Acta Via Serica

Journal for Silk Road and
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Original Articles Home > Acta Via Serica > Archives > Original Articles
Title THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES OF MUSLIMS AND THE HUI HUI COMMUNITY OF KOREA IN MEDIEVAL TIMES
Author HEE SOO LEE
Volume Vol. 2 No. 1
Pages pp. 85~108 (all 24 pages)
Publication Date June, 2017
Keyword Mongol, Muslim in Korea, Goryeo, Joseon, Yuan, Hui Hui, Silk Road
Abstract This paper details the advance of the “Hui” (回) people to Korea and their socio-economic activities in forming their own community during the late Goryeo and early Joseon period. Hui (回) or Hui Hui (回回) is generally recognized as representative of Muslim culture in Chinese and Korean sources. From the 8th century, Korean-Muslim cultural relations accelerated as an outcome of ancient Chinese-West Asian commercial transactions along the Silk Road. These contacts between Muslims and Koreans on the Korean peninsula are borne out by references to Korea found in 23 Islamic sources written between the 9th and 16th centuries by 18 Muslim scholars, including Ibn Khurdadbih, Sulaiman al-Tajir, and Mas’ud1i. Ibn Khurdadbih was the first Arab who wrote of Muslims’ residence in the Unified Silla Kingdom (661-935CE). However, in the period of Silla, we could not find any reliable written documents in Korea to show encounters between Korea and the Muslim world. In the Goryeosa (GS) chronicle, Muslim merchants who came to Korea were described as “Daesik” (大食: Tashi). Daesik (Tashi) is most probably derived from “Tajir”, which means “trader” in Muslim language.2 Muslims’ mass influx and their wide ranging influence on Korean society manifested from the late 13th century when the Goryeo Dynasty first came under Mongol control and afterward in the early 15th century with the new dynasty of Joseon in Korea.
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