People" amongst other names. So it may be all the Tocharians' doing that the
Chinese now have the Dog in the Chinese zodiac, fu dog statues for good luck,
and a general reluctance to eat dog (exception being the Cantonese, of
    And it is possible to theorize that without the Tocharians, China might
never have gotten "wind" of Buddhism.

>> >All we know for sure is, that there WERE Tocharians
>> >(probably under a different name, by the way) until 750, while afterwards
>> >they disappeared into Finnair.
>>     0_o? "Finnair"? They flew to Finland? ::just joking with ya::
>Sure. Where do you think the Finnish got their huge number of __'s from?

    Thin, cold air ;)

>>     I thoroughly agree with you on all counts, but my pessimistic soul says
>> option #1 more than Option #2 based purely on the gut-feeling that the
>> Tocharians must have been wiped out over a period of a few centuries
>>(My rough theory: At first, the Tocharians resisted being surrounded and
>> overwhelmed by these hostile, nomadic Turkic peoples. But the sheer numbers
>> of the Turkic peoples gradually moving east changed Central Asia forever.
>> Later, the Turkic tribespeople - settling down to semi-nomadic, agarian
>> "civilization" - intermarried with what remaining Tocharian survivor were
left, by >>which time there was no longer a living Tocharian culture or
language to speak of).
>That's what I believe, too.

    I thought so. Just making sure :)

>> >There is a theory that the recently discovered Takla Makan mummies were
>> >Tocharians. An interesting idea, because the mummies were tall, reddish-
>> >blonde and look much more European than Asiatic.
>> I have to say that - at this point in time - I subscribe to this theory.
>> And IIRC there are still legends and stories about red-haired "Chinese" who
>> were Buddhists who lived in the Western Lands.
>> Amongst some western Chinese minority peoples, they sometimes still have
>> reddish haired, freckled skinned children.
>That's fascinating. So *they* are probably descendants of the Tocharians.

    Possibly. I would be more certain after _and if_ DNA tests comparing the
DNA markers of the mummies and the DNA markers of western Chinese minority
peoples have a match of at least 80+%. But apparently the Chinese government
and the Uygurs are opposed to this testing.

>Do they include Uygurs as well?

    Yes, the Uygurs in the western areas are considered Chinese minority
peoples. And they have reported cases of blonde-ish haired, green-eyed and
blue-eyed Uygur children, but AFAIK that might be due to other more recent
"interbreedings" * (possibly Russian [IIRC there has been much Russian-Uygur
interaction, esp'ly before the end of the Cold War]).

    * can't call it "intermarriages" as that might be entirely wrong ;) and
insulting to the Uygur women-folk

In a message dated 05/03/2002 10.04.40 AM, the infamous And
([log in to unmask]) writes:

>Turkic peoples moving _east_? I thought it was established that they came
>to modern Xinjiang from Mongolia, that is moving roughly _southwest_?

    Well, if you want to be _that_ specific, yes, roughly southwesterly after
"sorta generally swirling ever eastward."
    And it can be argued that particular "incursion" from Mongolia was just
one wave amongst many waves of Turkic invasions/migrations. IIRC even in the
T'ang dynasty - the Golden Age of the Silk Road when China was quite
open-minded to "barbarian" (non-Chinese) ideas, trade, culture and music,
Chinese scholars were aware of these multiple waves of Turkic peoples (I
think I ran across this in some book on Chinese music and instruments. BTW
the much-loved Chinese _erhu_ [the spike fiddle played with bow hairs 'tween
the 2 strings] was/is not entirely indigenous to China... the erhu is loosely
based on Turkic and Mongolian instruments of a similar construction. {This
makes me wonder what we can gather on Tocharian music, if at all? Probably
have to bug-&-beg my wiley scholar-scientist uncle in Red China for any
source materials, translated info, etc. have it smuggled out, etc.  ::eyeing
the lurking walls for hostile ears, mumbles a few choice curses and shuts

Hanuman Zhang {HANoomaan JAHng} /'hanuma~n  dZahN/


_Ars imitatur Naturam in sua operatione._ <from Latin> = "Art is the
imitation of Nature in her manner of operation."
    "The most beautiful order is a heap of sweepings piled up at random." ~
Heraclitus, c. 500 BCE

~~ jinsei to iu mono wa, kinchou na geijyutsu to ieru deshou ~~
<from Japanese> = lit. "one can probably say that 'life' is a precious