The Solon people (simplified Chinese: 索伦; traditional Chinese: 索倫; pinyin: Suǒlún) are a subgroup of the Ewenki (Evenk) people of northeastern Asia. They live in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Heilongjiang Province, and constitute the majority of China's Ewenki.

Terminology and classification

The lands of the Daur (Tagour) and Solon people shown east and west of the Nonni River on an early 18th-century Jesuit map

The Ewenki (also spelled Evenki) people are spread throughout the taiga forests of much of northeastern Asia, including most of Eastern Siberia and parts of Northeastern China. According to Juha Janhunen's classification, the Ewenki people found in China can be classified into three subethnic groups:[1]

Another subethnic group in China's Inner Mongolia, the Khamnigan, are bilingual, speaking the Ewenki language along with a Mongolian dialect. Janhunen believes that their primary ethnic affiliation is Mongolian rather than Ewenki, and does not include them into his classification of China's Ewenki.[2]

The above classification is different from the PRC's official classification, according to which the Oroqen are considered a separate ethnic group, while the official Ewenki ethnic group of China includes not only the Solons and the "Manchurian Reindeer Tungus", but also the Khamnigan (or, officially, the "Tungus Ewenki", 通古斯鄂温克; Tōnggǔsī Èwēnkè).[2]

As both the "Manchurian Reindeer Tungus" and the Khamnigans are quite small groups (perhaps around 200 persons in the former,[1] and under 2,000 in the latter,[3] as of the 1990s), the majority of the people classified as "Ewenki" in China are Solons. The Solon population was estimated as 7,200 in 1957, 18,000 in 1982, and 25,000 in 1990.[2]

According to Janhunen's analysis, the Oroqen are in fact much closer to the "Ewenki proper" (i.e., the Evenks of Siberia) than the Solon are. The Solon are characterized by their close association with the Daur people. The Solons reside in the same areas where Daur do, in particular, in Evenk Autonomous Banner of Inner Mongolia, and elsewhere throughout the prefecture-level city of Hulunbuir.[2] While the Solon language itself is a dialect of the Evenki language, most of the Solons are also bilingual in the Mongolic Daur language.[2]


Aiman (cf. Mongolian aimag "tribe, league") was the word Manchus used for the north Tungusic tribes of the Ewenki and Orochen which the Manchus incorporated into the Manchu banner system. The Kiler Ewenki had allied with the Cossack Russians unlike other Ewenki such as the Solon Ewenki under Qing rule. The Cossacks had hunted Aiman women as concubines and had children with them at Yaksa. The mixed children numbered 13 girls and 3 boys out of a total of 19 girls and 20 boys. There were 16 women and 155 men. In 1685 the Qing captured the mixed Cossack-Aiman children as well as the Cossacks, their Kiler Ewenki allies and some Orochen and incorporated them into the Ewenki and Oroqen banners.[4][5]

The Albazinians were told to marry Solon Evenki widows by the Board of Rites.[6]

The Solons were ordered by the Qianlong emperor to stop using rifles and instead practice traditional archery issuing an edict for silver taels to be issued for guns to be turned over to the government.[7]

During 1900-1931 many Han Chinese merchants came to Heilongjiang where Solon lived. Solon women were raped by Han merchants and Solon men were enslaved by the Han Chinese merchant creditors after Solons went into debt to them while trading furs on credit for guns, liquor and tobacco from the Han Chinese merchants from Zhili and Shanxi.[8][9]

In Xinjiang

In 1763, a number of Solon bannermen, along with their Daur and Xibe comrades-in-arms were resettled from Manchuria (Northeastern China) to the frontier regions of the recently conquered Xinjiang (see Dzungar–Qing Wars). These Solon became also known as the "Ongkor Solon".[2][10] The presence of the Solons in the region is attested in numerous Russian accounts, in particular from the time of the Muslim minorities' war and its aftermath.

Unlike Xinjiang's Xibe, who preserve their ethnic identity into the 21st century, the less numerous Solon settlers gradually assimilated to the Dagur and Xibe. While over 100 Solons still lived in Xinjiang in 1905–1908, less than 20 people identified as Solon in the region in 1991. In 1990, only one Solon speaker remained in Xinjiang; he was 79 years old.[2][10]

Penal servitude to Solon

The Qing dynasty often sent women and children of rebels as slaves to Solon (Evenks, Daur people, Oroqen people) garrisons in Ningguta in the Amur river drainage region of Heilongjiang and the Solin garrison in Ili (or Yili) in Dzungaria, Xinjiang. Muslim Uyghur women and children of rebels from a revolt in Uq Turpan were sent to Ili as slaves in 1765 after all the Uyghur male rebels were killed.[11] A shrine in Uq turpan originally claimed to be of daughters of the prophet Sulayman during the Qing later in the 20th century was attributed to 7 Uyghur girls from 1765.[12] Uyghur women and children were also given to Solon after a revolt in Kashgar in 1826. Uyghurs had a tale of a Uyghur woman named Nuzugum who was taken as a slave by an "infidel" Solon soldier in Ili from 1826 in an account recorded in 1882 by Bilal Nazim.[13] Muslim Salar women and children were sent to Yili and Manchuria as slaves after a war in 1781.[14] Eunuchs and slaves who committed infractions like theft and murder, who escaped multiple times or who were deemed to be uncontrollable were also sent to Ningguta as slaves of the Solon. Male slaves who committed robbery and murder or escaped multiple times were considered to difficult to control and were assigned to Oroqen.[15] A eunuch stole the clothes of Lady Niohuru (Concubine Cheng (Qianlong)) in 1759 and was sent to Ningguta as punishment.[16]

When the Qing forces under Zuo Zongtang put down the Dungan Revolt, the sons of Muslim Hui and Salar rebel leaders like Ma Benyuan (马本源) and Ma Guiyuan (马桂源) in Ningxia, Gansu and Qinghai were castrated by the Qing Imperial Household Department once they became 11 years old and were sent to work as eunuch slaves for Qing garrisons in Xinjiang and the wives of the rebel leaders were also enslaved.[17][18][19][20] Among the Muslim boys were Ma Sanhe (马三和), Ma Qishizi (马七十子), Ma Shaqiang (马沙枪), Ma Suo (马锁), Ma Youzong (马由宗), Ma Feifei (马飞飞), Ma Wushijiu (马五十九), Ma Wushiliu (马五十六).[21][22] Ma Jincheng, a son of the Hui Naqshbandi leader Ma Hualong was also castrated after being held in jail in Xi'an until he was 11 years old.[23][24] The Imperial Household Department immediately castrated the 9 sons of Ma Guiyuan since they already reached age 12 and were enslave as eunuchs to Qing soldiers in Xinjiang. Ma Zhenyuan (马侦源), Ma Benyuan (马本源) and Ma Guiyuan's (马桂源) wives were all enslaved to soldiers and officials in provincial garrisons after the husbands were executed.[25][26] Ma Yulong (马玉龙) was the father of the boys Ma Sanhe (马三和) and Ma Jibang (继邦). Ma Dingbang (马定邦) was the father of Ma Qishi (马七十), Ma Shaba (马沙把), Ma Suo (马锁) and Ma Youzong (;马由宗). Ma Chenglong (马成龙) was the father of Ma Feifei (马飞). Their sons were all sentenced to castration.[27][28][29][30][31][32] The Muslim rebels themselves were subjected to execution by lingchi (slow slicing) while their sons were castrated and their female relatives enslaved to soldiers and officials in provincial garrisons.[33] The children of the Muslim rebels who were under ten included 6 year old Ga Liu (尕六), 8 year old Ga Quan (尕全) and Ma Xier (马希儿) who were imprisoned until they reached 11 and then castrated by the Imperial Household Department.[34]

Yaqub Beg and his son Ishana's corpses were "burned to cinders" in full public view. This angered the population in Kashgar, but Qing troops quashed a rebellious plot by Hakim Khan.[35] Surviving members of Yaqub Beg's family included his four sons, four grandchildren (two grandsons and two granddaughters), and four wives. They either died in prison in Lanzhou, Gansu or were killed by the Qing government. His sons Yima Kuli, K'ati Kuli, Maiti Kuli, and grandson Aisan Ahung were the only survivors alive in 1879. They were all underage children at that time. They were put on trial and sentenced to an agonizing death if they were found to be complicit in their father's rebellious "sedition". If they were innocent, they were to be sentenced to castration and servitude as eunuch slaves to the Qing troops on the Amur frontier in Heilongjiang. Afterwards, when they reached the age of 11 years, they would be handed over to the Imperial Household to be executed or castrated.[36][37][38] In 1879, it was confirmed that the sentence of castration was carried out, Yaqub Beg's son and grandsons were castrated by the Chinese court in 1879 and turned into eunuchs to work in the Imperial Palace.[39] Yaqub Beg's sons and grandsons who were captured were under 10 years old Aisin Ahongju (爱散阿洪俱), Kadihuli (卡底胡里) and 10 year old Imahuli (依玛胡里).[40]


There are few sources on the shamanism of the Ewenki peoples below the Amur/Helongkiang river in Northern China. There is a brief report of fieldwork conducted by Richard Noll and Kun Shi in 1994 of the life of the shamaness Dula'r (Ewenki name), also known as Ao Yun Hua (her Han Chinese name).[41] She was born in 1920 and was living in the village of Yiming Gatsa in the Ewenki Banner (county) of the Hulunbuir Prefecture, in the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region. While not a particularly good informant, she described her initiatory illness, her multiyear apprenticeship with a Mongol shaman before being allowed to heal at the age of 25 or 26, and the torments she experienced during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s when most of her shamanic paraphernalia was destroyed. Mongol and Buddhist Lamaist influences on her indigenous practice of shamansim was evident. She hid her prize possession—an Abagaldi (bear spirit) shaman mask, which has also been documented among the Mongol and Daur peoples in the region. The field report and color photographs of this shaman are available online.[42]


Main article: Evenki language

According to Janhunen's research, the numerous dialects of the Ewenki language can be divided into two major groups: those of the Solons (which he labels "Solon Ewenki") and those of the Ewenki of Siberia (as well as the Oroqen and the "Manchurian Reindeer Tungus" of China), which he calls "Siberian Evenki". The Ewenki dialects of the bilingual Khamnigan show features characteristic of both "Manchurian" and "Siberian" groups, as well as peculiar Khamnigan innovations.[2]

The Solon being closely associated with the Daur, many (around half of them, according to Janhunen's field research in the 1990s) Solon people are bilingual in the Daur language.[43] During the Qing Empire, many Solon (as well as members of many other native groups of Manchuria) were able to speak Manchu,[44] while in modern China Mandarin Chinese is universally taught.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Janhunen 1996, pp. 67–68
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Janhunen 1996, pp. 70–72
  3. ^ Janhunen 1996, p. 52
  4. ^ Bello, David A. (2016) "Across Forest, Steppe, and Mountain: Environment, Identity, and Empire in Qing China's Borderlands" ed. illustrated. Cambridge University Press. 1107068843. p. 95.
  5. ^ Bello, David. “Rival Empires on the Hunt for Sable and People in Seventeenth-Century Manchuria,” Empire and Environment in the Making of Manchuria, ed. Norman Smith (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017), p. 72.
  6. ^ Widmer, Eric D. (1976). East Asian research center (Cambridge, Mass.) (ed.). The Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Peking During the Eighteenth Century (illustrated ed.). Harvard Uni Asia Center. p. 188. ISBN 0674781295. ISSN 0073-0483.
  7. ^ "Gun Control, Qing Style". 9 March 2013.
  8. ^ Shan, Fuliang Patrick (March 2003). The Development of the North Manchuria Frontier, 1900-1931 (PDF) (PhD) McMaster University. p. 149.
  9. ^ Shan, Patrick Fuliang, (2016) "Taming China's Wilderness: Immigration, Settlement and the Shaping of the Heilongjiang Frontier, 1900-1931", Routledge, 1317046838. p. 103
  10. ^ a b Juha Janhunen, "Ongkor Solon" in UNESCO RED BOOK ON ENDANGERED LANGUAGES: NORTHEAST ASIA, based on: BAI Lan & Juha JANHUNEN: "On the present state of the Ongkor Solon", Journal de la Société Fino-Ougrienne, 84, Helsinki 1992
  11. ^ Millward, James. A. "Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang" ed. illustrated, Columbia University Press, 2007 0231139241 p. 109
  12. ^
  13. ^ ABRAMSON, KARA. “Gender, Uyghur Identity, and the Story of Nuzugum.” The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 71, no. 4, 2012, pp. 1069–91. JSTOR,
  14. ^ Dwyer, Arienne M. "Salar: A Study in Inner Asian Language Contact Processes, Part 1" ed. illustrated, Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, 2008, 3447040912 p.21
  15. ^ Kim, Loretta E. "Ethnic Chrysalis: China's Orochen People and the Legacy of Qing Borderland Administration" BRILL. 2020. 1684171032 pp. 151-2
  16. ^ 《添碳檔》.
  17. ^ (清)左, 宗棠 (2009). 左宗棠全集 五. Beijing Book Co. Inc. ISBN 978-7999010807. (清)左宗棠. 兹据布政使崇保、按察使杨重雅、署兰州道捧武会详:司道等遵即督同兰州府铁珊提讯该逆马桂源之妻马马氏,马本源之妻马王氏, ... 均解交内务府阉割,发往新疆等处,给官兵为奴;如年在十岁以下者,牢固监禁,俟年届十一岁时,再行解交内务府照例办理; ...
  18. ^ (清)左, 宗棠 (2009). 左宗棠全集 七. Beijing Book Co. Inc. ISBN 978-7999010821. (清)左宗棠. 逼勉从,情尚可原。当饬传各该家属具领择配完聚。引上胡里之子年三岁,染患惊疯病症,医治无效,于上年三月二十四日在监身死。 ... 内务府阉割,发往新疆等处给官兵为奴;如年在十岁以下者,牢固监禁,俟年届十一岁时,再行解交内务府照例办理,等语。
  19. ^ (清)左, 宗棠 (2009). 左宗棠全集 一二. Beijing Book Co. Inc. ISBN 978-7999010883. (清)左宗棠. 上年胪举四君子之疏,得邀俞允。史馆立传,应行知亲属将仕履存殁年月一切详明开示,以凭咨送。现惟王子寿世兄由本籍呈明申送来营,此外,寂无一字见复, ... 迨至十一岁,照例解交内务府阉割,将焉置此?如虑加刑无定例可援,则绝乳听其自毙,乃是正办, ...
  20. ^ 左, 宗棠 (1979). 左文襄公(宗棠)全集 (reprint ed.). 文海出版社. p. 71. 左宗棠, 楊書霖, 張亮基, 駱秉章. 御! 1 ?所冇錄抚南將? ?軍一一品顶带莂噢斓楚布政使近錢^餌,將^ 1 :难^ ^间餘^玖抆階州 I ! ^ ! ... 谷询有 1 #未除钓總兵觫家 81 ^ ^馬步分途拽脚 21 月十三日錄家一知戒胜涵任家莊山顶有赋筑 81 逑改講邾步圃 ...
  21. ^ 左, 宗棠 (1987). 左宗棠全集: 奏稿, Volume 5. Vol. 5 of 左宗棠全集. 岳麓书社. p. 42. ISBN 7805200726. 奏稿 左宗棠. 之犯,其子讯明实系不知谋逆情事者,无论已未成丁,均解交内务府阉割,发往新疆等处给官兵为奴例,解交内务府照例办理。马五十六、马五十九、马飞飞、马由宗、马锁、马沙枪、马七十子、马三和,俱年在十岁以下,应照例牢固监禁,侯年十一岁时, ...
  22. ^ 左, 宗棠 (1987). 左宗棠全集: 奏稿, Volume 5. Vol. 5 of 左宗棠全集, 左宗棠 左宗棠全集: 奏稿, 左宗棠. 岳麓书社. p. 42. ISBN 7805200726. 之犯,其子讯明实系不知谋逆情事者,无论已未成丁,均解交内务府阉割,发往新疆等处给官兵为奴例,解交内务府照例办理。马五十六、马五十九、马飞飞、马由宗、马锁、马沙枪、马七十子、马三和,俱年在十岁以下,应照例牢固监禁,侯年十一岁时,再行解交内务府照例 ...
  23. ^ 云南省少数民族古籍整理出版规划办公室 (2004). 云南回族人物碑传精选, Volume 1. Compiled by 王子华, 姚继德. 云南民族出版社. p. 417. ISBN 7536729790. 光绪十五年( 1889 年)十二月二十九日归真,时年 25 岁。马进城押解北京施行阉割酷刑后,不久几年他的弟弟马进西又从西安监狱押上北京大道施行阉割。马元章召集老何爷、杨云 鹤等吩咐说: "十三太爷三百余 《左宗棠全集》册七,同治十年十二月十二日。
  24. ^ 云南省少数民族古籍整理出版规划办公室 (2004). 云南回族人物碑传精选, Volume 1. Compiled by 王子华, 姚继德. 云南民族出版社. p. 417. ISBN 7536729790. ... 均交内务府陶割,发往新疆等处给官兵为奴例,交内务府办理。马五十六、马五十九、马飞飞、马由宗、马锁、马沙把、马七十子、马三和,俱年在十岁以下,应照例牢固监禁,侯年十一岁时再解交內务府照例办理。"光绪初年,监禁在西安的马化龙的孙子马进城(即马五 ...
  25. ^ 青海省志: 审判志. Vol. 55 of 青海省志, 青海省地方志编纂委员会. Contributor 青海省地方志编纂委员会. 青海人民出版社. 1993. p. 129. 据左宗棠关于《叛逆马本源等讯明正法》的奏报称: "马桂源兄弟眷属解省,当即发交司道监禁会讯. ... 马桂源之妻马马氏,马本源之妻马王氏,马侦源之妻马马氏及犯妾马马氏、发各省驻防给官员兵丁为奴,马桂源子九个(年 12 岁)即行解交内务府阉割发往新疆等处给 ...((cite book)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  26. ^ 张, 振佩 (1993). 左宗棠传. 海南国际新闻出版中心. p. 41. ISBN 780609072X. 而穷追汪海洋于南海,消灭洪、扬残余,结束太平军事,更是左氏一人之功。西抢的剿平,既是左、李二氏之功;闽、越的债事,则是张佩一人之责。治河导准,已开现在水利的嗜矢;首创船政,更为建立海军的始基。左宗棠 40 岁前,还是一个小城市里的穷教师。40 岁后的 30 ...
  27. ^ 回族人物志, Volume 1. Compiled by 白寿彝 Contributors 杨怀中, 白崇人. 宁夏人民出版社. 2000. pp. 1578, 1579. ISBN 7227020061. Page 1578 这时甘肃回民起义失败,金积堡于同治九年底被左宗棠攻陷,翌年正月十三日马化龙父子、亲属及起义骨干一千八百余人全被杀害,劫后子遗的老弱贬遣固原山区;十一年初,太子寺战役获胜后 ... 犯的男孩到十二岁要承受阉割酷刑,他们所犯的是他们祖辈们的死罪。左宗 ... Page 1579 飞系马成龙之子;马由宗、马锁、马沙把、马七十子系马定邦之子;马继邦、马三和系马玉龙之子,均未成丁,讯明不知谋逆情事, ... 马进城押解北京施行阉割酷刑后,不久几年他的弟 弟马进西又从西安监狱押上北京大道 0 《左宗棠全集》册七,同治十年十二月十二日。((cite book)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  28. ^ 回族人物志, Volume 1. Compiled by 白寿彝 Contributors 杨怀中, 白崇人. 宁夏人民出版社. 2000. pp. 1578, 1579. ISBN 7227020061. 马五十六、马五十九、马飞飞、马由宗、马锁、马沙把、马七十子、马三和,俱年在十岁以下,应照例牢固监禁,侯年十一岁时再解交内务府照例办理。"光绪初年,监禁在西安的马化龙的孙子马进城(即马五十六)将押赴北京内务府施行阉割。马元章派杨云鹤等人潜行囚车 ...((cite book)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  29. ^ 宁夏审判志编纂委员会 (1998). 宁夏审判志. 宁夏人民出版社. pp. 94, 95. Page 94 左宗棠曾向朝廷上奏: '抚局'名为官抚回,实则回制官",为此,清政府决定实行先"抚"后"剿"的政策,于 1866 年 9 月任命左宗棠为 ... 交内务府阉割,发往新疆等处给官兵为奴例",解交内务府照例办理,其中马五十六、马五十九、马飞飞、马由宗、马锁、马沙把、马 ... Page 95 1872 年 6 月经左宗棠奏准清政府,将马万选之子老哇子(一岁)、孙二虎子(一岁)、三虎子(一岁),纳万元之子古哇子(六岁)、勒芝子〈一岁)依照"叛逆子孙不知谋逆情事律",决定监禁至年满十一岁时解交内务府办理〈阉割后发往边疆给官兵为奴)。
  30. ^ 宁夏审判志编纂委员会 (1998). 宁夏审判志. 宁夏人民出版社. pp. 94, 95. ... 无论已未成丁均交内务府阉割,发往新疆等处给官兵为奴例",解交内务府照例办理,其中马五十六、马五十九、马飞飞、马由宗、马锁、马沙把、马七十子、马三和等因年龄在十岁以下,予以牢固监禁,待年满十一岁时再行解交内务府照例办理。对马化凤、马阿 ...
  31. ^ Gansu Sheng zhi, Volume 7. ̇̈̇̄, ̇̈̇̄ʻ̆£̄ø̄ơ̇ð̇ʹ̄̄ỡơ̇ð̇. Contributor ʻ̆£̄ø̄ơ̇ð̇ʹ̄̄ỡơ̇ð̇. ̇̈ð̃ðʻ̆̄ð ̇ Þ̇. 1989. p. 39. 公元 1863 年(同治二年)四月,甘肃平凉、肃州等地回民群起响应陕西渭南回民起义,在金积堡大阿马化隆等人领导下,与清军抗争九年之久。 ... 宗、马锁、马沙把、马七十子、马玉隆之子马继邦、马三和等未成年男丁,解交内务府阉割,发往新疆等处给官兵为奴。((cite book)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  32. ^ 甘肃省志: 审判志. 第七卷, Volume 7. Compiled by 甘肃省地方史志编纂委员会, 甘肃省审判志编纂委员会. 甘肃文化出版社. 1995. p. 39. ISBN 7806081720. 公元 1863 年(同治二年)四月,甘肃平凉、肃州等地回民群起响应陕西渭南回民起义,在金积堡大阿马化隆等人领导下, ... 马定邦之子马由宗、马锁、马沙把、马七十子、马玉隆之子马继邦、马三和等未成年男丁,解交内务府阉割,发往新疆等处给官兵为奴。((cite book)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  33. ^ (清)左, 宗棠 (2009). 左宗棠全集 五. Beijing Book Co. Inc. ISBN 978-7999010807. 查例载反逆案内,律应问拟凌迟之犯,其子讯明实系不知逆谋情事者,无论已未成丁,均解交内务府阉割,发往新疆等处,给官兵为奴;如年在十岁以下者,牢固监禁,俟年届十一岁时,再行解交内务府照例办理;缘坐妇女发各省驻防,给官员兵丁为奴。各等语。此案马格系马桂源 ...
  34. ^ 青海省志: 审判志. Vol. 55 of 青海省志, 青海省地方志编纂委员会. Contributor 青海省地方志编纂委员会. 青海人民出版社. 1993. p. 129. 马桂源之妻马马氏,马本源之妻马王氏,马侦源之妻马马氏及犯妾马马氏、发各省驻防给官员兵丁为奴,马桂源子九个(年 12 岁)即行解交内务府阉割发往新疆等处给官兵为奴,马希儿 00 岁)、尕全( 8 岁)、尕六( 6 岁)均在 10 岁以下,暂行监禁,俟 11 岁再行解交内务 ...((cite book)): CS1 maint: others (link)
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  40. ^ (清)左, 宗棠 (2009). 左宗棠全集 七. Beijing Book Co. Inc. ISBN 978-7999010821. 引上胡里之子年三岁,染患惊疯病症,医治无效,于上年三月二十四日在监身死。其引上胡里一名,桀骜异常,业经刘锦棠亲讯属实, ... 依玛胡里年甫十岁,卡底胡里、爱散阿洪俱(在年)〔年在〕十岁以下,均应照例牢固监禁,俟十一岁时再行解交内务府,照例办理,等情。
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