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Chapter Summary

This is the conclusory chapter of this book, which deals with community, with what Stephen Gudeman terms the 'commons', with reciprocity and social relations among the people previously described by Europeans as Turki (following the locals' designation of their language) and nowadays known as the modern Uyghur. The history of socialism in Xinjiang may be understood as the history of masterminding and implementing this civilizing project. The author argues that in the social life of the settled Turkic-speaking Muslims, communities were constructed along very diverse axes: ethnicity played a part, but it did not necessarily trump other types of identities, ranging from regional to religious to professional to gender-based and other affiliations. Life-cycle rituals also played an important role in making and maintaining the pre-socialist community. The ideology informing the domestic cult is that community must be extended to the dead and periodically reinforced through sacrifice.

Keywords: domestic cult; life-cycle rituals; pre-socialist community; Turkic-speaking Muslims



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