烏孫Wusun of Princess Jie You

I’ve always been fascinated about the ethnic minorities of China so naturally watching the setting of the storyline from Jie You Princess arose some curiosity. As many of you may know, most of the story takes place in a country called Wusun烏孫. The exact location of this country has been disputed by different historians but it is believed to have existed near the Tian Shan Mountains in the Dzungarian Basin, east of Kyrgyzstan, west side of Xin Jiang.  Like the drama, it was made of mostly desert and grasslands.

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Wusun suffered attacks from the Xiong Nu people, pushing them towards the west steppes of China. The people did not look as Han as they do in the drama (obviously). The people were said to look Caucasian but compared to the rest of China, there is actually very little historical information about this country. Their roots are more Iranian or Turkish than Han. Their traditions are similar to many other nomadic ethnic groups in Asia, excelling in horse-riding and archery. My favorite part of China other than the food is how diverse the less developed provinces are like Xin Jiang, Mongolia, Tibet, and Yun Nan. They’re composed of many different tribes who share similar traditions but still have clear distinctions. It’s just a shame they’re constantly being suppressed by the Chinese government, causing a lot of tension and hostility between the two.

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Anyway as far as historical accuracy goes, Jie You really did exist, although probably not in the context of a street performer running into Wen Gui and falling in love before marrying his brother. Jie You actually married I believe three different men and outlived all of them, also bearing children for them, quite a remarkable woman. I almost wish the drama showed more of the kind of power she had rather than her crying all the time. I’m not sure if Hu Gu actually existed but it is true the Xiong Nu were constantly attacking Wu Sun so there could have been a marriage to be used as a peacekeeper. Anyway this was sort of just some fun facts about Wu Sun. There aren’t many historical accounts of this country as they were constantly in war with other nearby nations and had to receive help from the Han.

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