The erhu (二胡) is a two-stringed bowed musical instrument, more specifically a spike fiddle, which may also be called a "southern fiddle", and sometimes known in the Western world as the "Chinese violin" or a "Chinese two-stringed fiddle". It is used as a solo instrument as well as in small ensembles and large orchestras. It is the most popular of the huqin family of traditional bowed string instruments used by various ethnic groups of China. The erhu can be traced back to proto-Mongolic instruments introduced to China more than a thousand years ago. It is believed to have evolved from the xiqin (奚 琴). The xiqin is believed to have originated from the Xi people of Central Asia, and have come to China in the 10th century