|Кыргыздар, Kırgızdar, قیرغیزدار|
|c. 5 million|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Kyrgyz, Russian, Chinese|
|Predominantly Sunni Islam|
^a At the 2009 census, ethnic Kyrgyz constituted roughly 71% of population of Kyrgyzstan (5.36 million).
What does their name mean[change | change source]
It also means "imperishable", "inextinguishable" and "immortal".[source?]
Where are they from[change | change source]
They come from Southern Siberia since at least 201 BC. They descend from the Yenisei Kyrgyz. The Yenisei Kyrgyz lived in the upper Yenisey River valley, central Siberia. The earliest Kyrgyz were also related to the Sakas (Scythians), Wusun, Dingling, Mongols and Xiongnu.
History[change | change source]
In 840, the Kyrgyz allied with the Tang dynasty to defeat the Uyghur Khaganate (Mongolia). The Kyrgyz qaghan (king) killed the Uyghur qaghan and rescued Princess Taihe. They moved to Jeti-su and spread south to the Tian Shan mountains and Xinjiang. The Kyrgyz then lived peacefully around Central Asia and Xinjiang, as vassals to the Tang.
The Tanghuiyao (8–10 c) called them Tsze-gu (Kirgut) and Xiajiasi. According to Tang records Xiajia could mean "yellow head and red face". That's what the Uyghurs called the Kyrgyz. Their tamga (tribe symbol) is identical to the modern day Kyrgyz tamga.
Russia then took over, Modern Kyrgyzstan declared independence in 1991.
By the 16th century they lived in Siberia, Xinjiang, Tian Shan, Pamir-Alay, Middle Asia, Urals, Kazakhstan, etc. In China, the term Kyrgyz also refers to the oldest Turkic tribes that lived there (the Tiele and Yeniseian Kyrgyz).
Genes: they look East Asian[change | change source]
Religion[change | change source]
But they were originally shamanist. Arab traders travelled along the Silk Road and arrived by the 8th century. But the Kyrgyz were not immediately converted. The Persian text Hudud al-'alam, said that the Kyrgyz "venerate the Fire and burn the dead".
Chinese-Kyrgyz[change | change source]
The Kyrgyz-Chinese are one of the 56 ethnic groups of China. There are more than 145,000 Kyrgyz livinng in China. They are known as Kē'ěrkèzī zú (Chinese: 柯尔克孜族). They live mainly in Xinjiang.
In the 19th century, the Russians conquered Kyrgyz land and drove many to China. The Kyrgyz had a better life in China than in Russia. The Russians fought against the Muslim nomadic Kyrgyz. But because there were so many Chinese-Kyrgyz, the Russians stopped because they did not want to fight against the Chinese. The Muslim Kyrgyz were sure that in any upcoming conflict, China would defeat Russia.
Some are called the "Fuyu Kyrgyz". They are Yenisei Kirghiz (Khakas people) people. In the 17th c, the Dzungar khanate moved them from the Yenisei river to Dzungaria. In the 18th c, the Qing dynasty then defeated Dzungaria and moved them to Manchuria. They now live in Wujiazi Village, Fuyu County, Heilongjiang. Their language is related to the Khakas language (the Fuyü Gïrgïs dialect).
Language[change | change source]
They speak a Turkic language. It used to be written in Turkic old script. In Kyrgyzstan, it is written with the Cyrillic alphabet. In China it is written with an Arabic script. President Atambaev of Kyrgyzstan said switching from Cyrillic to Latin (like Kazakhstan had) may hurt communication with Kyrgyz people in Russia.
Sources[change | change source]
- 2009 Census preliminary results Archived 2011-07-24 at Archive.today (in Russian)
- "Ethnic composition of the population in Kyrgyzstan 1999–2014" (PDF) (in Russian). National Statistical Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 July 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- 5.01.00.03 Национальный состав населения. [5.01.00.03 Total population by nationality] (XLS). Bureau of Statistics of Kyrgyzstan (in Russian, Kyrgyz, and English). 2019.
- 新疆维吾尔自治区统计局 (in Chinese). Xinjiang Bureau of Statistics. Archived from the original on 2018-11-01. Retrieved 2018-01-08.
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- "Wak.p65" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-02-28.
- Ukrainian population census 2001[dead link]: Distribution of population by nationality. Retrieved on 23 April 2009
- West, Barbara A., p. 440
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- Pulleyblank 1990, p.108.
- Zuev, Yu.A., Horse Tamgas from Vassal Princedoms (Translation of Chinese composition "Tanghuyao" of 8–10th centuries), Kazakh SSR Academy of Sciences, Alma-Ata, 1960, p. 103 (in Russian)
- GB3304-91 中国各民族名称的罗马字母拼写法和代码 Archived 2010-05-03 at the Wayback Machine
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|volume=has extra text (help)
- Drompp, Michael Robert (2005). Tang China and the collapse of the Uighur Empire: a documentary history. Volume 13 of Brill's Inner Asian library (illustrated ed.). BRILL. p. 126. ISBN 978-90-04-14129-2. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
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- Rachel Lung, Rachel (2011). Interpreters in Early Imperial China. John Benjamins Publishing Company. p. 108. ISBN 978-90-272-2444-6. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
During the reign period of Kaiyuan of [emperor] Xuanzong, Ge Jiayun, composed A Record of the Western Regions, in which he said "the people of the Jiankun state all have red hair and green eyes. The ones with dark eyes were descendants of [the Chinese general] Li Ling [who was captured by the Xiongnu]...of Tiele tribe and called themselves Hegu.
- Abramzon S.M. The Kirgiz and their ethnogenetical historical and cultural connections, Moscow, 1971, p. 45
- Abramzon S.M., p. 31
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- Martínez-Cruz, B; Vitalis, R; Ségurel, L; Austerlitz, F; Georges, M; Théry, S; Quintana-Murci, L; Hegay, T; Aldashev, A (2011). "In the heartland of Eurasia: the multilocus genetic landscape of Central Asian populations". Eur J Hum Genet. 19 (2): 216–23. doi:10.1038/ejhg.2010.153. PMC 3025785. PMID 20823912.
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