Di

ethnic group in ancient China

The Di (Chinese: 氐; pinyin: Dī; Wade–Giles: Ti1; < Eastern Han Chinese *tei < Old Chinese: *‍tˁij) were an ancient ethnic group that lived in western China, and are best known as one of the non-Han Chinese peoples known as the Five Barbarians that overran northern China during the Jin dynasty (265–420) and the Sixteen Kingdoms period. This ethnic group should not be confused with the earlier Dí 狄, which refers to unrelated nomadic peoples in northern China during the earlier Zhou dynasty. The Di are thought to have been of proto-Tibetan origin, though there is a widespread belief among Chinese scholars that the Di spoke a Turkic language.Only a few special Di names and place names preserved in old Chinese books. They may have spoken a language isolate, a Qiang language or a Burmese language.
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