Meaning of TUNG in English


Pinyin Dong, Tung Kam, also called (Wade-Giles) Tung-chia, or Tung-jen an ethnic minority of China found in southeastern Kweichow province and in neighbouring Chuang Autonomous Region of Kwangsi and Hunan province. The Tung first appeared in China during the Sung dynasty (AD 9601279), moving southwest in a series of migrations, possibly forced by the advancing Mongols. Concentrated today in sparsely populated Kweichow, they share the area with the Puyi (Chung-chia). They speak a Kam-Sui language that is closely related to the Tai languages. Kam is remarkable for having some 15 tone distinctions. Influenced by the Yao (Mien), the Miao (Hmong), and other Austroasiatic peoples, the Tung live at intermediate elevations in large houses built on pilings. Pagoda-like wooden drum towers up to 100 feet (30 m) high are characteristic of their architecture. Their elaborate covered bridges are also notable. They grow paddy rice, use bamboo pipes for irrigation, and raise water buffalo. The Tung raise fish in some of the flooded paddy fields and hunt with falcons. In the late 20th century they numbered 2.7 million, about one-third of whom were located in Kweichow. The Tung of Kweichow grow cotton, tobacco, soybeans, and rapeseed. Their fine woven cotton cloth is marketed in Kweichow and in Yunnan province. Weekly markets, often coinciding with festival days, are the centre of Tung social life and trade. Little is known of the Tung religion; it has been described as polytheistic. In 1957 the Tung were incorporated into the province of Kweichow and allocated four minority deputies to be sent to the National People's Congress.

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