Tightrope walkers of Xinjiang

For the Uyghur people who live in Xinjiang province in the far West of China, tightrope walking has been a tradition for thousands of years.

Tightrope walking is called dawaz in the local language. The native language of the Uyghurs is related to the Turkic languages spoken in other countries in Central Asia.

Tradition is still going strong – in April this year 25 year old Samit Ijon broke the world record for his successful attempt at the steepest long-distance dawaz.

The scary-looking sport also features in the award winning film ‘On a Tightrope’, about the lives of a group of Xinjiang orphans.

UPDATE: I have corrected a mistake in the original post. Xinjiang was mistakenly spelled as Xinxiang. Thanks a lot to Ivy for pointing it out in the comments.

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About the author

Lucy (Liz) Chatburn
Lucy is English and first ventured out of the UK she was 19. Since then she has lived in 4 different countries and tried to see as much of the world as possible. She loves learning languages, learning about different cultures and hearing different points of view.
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2 Comments

  • Wow! That looks very scary – especially without a safety net. It’s good to see that the Uyghurs are still fighting to preserve their culture. Btw, I think the province is called XinJiang. XinXiang is a county in the North East part of China. :)

  • oops. Thanks so much for pointing that out Ivy. The hot weather is getting to me :)

    It does look scary. I don’t think I would be brave enough to try that.