The Kazakhs (also spelled Kazaks, Qazaqs; Kazakh: Қазақ, Qazaq, قازاق/qɑ'zɑq/ , Qazaqtar, Қазақтар, قازاقتار/qɑzɑq'tɑr/ ; the English name is transliterated from Russian) are a Turkic people who mainly inhabit the southern part of Eastern Europe and the Ural mountains and northern parts of Central Asia (largely Kazakhstan, but also parts of Uzbekistan, China, Russia and Mongolia), the region also known as the Eurasian sub-continent. Kazakh identity is of medieval origin and was strongly shaped by the foundation of the Kazakh Khanate between 1456 and 1465, when several tribes under the rule of the sultans Zhanibek and Kerey departed from the Khanate of Abu'l-Khayr Khan.

The Kazakhs are descendants of the Turkic and medieval Mongol tribes – Argyns, Dughlats, Naimans, Jalairs, Keraits, Khazars, Qarluqs; and of the Kipchaks and Cumans,[25][26] and other tribes such as the Huns and Nogais, and ancient Iranian nomads like the Sarmatians, Saka and Scythians who populated the territory between Siberia and the Black Sea before the 5th and 13th centuries AD.[27][28][29][30]

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Kazakh Beys
Total population
c. 18 million[1]
Regions with significant populations
 Kazakhstan 12,212,645 (2018)[2]
 United States24,636[8]
 Czech Republic5,639[13]
 United Arab Emirates5,000[15]
Kazakh, Russian, Chinese, Mongolian, and other languages
Predominantly Sunni Muslim[20][5][21][22][23], Christianity[24]
Related ethnic groups
Turkic peoples

Etymology of Kazakh

Kazakh central asian horseman
Kazakh central asian horseman. The Russian Museum of Ethnography, 1910

The Kazakhs likely began using this name during either the 15th or 16th century.[31] There are many theories on the origin of the word Kazakh or Qazaq. Some speculate that it comes from the Turkish verb qaz ("to wander"), because the Kazakhs were wandering steppemen; or that it derives from the Proto-Turkic word khasaq (a wheeled cart used by the Kazakhs to transport their yurts and belongings).[32]

Another theory on the origin of the word Kazakh (originally Qazaq) is that it comes from the ancient Turkic word qazğaq, first mentioned on the 8th century Turkic monument of Uyuk-Turan.[33] According to the notable Turkic linguist Vasily Radlov and the orientalist Veniamin Yudin, the noun qazğaq derives from the same root as the verb qazğan ("to obtain", "to gain"). Therefore, qazğaq defines a type of person who seeks profit and gain.[34]


Kazakh was a common term throughout medieval Central Asia, generally with regard to individuals or groups who had taken or achieved independence from a figure of authority. Timur described his own youth without directory authority as his Qazaqliq ("Qazaq-ness").[35] At the time of the Uzbek nomads' Conquest of Central Asia, the Uzbek Abu'l-Khayr Khan had differences with the Chinggisid chiefs Giray/Kirey and Janibeg/Janibek, descendants of Urus Khan.

SB - Inside a Kazakh yurt
Kazakh family inside a Yurt, 1911/1914

These differences probably resulted from the crushing defeat of Abu'l-Khayr Khan at the hands of the Qalmaqs.[36] Kirey and Janibek moved with a large following of nomads to the region of Zhetysu/Semirechye on the border of Moghulistan and set up new pastures there with the blessing of the Moghul Chingisid Esen Buqa, who hoped for a buffer zone of protection against the expansion of the Oirats.[37] It is not explicitly explained that this is why the later Kazakhs took the name permanently, but it is the only historically verifiable source of the ethnonym. The group under Kirey and Janibek are called in various sources Qazaqs and Uzbek-Qazaqs (those independent of the Uzbek khans). The Russians originally called the Kazakhs 'Kirgiz' and later Kirghiz-Kaisak to distinguish them from the Kyrgyz proper.

Kazakh guard 2
Kazakh guard at Nowruz celebrations in Nursultan.

In the 17th century, Russian convention seeking to distinguish the Qazaqs of the steppes from the Cossacks of the Imperial Russian Army suggested spelling the final consonant with "kh" instead of "q" or "k", which was officially adopted by the USSR in 1936.[38]

  • Kazakh – Казах
  • Cossack – Казак

The Russian term Cossack probably comes from the same Kypchak etymological root: wanderer, brigand, independent free-booter.

Oral history

Due to their nomadic pastoral lifestyle, Kazakhs kept an epic tradition of oral history. The nation, which amalgamated nomadic tribes of various Kazakh origins, managed to preserve the distant memory of the original founding clans. It was important for a Kazakh to know his or her genealogical tree for no less than seven generations back (known as şejire, from the Arabic word shajara – "tree").

Three Kazakh Zhuz (Hordes)

Approximate areas occupied by the three Kazakh jüz in the early 20th century.

In modern Kazakhstan, tribalism is fading away in business and government life. Still it is common for a Kazakh man or woman to ask another one which tribe he or she belongs to when getting acquainted with each other. Nowadays, it is more of a tradition than necessity. There is no hostility between tribes. Kazakhs, regardless of their tribal origin, consider themselves one nation.

Those modern-day Kazakhs who yet remember their tribes know that their tribes belong to one of the three Zhuz (juz, roughly translatable as "horde" or "hundred"):

History of the Hordes

There is much debate surrounding the origins of the Hordes. Their age is unknown so far in extant historical texts, with the earliest mentions in the 17th century. The Turkologist Velyaminov-Zernov believed that it was the capture of the important cities of Tashkent, Yasi, and Sayram in 1598 by Tevvekel (Tauekel/Tavakkul) Khan that separated the Qazaqs, as only a portion of the Century possessed the cities.[39] This theory suggests that the Qazaqs then divided among a wider territory after expanding from Zhetysu into most of the Dasht-i Qipchaq, with a focus on the trade available through the cities of the middle Syr Darya, of which Sayram and Yasi belonged. The Junior juz originated from the Nogais of the Nogai Horde.


Kazakh-Mongolian Eagle Hunter
Kazakh eagle hunter in Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, Mongolia.

The Kazakh language is a member of the Turkic language family, as are Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Tatar, Uyghur, Turkish, Azeri, Turkmen, and many other living and historical languages spoken in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Xinjiang, and Siberia.

Kazakh belongs to the Kipchak (Northwestern) group of the Turkic language family. Kazakh is characterized, in distinction to other Turkic languages, by the presence of /s/ in place of reconstructed proto-Turkic */ʃ/ and /ʃ/ in place of */tʃ/; furthermore, Kazakh has /ʒ/ where other Turkic languages have /j/.

Kazakh, like most of the Turkic language family lacks phonemic vowel length, and as such there is no distinction between long and short vowels.

Kazakh was written with the Arabic script during the 19th century, when a number of poets, educated in Islamic schools, incited revolt against Russia. Russia's response was to set up secular schools and devise a way of writing Kazakh with the Cyrillic alphabet, which was not widely accepted. By 1917, the Arabic script was reintroduced, even in schools and local government.

In 1927, a Kazakh nationalist movement sprang up but was soon suppressed. At the same time the Arabic script was banned and the Latin alphabet was imposed for writing Kazakh. The native Latin alphabet was in turn replaced by the Cyrillic alphabet in 1940 by soviet interventionists. Today, there are efforts to return to the Latin script.

Kazakh is a state (official) language in Kazakhstan. It is also spoken in the Ili region of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China, where the Arabic script is used, and in western parts of Mongolia (Bayan-Ölgii and Khovd province), where Cyrillic script is in use. European Kazakhs use the Latin alphabet.


Historical Kazakh wedding garb photo
Kazakh bride in traditional wedding dress

Ancestors of modern Kazakhs believed in Shamanism and Tengrism, then Zoroastrianism, Buddhism and Christianity including Church of the East. Islam was first introduced to ancestors of modern Kazakhs during the 8th century when the Arab missionaries entered Central Asia. Islam initially took hold in the southern portions of Turkestan and thereafter gradually spread northward.[40] Islam also took root due to the zealous missionary work of Samanid rulers, notably in areas surrounding Taraz[41] where a significant number of Turks accepted Islam. Additionally, in the late 14th century, the Golden Horde propagated Islam amongst the Kazakhs and other tribes. During the 18th century, Russian influence toward the region rapidly increased throughout Central Asia. Led by Catherine, the Russians initially demonstrated a willingness in allowing Islam to flourish as Muslim clerics were invited into the region to preach to the Kazakhs whom the Russians viewed as "savages" and "ignorant" of morals and ethics.[42][43] However, Russian policy gradually changed toward weakening Islam by introducing pre-Islamic elements of collective consciousness.[44] Such attempts included methods of eulogizing pre-Islamic historical figures and imposing a sense of inferiority by sending Kazakhs to highly elite Russian military institutions.[44] In response, Kazakh religious leaders attempted to bring religious fervor by espousing pan-Turkism, though many were persecuted as a result.[45] During the Soviet era, Muslim institutions survived only in areas where Kazakhs significantly outnumbered non-Muslims due to everyday Muslim practices.[46] In an attempt to conform Kazakhs into Communist ideologies, gender relations and other aspects of the Kazakh culture were key targets of social change.[43]

In more recent times however, Kazakhs have gradually employed a determined effort in revitalizing Islamic religious institutions after the fall of the Soviet Union. Some Kazakhs continue to identify with their Islamic faith,[47] and even more devotedly in the countryside. Those who claim descent from the original Muslim soldiers and missionaries of the 8th century command substantial respect in their communities.[48] Kazakh political figures have also stressed the need to sponsor Islamic awareness. For example, the Kazakh Foreign Affairs Minister, Marat Tazhin, recently emphasized that Kazakhstan attaches importance to the use of "positive potential Islam, learning of its history, culture and heritage."[49]

Pre-Islamic beliefs—the worship of the sky, of the ancestors, and of fire, for example—continued to a great extent to be preserved among the common people, however. The Kazakhs believed in the supernatural forces of good and evil spirits, of wood goblins and giants. To protect themselves from them, as well as from the evil eye, the Kazakhs wore protection beads and talismans. Shamanic beliefs are still widely preserved among the Kazakhs, as well as belief in the strength of the bearers of this worship—the shamans, which the Kazakhs call bakhsy. In contradistinction to the Siberian shamans, who used drums during their rituals, the Kazakh shamans, who could also be men or women, played (with a bow) on a stringed instrument similar to a large violin. At present both Islamic and pre-Islamic beliefs continue to be found among the Kazakhs, especially among the elderly.[22] According to 2009 national census 39,172 Kazakhs are Christians.[24]

Genetic studies

According to mitochondrial DNA studies[50] (where sample consisted of only 246 individuals), the main maternal lineages of Kazakhs are: D (17.9%), C (16%), G (16%), A (3.25%), F (2.44%) of Eastern Eurasian origin (58%), and haplogroups H (14.1), T (5.5), J (3.6%), K (2.6%), U5 (3%), and others (12.2%) of western Eurasian origin (41%). An analysis of ancient Kazakhs found that East Asian haplogroups such as A and C did not begin to move into the Kazakh steppe region until around the time of the Xiongnu (1st millennia BCE), which is around the onset of the Sargat Culture as well (Lalueza-Fox 2004).[51]

In a sample of 54 Kazakhs and 119 Altaian Kazakh, the main paternal lineages of Kazakhs are: C (66.7% and 59.5%), O (9% and 26%), N (2% and 0%), J (4% and 0%), R (9% and 1%).[52]

In a sample of 3 ethnic Kazakhs the main paternal lineages of Kazakhs are C, R, G, J, N, O, Q.[53]

According to a large-scale Kazakhstani study (1294 persons) published in 2017, Kazakh males belong to the following Y-DNA haplogroups :

Haplogroup % Notes
C2-M217 50.85%, including 24.88% C-M401, 17.39% C-M86, 6.18% C-M407, and 2.40% C-M217(xM401, M48, M407) C-M407 was found predominantly among members of the Qongyrat tribe (64/95 = 67.37%)
R-M207 12.13%, including 6.03% R1a-M198, 3.17% R1b-M478, 1.62% R1b-M269, 1.00% R2-M124 (predicted), and 0.31% R-M207(xM198, M478, M269, M124) R1b-M478 was found predominantly among members of the Qypshaq tribe (12/29 = 41.38%)

R1a-M198 was found with notable frequency among members of the Suan (13/41 = 31.71%) and Oshaqty (8/29 = 27.59%) tribes and among members of the Qoja caste of Islamic scholars and gentlemen (6/30 = 20.00%), although C-M401 was more common than R1a-M198 among members of the Suan and Oshaqty tribes (25/41 = 60.98% and 11/29 = 37.93%, respectively)

O-M175 10.82%, including 9.43% O-M134, 0.70% O-M122(xM134), and 0.70% O-M175(xM122) O-M134 was found predominantly among members of the Naiman tribe (102/155 = 65.81%),
J-M304 8.19%, including 4.10% J2a-M410 (predicted), 3.86% J1-M267 (predicted), and 0.23% J-M304(xJ1, J2a) J1-M267 (predicted) was found predominantly among members of the Ysty tribe (36/57 = 63.16%)
N-M231 5.33%, including 3.79% N-M46, 1.24% N-P43, and 0.31% N-M231(xP43, M46) N-M46 was found predominantly among members of the Syrgeli tribe (21/32 = 65.63%)
G-M201 4.95%, including 3.40% G1-M285, 1.39% G2-P287, and 0.15% G-M201(xM285, P287) G1-M285 was found predominantly among members of the Argyn tribe (26/50 = 52.00%)
Q-M242 3.17% Q-M242 was found predominantly among members of the Qangly tribe (27/40 = 67.50%)
E-M35 1.78%
I-M170 1.55%, including 0.85% I2a-L460 (predicted), 0.39% I1-M253 (predicted), and 0.31% I2b-L415 (predicted)
D-M174 0.46%
L-M20 0.31% (predicted)
H 0.23% (predicted)
T 0.15% (predicted)
K* 0.08%
Source [54]

The distribution was inhomogeneous for some Y-DNA haplogroups: because of this lack of homogeneity among Kazakhs in regard to Y-chromosome DNA, the real percentage of present-day Kazakhs who belong to each Y-DNA haplogroup may differ from the percentages found in this study depending on the proportion of each tribe in the total population of Kazakhs.


Issaliev Rauan
Rauan Isaliyev is captain for the ethnic Russian-dominated Kazakhstan national bandy team
Kazakh woman at the Caspian Sea
Kazakh woman at the Caspian Sea
Ethnic Kazakhs in percent of total population of Kazakhstan
1897 1911 1926 1939 1959 1970 1979 1989 1999 2009
73.9% 60.8% 59.5% 38.0% 30.0% 32.6% 36.0% 39.7% 53.4% 63.1%

Historical population of Kazakhs: [55]

Year Population
1520 1,000,000
1600 1,200,000
1723 2,000,000
1800 2,500,000
1900 3,600,000
1939 3,000,000
1980 6,500,000
2013 13,600,000

Kazakh minorities


Мухаммед-Салих Бабаджанов (1834-1871)
Muhammad Salyk Babazhanov - Kazak anthropologist, a member of Russian Geographical Society.

In Russia, the Kazakh population lives primarily in the regions bordering Kazakhstan. According to latest census (2002) there are 654,000 Kazakhs in Russia, most of whom are in the Astrakhan, Volgograd, Saratov, Samara, Orenburg, Chelyabinsk, Kurgan, Tyumen, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Altai Krai and Altai Republic regions. Though ethnically Kazakh, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, these people acquired Russian citizenship.

Ethnic Kazakhs of Russia[56]
national censuses data
1939 % 1959 % 1970 % 1979 % 1989 % 2002 %
356 646 0.33 382 431 0.33 477 820 0.37 518 060 0.38 635 865 0.43 653 962 0.45


Kazakhs people
Kazakh family in Xinjiang, China, c. 1970

Kazakhs migrated into Dzungaria in the 18th century after the Dzungar genocide resulted in the native Buddhist Dzungar Oirat population being massacred.

Kazakhs, called Hāsàkè Zú in Chinese (; literally "Kazakh people" or "Kazakh tribe") are among 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China. Thousands of Kazakhs fled to China during the 1932–1933 famine in Kazakhstan.

In 1936, after Sheng Shicai expelled 30,000 Kazakhs from Xinjiang to Qinghai, Hui led by General Ma Bufang massacred their fellow Muslim Kazakhs, until there were 135 of them left.[57][58][59]

From Northern Xinjiang over 7,000 Kazakhs fled to the Tibetan-Qinghai plateau region via Gansu and were wreaking massive havoc so Ma Bufang solved the problem by relegating the Kazakhs into designated pastureland in Qinghai, but Hui, Tibetans, and Kazakhs in the region continued to clash against each other.[60] Tibetans attacked and fought against the Kazakhs as they entered Tibet via Gansu and Qinghai. In northern Tibet Kazakhs clashed with Tibetan soldiers and then the Kazakhs were sent to Ladakh.[61] Tibetan troops robbed and killed Kazakhs 400 miles east of Lhasa at Chamdo when the Kazakhs were entering Tibet.[62][63]

In 1934, 1935, and from 1936–1938 Qumil Eliqsan led approximately 18,000 Kerey Kazakhs to migrate to Gansu, entering Gansu and Qinghai.[64]

In China there is one Kazakh autonomous prefecture, the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and three Kazakh autonomous counties: Aksai Kazakh Autonomous County in Gansu, Barkol Kazakh Autonomous County and Mori Kazakh Autonomous County in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Many Kazakhs in China are not fluent in Standard Chinese, instead speaking the Kazakh language. "In that place wholly faraway", based on a Kazakh folk song, is very popular outside the Kazakh regions, especially in the Far Eastern countries of China, Japan and Korea.

At least one million Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other ethnic Muslims in Xinjiang have been detained in mass detention camps, termed "reeducation camps", aimed at changing the political thinking of detainees, their identities, and their religious beliefs.[65][66][67]


Kazakh Eagle Hunters
Kazakh hunters with eagles

In the 19th century, the advance of the Russian Empire troops pushed Kazakhs to neighboring countries. In around 1860, part of the Middle Jüz Kazakhs came to Mongolia and were allowed to settle down in Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia and for most of the 20th century they remained an isolated, tightly knit community. Ethnic Kazakhs (so-called Altaic Kazakhs or Altai-Kazakhs) live predominantly in Western Mongolia in Bayan-Ölgii Province (88.7% of the total population) and Khovd Province (11.5% of the total population, living primarily in Khovd city, Khovd sum and Buyant sum). In addition, a number of Kazakh communities can be found in various cities and towns spread throughout the country. Some of the major population centers with a significant Kazakh presence include Ulaanbaatar (90% in khoroo #4 of Nalaikh düüreg,[68] Töv and Selenge provinces, Erdenet, Darkhan, Bulgan, Sharyngol (17.1% of population total)[69] and Berkh cities.

Ethnic Kazakhs of Mongolia[70]
national censuses data
1956 % 1963 % 1969 % 1979 % 1989 % 2000 % 2010[6] %
36,729 4.34 47,735 4.69 62,812 5.29 84,305 5.48 120,506 6.06 102,983 4.35 101,526 3.69


400,000 Kazakhs live in Karakalpakstan and 100,000 in Tashkent province. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the vast majority of Kazakhs are returning to Kazakhstan, mainly to Manghistau Oblast. Most Kazakhs in Karakalpakstan are descendants of one of the branches of "Junior juz" (Kişi juz) - Adai tribe.


Iran bought Kazakh slaves who were falsely masqueraded as Kalmyks by slave dealers from the Khiva and Turkmens.[71][72]

Iranian Kazakhs live mainly in Golestan Province in northern Iran.[73] According to ethnologue.org, in 1982 there were 3000 Kazakhs living in the city of Gorgan.[74][75] Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the number of Kazakhs in Iran decreased due to emigration to their historical motherland.[76]


Afghan Kypchaks are Aimak (Taimeni) tribe of Kazakh origin that can be found in Obi district to the east of the western Afghan province of Herat, between the rivers Farāh Rud and Hari Rud. Afghan Kypchaks, together with the Durzais and Kakar, two other tribes of Pushtun origin, constitute the Taymani tribe. There are approximately 440,000 Afghan Kipchaks.


Turkey received refugees from among the Pakistan-based Kazakhs, Turkmen, Kirghiz, and Uzbeks numbering 3,800 originally from Afghanistan during the Soviet–Afghan War.[77] Kayseri, Van, Amasya, Çiçekdağ, Gaziantep, Tokat, Urfa, and Serinyol received via Adana the Pakistan-based Kazakh, Turkmen, Kirghiz, and Uzbek refugees numbering 3,800 with UNHCR assistance.[78]

In 1954 and 1969 Kazakhs migrated into Anatolia's Salihli, Develi and Altay regions.[79] Turkey became home to refugee Kazakhs.[80]

The Kazakh Turks Foundation (Kazak Türkleri Vakfı) is an organization of Kazakhs in Turkey.[81]


Kazakh wedding 3
Kazakh wedding


One of the most commonly used traditional musical instruments of the Kazakhs is the dombra, a plucked lute with two strings. It is often used to accompany solo or group singing. Another popular instrument is kobyz, a bow instrument played on the knees. Along with other instruments, these two instruments play a key role in the traditional Kazakh orchestra. A notable composer is Kurmangazy, who lived in the 19th century. After studying in Moscow, Gaziza Zhubanova became the first woman classical composer in Kazakhstan, whose compositions reflect Kazakh history and folklore. A notable singer of the Soviet epoch is Roza Rymbaeva, she was a star of the trans-Soviet-Union scale. A notable Kazakh rock band is Urker, performing in the genre of ethno-rock, which synthesises rock music with the traditional Kazakh music.

See also


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  3. ^ Census 2000 counts 1.25 trillion Kazakhs The Kazak Ethnic Group, later the Kazakh population had higher birth rate, but some assimilation processes were present too. Estimates made after the 2000 Census claim Kazakh population share growth (was 0.104% in 2000), but even if this share value was preserved at 0.104% level it would be no less than 1.4 million in 2008
  4. ^ Kazakh population share was constant at 4.1% in 1959–1989, CIA estimates this share declined to 3% in 1996. Official Uzbekistan estimation (E. Yu. Sadovskaya "Migration in Kazakhstan in the beginning of the 21st century: main tendentions and perspectives" ISBN 978-9965-593-01-7) in 1999 was 940,600 Kazakhs or 3.8% of total population. If Kazakh population share was stable at about 4.1% (not taking into account the massive repatriation of ethnic Kazakhs (Oralman) to Kazakhstan estimated over 0.6 million) and the Uzbekistan population in the middle of 2008 was 27.3 million, the Kazakh population would be 1.1 million. Using the CIA estimate of the share of Kazakhs (3%), the total Kazakh population in Uzbekistan would be 0.8 million
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External links


The Dughlat clan (Kazakh: Дулат, Duǵlat, Dulu, Doly, lit. 'ruthless or fierce warrior'; Mongolian: Dolood/sevens, Doloo/seven; Middle Mongolian: Doluga, Dolugad; Dulğat) was a Mongol (later Turko-Mongol) clan that served the Chagatai khans as hereditary vassal rulers of the several cities of the western Tarim Basin from the 14th century until the 16th century. The most famous member of the clan, Mirza Muhammad Haidar, was a military adventurer, historian, and the ruler of Kashmir (1541–1551). His historical work, the Tarikh-i Rashidi, provides much of the information known about the family.

History of Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan, the largest country fully within the Eurasian Steppe, has been a historical "crossroads" and home to numerous different peoples, states and empires throughout history.

Islam in Kazakhstan

Islam is the largest religion practiced in Kazakhstan, with estimates of between 47% to 70.2% of the country's population being Muslim. Ethnic Kazakhs are predominantly Sunni Muslims of the Hanafi school. There are also small number of Shia and few Ahmadi Muslims. Geographically speaking, Kazakhstan is the northernmost Muslim-majority country in the world. Kazakhs make up over half of the total population, and other ethnic groups of Muslim background include Uzbeks, Uyghurs and Tatars. Islam first arrived on the southern edges of the region in the 8th century from Arabs.

Kazakh Americans

Kazakh Americans are Americans of full or partial Kazakh ancestry. Although in the 1960s the population of Kazakh origin in United States was estimated in 3,000 people, the Census 2000 puts the population size in less of 300 people. According to the American Community Survey in 2010-2012 there were more than 23,000 people born in Kazakhstan, but not all of them are of Kazakh ethnicity.

Kazakh Canadians

Kazakh Canadians are Canadian citizens of Kazakh descent or persons of Kazakh descent residing in Canada. According to the 2011 Census there were 2,270 Canadians who claimed Kazakh ancestry. Association of Kazakhs in Canada has been formed on November 12, 2003 in Toronto, Ontario.

Kazakh Khanate

The Kazakh Khanate (Kazakh: Қазақ Хандығы, Qazaq Handyǵy, قازاق حاندىعى) was a successor of the Golden Horde existing from the 15th to 19th century, located roughly on the territory of the present-day Republic of Kazakhstan. At its height, the khanate ruled from eastern Cumania (modern-day West Kazakhstan) to most of Uzbekistan, Karakalpakstan and the Syr Darya river with military confrontation as far as Astrakhan and Khorasan Province, which are now in Russia and Iran, respectively. The Khanate was later weakened by a series of Oirat and Dzungar invasions, devastating raids and warfare. These resulted in a decline and further disintegration into three Jüz-es, which gradually lost their sovereignty and were incorporated to the expanding Russian Empire. Its establishment marked the beginning of Kazakh statehood whose 550th anniversary was celebrated in 2015.

Kazakh cuisine

Kazakh cuisine is the cuisine of Kazakhstan, and traditionally is focused on mutton and horse meat, as well as various milk products. For hundreds of years, Kazakhs were herders who raised fat-tailed sheep, Bactrian camels, and horses, relying on these animals for transportation, clothing, and food. The cooking techniques and major ingredients have been strongly influenced by the nation's nomadic way of life. For example, most cooking techniques are aimed at long-term preservation of food. There is a large practice of salting and drying meat so that it will last, and there is a preference for sour milk, as it is easier to save in a nomadic lifestyle.Meat in various forms has always been the primary ingredient of Kazakh cuisine, and traditional Kazakh cooking is based on boiling. Horse and mutton are the most popular forms of meat and are most often served in large uncut pieces, which have been boiled. Kazakhs cared especially for horses which they intended to slaughter—keeping them separate from other animals and feeding them so much that they often became so fat they had difficulty moving.

Kazakh famine of 1932–33

The Kazakh famine of 1930–1933, known in Kazakhstan as the Goloshchekin genocide (Kazakh: Goloshekındik genotsıd), also known as the Kazakh catastrophe, was a man-made famine where 1.5 million (possibly as many as 2.0–2.3 million) people died in Soviet Kazakhstan, of whom 1.3 million were ethnic Kazakhs; 38% of all Kazakhs died, the highest percentage of any ethnic group killed in the Soviet famines of the early 1930s.It was the most severe of all regions affected by famine, percentage-wise, though more people died in the Ukrainian Holodomor, which began a year later. In addition to the Kazakh famine of 1919–1922, in 10–15 years Kazakhstan lost more than half of its population due to the actions of the Soviet power. Some historians assume that 42% of the entire Kazakh population died in the famine. The two Soviet censuses show that the number of the Kazakhs in Kazakhstan dropped from 3,637,612 in 1926 to 2,181,520 in 1937.The famine made Kazakhs a minority in the Kazakh ASSR, and not until the 1990s did Kazakhs become the largest group in Kazakhstan again. Before the famine, around 60% of the republic's population were Kazakhs, but after the famine, only around 38% of the population were Kazakhs.A monument has been constructed in 2017.

Kazakhs in China

Kazakhs are a Turkic ethnic group, called Hāsàkè Zú in Chinese (哈萨克族; literally "Kazakh ethnic group"), and are among 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China.

During the fall of the Dzungar Khanate, the Manchus massacred the native Dzungar Oirat Mongols of Dzungaria in the Dzungar genocide and filled in the depopulated area with immigrants from many parts of their empire. Kazakhs from the Kazakh Khanates were among the peoples who moved into the depopulated Dzungaria. Dzungaria was subjected to mass Kazakh settlement after the defeat of the Dzungars. In the 19th century, the advance of the Russian Empire troops pushed Kazakhs to neighboring countries. In China there is one Kazakh autonomous prefecture, the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, three Kazakh autonomous counties, Aksai Kazakh Autonomous County in Gansu, Barkol Kazakh Autonomous County and Mori Kazakh Autonomous County in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Russians originally referred to Kazakhs as Kirghiz.

In the 19th century, Russian settlers on traditional Kirghiz land drove a lot of the Kirghiz over the border to China, causing their population to increase in China. Compared to Russian controlled areas, more benefits were given to the Kirghiz on the Chinese controlled areas. Russian settlers fought against the nomadic Kirghiz, which led the Russians to believe that the Kirghiz would be a liability in any conflict against China. The Muslim Kirghiz were sure that in an upcoming war, that China would defeat Russia.To escape Russians slaughtering them in 1916, Kazakhs escaped to China. Xinjiang became a sanctuary for fleeing Kazakhs escaping the Russians after the Muslims faced conscription by the Russian government.Soviet persecution of Kazakhs led to Kazakhs from Soviet Kazakhstan moving to Xinjiang.An estimate of 65,000 Kirghiz, 92,000 Hui, 326,000 Kazakh, 187,000 Han, and 2,984,000 Uyghur adding up to a total population of 3,730,000 in all of Xinjiang in 1941 was estimated by Toops, and 4,334,000 people lived in Xinjiang according to Hoppe in 1949.The Kazakhs had settled in the Dzungaria area of Xinjiang after the Dzungar genocide by the Manchus wiped out most of the native Dzungar Oirats and fleeing from Soviet engineered famines against the Kazakhs like the Kazakh famine of 1919–1922 and Kazakhstan famine of 1932-1933. The Kazakhs had defected to the Republic of China and fought against the Soviet Communist backed Uyghur Second East Turkestan Republic in the Ili Rebellion.

Kazakhs in Russia

In Russia, the Kazakh population lives in the regions bordering Kazakhstan. The 2010 Russian census recorded 647,732 Kazakhs living mostly in the Astrakhan Oblast, Volgograd Oblast, Samara Oblast, Orenburg Oblast, Chelyabinsk Oblast, Kurgan Oblast, Tyumen Oblast, Omsk Oblast, Novosibirsk Oblast and Altai Krai regions. During the 1920s significant numbers of Kazakh families were left outside the designated Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic; after the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, they acquired Russian citizenship.


Kazakhstan (Kazakh: Қазақстан, translit. Qazaqstan, IPA: [qɑzɑqˈstɑn] (listen); Russian: Казахстан, IPA: [kəzɐxˈstan]), officially the Republic of Kazakhstan (Kazakh: Қазақстан Республикасы, translit. Qazaqstan Respýblıkasy; Russian: Республика Казахстан, tr. Respublika Kazakhstan), is the world's largest landlocked country, and the ninth largest in the world, with an area of 2,724,900 square kilometres (1,052,100 sq mi). It is a transcontinental country largely located in Asia; the most western parts are in Europe. Kazakhstan is the dominant nation of Central Asia economically, generating 60% of the region's GDP, primarily through its oil and gas industry. It also has vast mineral resources.Kazakhstan is officially a democratic, secular, unitary, constitutional republic with a diverse cultural heritage. Kazakhstan shares borders with Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, and also adjoins a large part of the Caspian Sea. The terrain of Kazakhstan includes flatlands, steppe, taiga, rock canyons, hills, deltas, snow-capped mountains, and deserts. Kazakhstan has an estimated 18.3 million people as of 2018. Given its large land area, its population density is among the lowest, at less than 6 people per square kilometre (15 people per sq mi). The capital is Astana, where it was moved in 1997 from Almaty, the country's largest city.

The territory of Kazakhstan has historically been inhabited by Turkic nomads who trace their ancestry to many Turkic states such as Turkic Khaganate etc. In the 13th century, the territory joined the Mongolian Empire under Genghis Khan. By the 16th century, the Kazakh emerged as a distinct group, divided into three jüz (ancestor branches occupying specific territories). The Russians began advancing into the Kazakh steppe in the 18th century, and by the mid-19th century, they nominally ruled all of Kazakhstan as part of the Russian Empire. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, and subsequent civil war, the territory of Kazakhstan was reorganised several times. In 1936, it was made the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, part of the Soviet Union.

Kazakhstan was the last of the Soviet republics to declare independence during the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Nursultan Nazarbayev, the first President of Kazakhstan, was characterized as an authoritarian, and his government was accused of numerous human rights violations, including suppression of dissent and censorship of the media. Nazarbayev resigned in March 2019, with Senate Chairman Kassym-Jomart Tokayev taking office as Interim President. Kazakhstan has worked to develop its economy, especially its dominant hydrocarbon industry. Human Rights Watch says that "Kazakhstan heavily restricts freedom of assembly, speech, and religion", and other human rights organisations regularly describe Kazakhstan's human rights situation as poor.

Kazakhstan's 131 ethnicities include Kazakhs (63% of the population), Russians, Uzbeks, Ukrainians, Germans, Tatars, and Uyghurs. Islam is the religion of about 70% of the population, with Christianity practised by 26%. Kazakhstan officially allows freedom of religion, but religious leaders who oppose the government are suppressed. The Kazakh language is the state language, and Russian has equal official status for all levels of administrative and institutional purposes. Kazakhstan is a member of the United Nations, WTO, CIS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Eurasian Economic Union, CSTO, OSCE, OIC, and TURKSOY.

List of Kazakh khans

Starting from the formation of the Kazakhs in the mid-15th century, the Kazakhs khans led both the unified Kazakh Khanate and later the three main Kazakh divisions. Khan is a title for a ruler used by nomadic and semi-nomadic groups throughout Central Asia.

The Kazakhs were originally members of the Uzbek tribes who, under the leadership of Abu'l-Khayr Khan, migrated from the northwestern part of the Dasht-i Qipchaq south towards Ma Wara'un-Nahr in the 1430s and 1440s and attacked parts of the Timurid Empire. Two tribal leaders, Kerei and Janibek, who were themselves descendants of Urus Khan and by extension Genghis Khan, decided to leave the service of Abu'l-Khayr Khan. Those who followed Kerei and Janibek become known as the Uzbek-Kazakhs, Kazakh being a Turkic word which roughly translates as "vagabond" or "freebooter". Abu'l-Khayr Khan died in 1468, and for the next three decades many of his followers began recognizing the authority of the Uzbek-Kazakh khans - Kerei, Janibek, and Kerei's son Burundyq. By 1500, however, a new leader known as Muhammad Shaybani Khan united many of the Uzbeks under his control and pushed further south into modern-day Uzbekistan, while the Uzbek-Kazakhs, who by this time were known simply as Kazakhs, remained in the steppe. The Uzbeks continued to be ruled by Muhammad Shaybani Khan and his descendants, while the Kazakhs were ruled by the descendants of Kerei and Janibek.

After the death of Tauke Khan in 1718 the Kazakh Khanate ceased to exist as a unified entity. Instead, the three different jüz, or hordes, of the Kazakhs became independent units, each with their own khan. Throughout the 18th century the Russians continued to expand into the steppe region. As part of diplomatic relations, the Kazakh khans, especially from the Junior jüz in the west, would declare allegiance to Russia and the tsar, though these declarations had no actual impact beyond words. By the turn of the 19th century, however, the Russians began to exert authority over the Kazakhs and the position of khan. The Russians chose to not appoint a new khan for the Middle jüz after 1819 and abolished the position of khan in the Junior jüz after Shergazy Khan's death in 1824.

The Russians also effected the creation of a new line of khans, the "Inner Horde" or "Bokei jüz". This jüz was made up of members of the Junior jüz who were allowed in 1801 to use pastures west of the Ural river in Russian territory. The position of khan in the Bokei jüz lasted until 1845, when it was also abolished by the Russians.In the 1840s a man named Kenesary, a descendant of Ablay Khan, launched a rebellion against Russian rule, which by this time extended across most of modern-day Kazakhstan. He was recognized by most Kazakh leaders as Kenesary Khan, and is considered in Kazakh histories today to be an official khan, though he was never recognized by the Russian authorities as such. Though the Russians pursued Kenesary for years across the steppe, he had broad support among the Kazakhs and as a result was able to eluded capture until 1847, when he was executed in northern Kyrgyzstan.The following list shows the known khans of the Kazakhs from 1456 to 1847.

List of Kazakhs

This is a list of famous Kazakhs.

List of Kazakhs by net worth

This is a list of Kazakhstani billionaires based on an annual assessment of wealth and assets compiled and published by Forbes magazine in 2019.

Malovodnoye, Almaty

Malovodnoye is an ethnically Kazakh village in Almaty Region of south-eastern Kazakhstan. It is located in the Enbekshikazakh District, approximately 75 kilometres north-east of Almaty and midway between the larger settlements of Yevgenyevka and Yanaturmysh. Numerous clashes between Kazakhs and ethnic Chechens have broken out in the village, notably in March-April 2007.


The Naiman (Kazakh: Найман; Uzbek: Nayman; Khalkha-Mongolian: Найман/Naiman, "eight") is a tribe originating in Mongolia, one of the tribes in middle juz of Kazakh nation.

Religion in Kazakhstan

According to various polls, the majority of Kazakhstan's citizens, primarily ethnic Kazakhs, identify as non-denominational Muslims, while others incline towards Sunni of the Hanafi school, traditionally including ethnic Kazakhs, who constitute about 63.6% of the population, as well as ethnic Uzbeks, Uighurs, and Tatars. Less than 1% are part of the Shafi`i (primarily Chechens) and Shi'a. There are a total of 2,300 mosques, all of them affiliated with the "Spiritual Association of Muslims of Kazakhstan", headed by a supreme mufti. The Eid al-Adha is recognized as a national holiday.Less than 25% of the population of Kazakhstan is Russian Orthodox, traditionally including ethnic Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians. Other Christian groups include Catholics, Protestants (Baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Pentecostals, Methodists, Mennonites and Seventh-day Adventists), Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons. There are a total of 265 registered Orthodox churches, 93 Catholic churches, and 543 Protestant churches and prayer houses. Christmas, rendered in the Russian Orthodox manner according to the Julian calendar, is recognized as a national holiday in Kazakhstan.Other religious registered groups include Judaism, the Bahá'í Faith, Hinduism, Buddhism, the Church of Scientology, Christian Science, and the Unification Church.The country is multiethnic, with a long tradition of tolerance and secularism. Since independence, the number of mosques and churches has increased greatly. However, the population is sometimes wary of minority religious groups and groups that proselytize. There were several reports of citizens filing complaints with authorities after their family members became involved with such groups. Leaders of the four religious groups the government considers "traditional" – Islam, Russian Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Judaism – reported general acceptance and tolerance that other religious groups did not always enjoy.


A zhuz (Kazakh: жүз, translit. júz, ٴجۇز, pronounced [ʑʏz], also translated as "horde" or "hundred") is one of the three main territorial and tribal divisions in the Kypchak Plain area that covers much of the contemporary Kazakhstan, and represents the main tribal division within the ethnic group of the Kazakhs.

The Senior zhuz (Kazakh: Ұлы жүз, translit. Uly júz, ۇلى ٴجۇز) or Uly zhuz covers territories of southern and southeastern Kazakhstan, northwestern China (Xinjiang) and parts of Uzbekistan.

The Middle zhuz (Kazakh: Орта жүз, translit. Orta júz, ورتا ٴجۇز) or Orta zhuz consists of six tribes, covering central and eastern Kazakhstan

The Junior zhuz (Kazakh: Кіші жүз, translit. Kishi júz, كىشى ٴجۇز)) or Kishi zhuz consists of three tribes, covering western Kazakhstan and western Russia (Orenburg Oblast).

Minorities >1%
Minorities <1%
See also
European Muslims

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