Chinese from the name of the kingdom of Ba, which existed in Sichuan during the Zhou dynasty (1122–221 bc). Descendants of some of the ruling class adopted the name of the kingdom as their surname. This character still has as one of its meanings an ancient name for Sichuan province. Researchers believe that another branch of the Ba clan came from Shanxi province during the Han dynasty (206 bc–220 ad). Additionally, when Manchus and Mongolians came from the north to China several hundred years ago, many adopted the surname Ba.