The Jie were members of a small tribe in the in the and centuries . Their name literally means "wethers" or "castrated male sheep".
They were in appearance, with full beards, deep-set eyes and high noses, and were probably related to the modern Pamir . In the period between 350 and 352, General Ran Min ordered the complete extermination of this tribe, and their distinctive features led to large numbers being killed. However, the Jie continue to appear occasionally in history over the next 200 years. Erzhu Rong and Hou Jing, two famous warlords of the Northern Dynasties, were identified as Qihu and Jiehu respectively, and modern scholars have suggested that they could have been be related to the Jie.
Some historians conjecture the Jie to have been be a medieval tribe related to the modern , living between the and tributaries—it is worth noting that the character 羯 is pronounced ''kit'' in and ''katsu'' or ''ketsu'' in , implying that the ancient pronunciation may have been fairly close to ''Ket''. Others link the Jie with the , and suggest that the family name of Shi from Jie who ruled the Later Zhao state originated in the Sogdian statelet of Tashkent, which was later also known as the Kingdom of Shi. An Lushan, the rebel general, had a Sogdian stepfather and was called a Jiehu. Yet others trace the Jie to those or Tocharians who had remained in Sogdiana.