Dongxiang originated from Salta people of ancient Central Asia. The present population of Dongxiang is around 300, 000 of which 75 percent live in Dongxiang County, Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture on the ancient Silk Road, thus this ethnic group is named after the place.
Dongxiang Nationality are all Muslims so their customs and religious rites are almost same as those of Hui Nationality. Dongxiang people are known as their hospitality. In their old customs, one is called "Presenting Chicken Tip"(chicken tip refers to the tail bone of a chicken). Dongxiang people like to treat guests with chicken. Usually after the chick is cooked well, the host will divide it. The big and nice parts should be presented firstly to the senior and the respectable guests while the chicken tip could be only presented to the most distinguished guest. After getting the chicken tip, the guest wouldn't have it immediately. He often presents the tip to other guests who are also senior or respectable. But other guests won't accept it because the man who eats the tip is regarded as the VIP of the banquet. It is a great honor to have a chicken tip from the host.
For Dongxiang, endogamy is prohibited. The concept of "Ahajiao" (tribe) is strong in people's mind. Usually the most senior man in one tribe is the tribal leader who takes the responsibility to settle different problems of the whole tribe.
Dongxiang people live in the mountainous area in poverty generation after generation. The old roads are seemingly still telling the glory and prosperity of this land in history. With time passed, lives come and go! while people's living style and thinking ways remain unchanged. When you look into its history, you can still experience the pain and happiness of people on this vast land.