Animal pelt shops along North Grand Street

Reimagining the Silk Road

Animal pelt shops along North Grand Street

Linxia, 2009

Linxia was a vital trading town on the so-called southern Silk Road, linking Lanzhou to the north with the Tibetan grasslands to the south. Hui in Linxia have served the role of middlemen, exchanging a wide variety of sundries between Han, Muslims, and Tibetans. Tibetans, including monks from nearby Labrang Monastery, often travel to Linxia to purchase clothes, blankets, floor coverings, copper bowls, prayer beads, yak tails, coral jewelry from Fujian, yak butter, and fox pelts. Due to such daily interaction, the local dialect contains many Amdo Tibetan terms.