Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has, since ancient times, been populated by many ethnic groups, including a great number of nomadic tribes and nations. By the end of the 19th century, 13 major ethnic communities had established themselves there: the Uygurs, Hans, Kazaks, Mongolians, Huis, Kirgizs, Manchus, Xibes, Tajiks, Daurs, Ozbeks, Tatars and Russians. The Uygurs comprised the majority, and this multiethnic pattern remains even today.
Xinjiang's 13 major ethnic groups have been involved in constant migration due to great changes in the natural environment. These population movements have caused religious and cultural intermingling, producing the region's present unique customs. These are expressed through diet, costume, wedding and funeral ceremonies, as well as religious beliefs, values, taboos and art. It is no wonder that whoever visits is deeply impressed by Xinjiang's rich cultural diversity.