Kazakh clothing
Total population
approx. 14,000,000
Regions with significant populations
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan 10,098,600 [1]
China China 1,500,000 [2]
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan 800,000 [3]
Russia Russia 647,732 [4]
Mongolia Mongolia 101,526 [5]

Kazakh, Russian, Chinese


Sunni Islam, Tengrism, Atheism

Related ethnic groups

Nogais, Karakalpaks, Mongols, other Turkic peoples

The Kazakhs (Kazakh: Қазақтар (Cyrillic)/قازاقتار (Perso-Arabic) Qazaqtar, Russian: Казахи) also spelled Kazaks, Qazaqs; are a Turkic people of Eastern Europe and the northern parts of Central Asia (largely Kazakhstan, but also found in parts of Uzbekistan, China, Russia and Mongolia).

Kazakh identity is of medieval origin and was strongly shaped by foundation of the Kazakh Khanate in 1456–1465. The formation of Khanate began when several tribes under the rule of sultans Janybek and Kerey departed from the Khanate of Abu'l-Khayr Khan.

Kazakhs are descendants of the Turkic tribes – Argyns, Khazars, Qarluqs; and of the Kipchaks and Cumans,[6][7] and other tribes such as the Huns, and ancient Iranian nomads like the Sarmatians, Saka and Scythians from East Europe populated the territory between Siberia and the Black Sea and remained in Central Asia and Eastern Europe when the nomadic groups started to invade and conquer the area between the 5th and 13th centuries AD.[8][9][10][11]


The Kazakhs probably began using this name during either the 15th or 16th centuries.[12] 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 prototurkic word khasaq (a wheeled cart used by the Kazakhs to transport their yurts and belongings).[13]

In the 19th century, one etymological explanation was that the name came from the popular Kazakh legend of the white goose (qaz means "goose", aq means "white").[13][14] In this creation myth, a white steppe goose turned into a princess, who in turn gave birth to the first Kazakh. This etymological derivation is regarded as flawed because, in Turkic languages, the adjective is put before the noun, and therefore "white goose" would be Aqqaz, not Qazaq.[citation needed]

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. 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.[15]

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 (Qazaqness).[16] At the time of the Uzbek nomads' Conquest of Central Asia, the Uzbek khan Abul-Khayr had differences with the Chinggisid chiefs Kerei and Janibek, descendants of Urus Khan.
File:SB - Inside a Kazakh yurt.jpg
These differences probably resulted from the crushing defeat of Abul-Khayr Khan at the hands of the Qalmaqs.[17] 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.[18] 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). Later Russian language sources incorrectly termed them Kirghiz and Kirghiz-Kaisak.

The word Kazakh stems largely from a Russian convention seeking to distinguish the Qazaqs of the steppes from the Cossacks of the Russian Imperial military.

  • Kazakh – Казах
  • Cossack – Казак

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

8th century to 15th centuryEdit

The Qarluqs, a confederation of Turkic tribes, established a state in what is now eastern Kazakhstan in 766. In the 8th and 9th centuries, portions of southern Kazakhstan were conquered by Arabs, who introduced Islam. The Oghuz Turks controlled western Kazakhstan from the 9th through the 11th centuries; the Kimak and Kipchak peoples, also of Turkic origin, controlled the east at roughly the same time. In turn the Cumans controlled western Kazakhstan roughly from the 1100s until the 1220s. The large central desert of Kazakhstan is still called Dashti-Kipchak, or the Kipchak Steppe.[curtis 1] The capital (Astana) was home of a lot of Huns and Saka.

In the 9th century, the Qarluq confederation formed the Qarakhanid state, which then conquered Transoxiana, the area north and east of the Oxus River (the present-day Amu Darya). Beginning in the early 11th century, the Qarakhanids fought constantly among themselves and with the Seljuk Turks to the south. The Qarakhanids, who had converted to Islam, were conquered in the 1130s by the Kara-Khitan, a Mongolic people who moved west from Northern China. In the mid-12th century, an independent state of Khorazm along the Oxus River broke away from the weakening Karakitai, but the bulk of the Kara-Khitan lasted until the Mongol invasion of Genghis Khan in 1219–1221.[curtis 1]

After the Mongol capture of the Kara-Khitan, Kazakhstan fell under the control of a succession of rulers of the Mongol Golden Horde, the western branch of the Mongol Empire. The horde, or jüz, is the precursor of the present-day clan. By the early 15th century, the ruling structure had split into several large groups known as khanates, including the Nogai Horde and the Uzbek Khanate.[curtis 1]

Kazakh Khanate (1465–1731)Edit

Abdul Khair

Stamp of Kazakhstan devoted to Abilqaiyr Khan

The Kazakh Khanate (Kazakh: Қазақ хандығы) was founded in 1465 on the banks of Jetysu (literally means seven rivers) in the south eastern part of present Republic of Kazakhstan by Janibek Khan and Kerei Khan. During the reign of Qasym Khan (1511–1523), the Kazakh Khanate expanded considerably. Qasym Khan instituted the first Kazakh code of laws in 1520, called "Qasym Khannyn Qasqa Zholy" (Bright Road of Qasym Khan).

At its height the Khanate would rule parts of Central Asia and control Cumania. The Kazakhs nomads would raid people of Russian territory for slaves until the Russians conquered Kazakhstan.

Other prominent Kazakh khans included Haqnazar Khan, Esim Khan, Tauke Khan, and Ablai Khan.

The Kazakh Khanate did not always have a unified government. The Kazakhs were traditionally divided into three parts – the Great jüz, Middle jüz, and Little jüz. All juzes had to agree in order to have a common khan. In particular, in 1731 there was no strong Kazakh leadership, and the three juzes were incorporated into the Russian Empire one by one. At that point, the Kazakh Khanate ceased to exist.

The Kazakh Khanate is described in historical texts such as the Tarikh-i-Rashidi (1541–1545) by Muhammad Haidar Dughlat, and Zhamigi-at-Tavarikh (1598–1599) by Kadyrgali Kosynuli Zhalayir.

Russian Rule 1731–1917Edit

Russian traders and soldiers began to appear on the northwestern edge of Kazakh territory in the 17th

Kazakhs deliver a white horse as a gift to the Qianlong Emperor of China (1757), soon after the Qing expelled the Mongols from Xinjiang. Soon, intensive trade started in Yining and Tacheng, Kazakh horses, sheep and goats being traded for Chinese silk and cotton fabrics

century, when Cossacks established the forts that later became the cities of Yaitsk ( modern Oral) and Guryev (modern Atyrau). Russians were able to seize Kazakh territory because the khanates were preoccupied by Zunghar Oirats, who in the late 16th century had begun to move into Kazakh territory from the east. Forced westward in what they call their Great Retreat, the Kazakhs were increasingly caught between the Kalmyks and the Russians.

Two of Kazakh Hordes were depend of Oirat Huntaiji. In 1730 Abilqaiyr, one of the khans of the Lesser Horde, sought Russian assistance. Although Abilqaiyr's intent had been to form a temporary alliance against the stronger Kalmyks, the Russians gained permanent control of the Lesser Horde as a result of his decision. The Russians conquered the Middle Horde by 1798, but the Great Horde managed to remain independent until the 1820s, when the expanding Kokand Khanate to the south forced the Great Horde khans to choose Russian protection, which seemed to them the lesser of two evils.

The colonization of Kazakhstan by Russia was slowed down by numerous uprisings and wars in 19th century. For example, uprisings of Isatay Taymanuly and Makhambet Utemisuly in 1836 – 1838 and the war led by Eset Kotibaruli in 1847 – 1858 were one of such events of anti-colonial resistance.

In 1863, Russian Empire elaborated a new imperial policy, announced in the Gorchakov Circular, asserting the right to annex "troublesome" areas on the empire's borders. This policy led immediately to the Russian conquest of the rest of Central Asia and the creation of two administrative districts, the General-Gubernatorstvo (Governor-Generalship) of Russian Turkestan and that of the Steppe. Most of present-day Kazakhstan was in the Steppe District, and parts of present-day southern Kazakhstan, including Almaty (Verny), were in the Governor-Generalship.[curtis 2]

In the early 19th century, the construction of Russian forts began to have a destructive effect on the Kazakh traditional economy by limiting the once-vast territory over which the nomadic tribes could drive their herds and flocks. The final disruption of nomadism began in the 1890s, when many Russian settlers were introduced into the fertile lands of northern and eastern Kazakhstan.[curtis 2]

In 1906, the Trans-Aral Railway between Orenburg and Tashkent was completed, further facilitating Russian colonization of the fertile lands of Semirechie. Between 1906 and 1912, more than a half-million Russian farms were started as part of the reforms of Russian minister of the interior Petr Stolypin, putting immense pressure on the traditional Kazakh way of life by occupying grazing land and using scarce water resources. The administrator for Turkestan (current Kazakhstan) Vasile Balabanov was responsible for the Russian resettlement during this time. Starving and displaced, many Kazakhs joined in the general Central Asian Revolt against conscription into the Russian imperial army, which the tsar ordered in July 1916 as part of the effort against Germany in World War I. In late 1916, Russian forces brutally suppressed the widespread-armed resistance to the taking of land and conscription of Central Asians. Thousands of Kazakhs were killed, and thousands of others fled to China and Mongolia.[curtis 2]

Many Kazakhs and Russians fought the communist takeover and resisted their control until 1920.

Alash Horde 1917-1920Edit

In 1917 a group of secular nationalists called the Alash Orda Horde of Alash, named for a legendary founder of the Kazakh people, attempted to set up an independent national government – the Alash Autonomy. This state lasted just over two years (13 December 1917 to 26 August 1920) before surrendering to the Bolshevik authorities, who then sought to preserve Russian control under a new political system.[curtis 3]

During this period, the Russian administrator Vasile Balabanov had control much of the time with General Dootoff.

Soviet Rule 1917-1991 (Kazakh SSR)Edit

The Kyrgyz Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was set up in 1920 and was renamed the Kazakh Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in 1925 when the Kazakhs were differentiated officially from the Kyrgyz. The Russian Empire recognized the ethnic difference between the two groups; it called them both Kyrgyz to avoid confusion between the terms Kazakh and Cossack (both names originating from Turkic "free man".)

In 1925, the autonomous republic's original capital, Orenburg possibly from Horn-(meaning corner) and Burg- (meaning Castle), was reincorporated into Russian territory. Kyzylorda became capital of it till 1929. Almaty (called Alma-Ata during the Soviet period), a provincial city in the far southeast, became the new capital in 1929. In 1936 the territory was made a full Soviet republic, the Kazakh SSR, also called Kazakhstan. With an area of, the Kazakh SSR was the second largest constituent republic of the Soviet Union.

Famines (1929-1934)Edit

From 1929 to 1934, during the period when Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was trying to collectivize agriculture, Kazakhstan endured repeated famines, similar to the Holodomor[19] in Ukraine, for which it may have provided a model,[20] because peasants had slaughtered their livestock in protest against Soviet agricultural policy.[21] In that period, over a million Kazakhs[22] and 80 percent of the republic's livestock died. Thousands more Kazakhs tried to escape to China, although most starved in the attempt.

Republic of Kazakhstan 1991-presentEdit

On 16 December 1986, the Soviet Politburo dismissed the long serving General Secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan, Dinmukhamed Konayev. His successor was Gennady Kolbin from Ulyanovsk, Russia. This caused demonstrations protesting this move. These demonstrations were violently suppressed by the authorities, "between two and twenty people lost their lives, and between 763 and 1137 received injuries. Between 2212 and 2336 demonstrators were arrested".[23] Also Kolbin prepared to unleash a purge within the Communist Youth League against any sympathisers, these moves were halted by Moscow. Later, in September 1989, Kolbin was replaced with a Kazakh, Nursultan Nazarbayev. Under Nazarebayev's influential leadership, Kazakhstan took lots of steps in improving relations with both their Russian neighbor and its western neighbors .


Kazakh text

A 1920s Kazakh text in both Cyrillic and Perso-Arabic scripts

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 in place of reconstructed proto-Turkic and in place of; furthermore, Kazakh has  where other Turkic languages have.

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 is the national language of Kazakhstan. It is also spoken in the Ili region of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China, where a big Kazakh community lives, as well as in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Russia.

Additionally, many Kazakhs are also fluent in the Russian language, and Russian is an official language in Kazakhstan. The overwhelming majority of Kazakhs within Kazakhstan are Russophone. Kazakhstan is one of two Central Asian former Soviet states that has kept Russian an official language, the other being Kyrgyzstan. Kazakhs also bear Russian influence in their names, they bear names of Arabic and Turkish origin and add the Slavic suffix "-ov" or "-ev". 

The Kazakhs living in China and Mongolia however, do not speak Russian as a second language. They speak the respective national and/or official languages of their home countries, in this case, Chinese and Mongolian. 

Writing SystemEdit

In Kazakhstan, the Kazakh lanugage is written using the Cyrillic script. This is due to the centuries-long contact with Russia, as well as Kazakhstan's past existance as a Soviet state. 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. The Kazakhs living in China use the Arabic script to write their language, and in western parts of Mongolia (Bayan-Ölgii and Khovd province), where Cyrillic script is in use. European Kazakhs use the Latin alphabet.

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.



Most Kazakhs today are Muslim. Islam was firstly introduced to ancestors of modern Kazakhs during the 8th century when the Arabs entered Central Asia. Islam initially took hold in the southern portions of Turkestan and thereafter gradually spread northward.[24] Islam also took root due to the zealous missionary work of Samanid rulers, notably in areas surrounding Taraz[25] 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.[26][27] However, Russian policy gradually changed toward weakening Islam by introducing pre-Islamic elements of collective consciousness.[28] 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.[28] In response, Kazakh religious leaders attempted to bring religious fervor by espousing pan-Turkism, though many were persecuted as a result.[29] During the Soviet era, Muslim institutions survived only in areas where Kazakhs significantly outnumbered non-Muslims due to everyday Muslim practices.[30] In an attempt to conform Kazakhs into Communist ideologies, gender relations and other aspects of the Kazakh culture were key targets of social change.[27]

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,[31] and even more devotedly in the countryside.

Historical Religions and ChristianityEdit

Historically, Kazakhs reflected the religious nature of Central Asia, they followed Shamanism, Buddhism and also some adopted Christianity. Pre-Islamic beliefs—the cults 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 still widely preserved among the Kazakhs, as well as belief in the strength of the bearers of this cult—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.[32] According to 2009 national census 39,172 Kazakhs are Christians.[33]



A yurt

Traditional Kazakh architecture is based on the lifestyle of the nomadic Central Asians. They are known as yurts (Kazakh: Алтыаяқ), known as a ger (Mongolian: гэр) with Mongols. Yurts are tent-like structures, made with felt pads that are held together by wooden beams. Yurts are regarded for their ability to stand harsh weather, especially for people living in Siberia and can be found all over the Central Asian countries, as well East Asian countries such as Mongolia and the northern parts of China. Yurts are generally easy to build, and can be built in an hour or even less. The traditional decoration within a yurt is primarily pattern based. These patterns are generally not according to taste, but are derived from sacred ornaments with certain symbolism. Symbols representing strength are among the most common, including the khas (swastika) and four powerful beasts (lion, tiger, garuda and dragon), as well as stylized representations of the five elements (fire, water, earth, metal, and wood), considered to be the fundamental, unchanging elements of the cosmos. Such patterns are commonly used in the home with the belief that they will bring strength and offer protection.
Inside a yurt

A Kazakh family inside the yurt

Repeating geometric patterns are also widely used. The most widespread geometric pattern is the continuous hammer or walking pattern (alkhan khee). Commonly used as a border decoration it represents unending strength and constant movement. Another common pattern is the ulzii which as a symbol of long life and happiness. The khamar ugalz (nose pattern) and ever ugalz (horn pattern) are derived from the shape of the animal's nose and horns, and are the oldest traditional patterns. All patterns can be found among not only the yurts themselves, but also on embroidery, furniture, books, clothing, doors, and other objects.

Kazakh mosque

Karaganda Mosque

The wooden crown of the yurt (Kazakh: шаңырақ, Mongolian: тооно) is itself emblematic in many Central Asian cultures. In old Kazakh communities, the yurt itself would often be repaired and rebuilt, but the crown would remain intact, passed from father to son upon the father's death. A family's length of heritage could be measured by the accumulation of stains on the yurt crown from decades of smoke passing through it. A stylized version of the crown is in the center of the coat of arms of Kazakhstan, and forms the main image on the flag of Kyrgyzstan.

Because most Kazakhs are Muslim, Islamic architecture is implemented into Kazakhstan's urban cities and contain the typical elements of a mosque. They includes domes, a minaret (Arabic: مئذنة) which are towers that Muslims use to call people to prayer. Most of Kazakhstan's mosques reflect Persian and Turkish influence. Additionally, some Soviet-era buildings are still left in tact in Kazakhstan.


Boiled sheep's head

Boiled sheep-head

Kazakh cuisine bears resemblance to Mongol cuisine and 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.[34] 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 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.[35] 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.[36]

Quwurdaq is referred to as Kazakhstan's national dish. Besbarmak (Kazakh: беcбармак), a dish consisting of boiled horse or mutton meat, is the most popular Kazakh dish. and is one of Mongolia's national dishes. It is also called "five fingers" because of the way it is eaten. The chunks of boiled meat are cut and served by the host in order of the guests’ importance. Besbarmak is usually eaten with a boiled pasta sheet, and a meat broth called shorpa (Kazakh: сорпа), and is traditionally served in Kazakh bowls called kese (Kazakh: кесе).

Other popular meat dishes are Kazy (Kazakh: қазы) (which is a horse meat sausage that only the wealthy could afford),[37] shuzhuk (horse meat sausages), kuyrdak (also spelled kuirdak, a dish made from roasted horse, sheep, or cow offal, with the heart, liver, kidneys, and other organs, diced and served with onions and peppers),[38] and various horse delicacies, such as zhal (smoked lard from horse's neck) and zhaya (salted and smoked meat from horse's hip and hind leg).[39] Another popular dish is pilaf (palaw), which is made from meat fried with carrots, onions, and/or garlic, then cooked with rice.


The traditional drinks are fermented mare's milk (kumys),[40] camel's milk (shubat),[41] cow’s milk (airan), and sheep's milk as well as its products, kaymak (sour cream), katyk or ayran (buttermilk), kurt (which is made from dried cheese and whey rolled into balls), and irimshik (dried sour milk product similar to kurt, but not rolled into balls).[42] These drinks were traditionally consumed with the main course. However, meals often end with Kumys and then tea. In the summer, chal is one of the staple drinks of the Adai Kazakhs.[43] Black tea was introduced from China since the foundation of Silk Way and was traditionally consumed with sweets after the main course. Nowadays tea (with milk) has virtually replaced other traditional drinks.


The traditional sweets are baursak (Kazakh: бауырсақ), which is a deep-fried biscuit. It is also popular in Mongolia (as are many other Kazakh dishes) and is known as boortsog (Mongolian: боорцог). sheck-sheck (also known by the Tatar name chack-chack and zhent.[44]

Notable Kazakhs or People of Kazakh OriginEdit

Ablai Khan
Абылай хан
Ablai Khan

Khan of the Middle jüz. Born as Wali-ullah Abul-Mansur Khan, he belonged to the senior branch of descendants of the 15th century founder of the Kazakh state. He proved to be a talented organizer and commander and participated in the most significant battles against the Dzungars from the 1720s to the 1750s, for which he was declared a hero by the people. His activity aimed to create a strong and independent Kazakh state. He headed the unified forces of the Kazakhs and furthered the centralization of state power in Kazakhstan.

Abai Qunanbaiuli
Абай Құнанбайұлы

A Kazakh poet, composer and philosopher. He was also a cultural reformer toward European and Russian cultures on the basis of enlightened Islam. The Kazakh city of Abay is named after him.

Shoqan Walikhanov
Шоқан Уәлиханұлы

A Kazakh scholar, ethnographer, historian and participant of The Great Game. He is regarded as the father of modern Kazakh historiography and ethnography. The Kazakh Academy of Sciences is named after him.

Saken Seyfullin
Сәкен Сейфуллин

A pioneer of modern Kazakh literature, poet and writer, and national activist. Founder and first head of the Union of Writers of Kazakhstan, he was the author of controversial literature calling for greater independence of Kazakhs from Soviet and Russian power. He met repression and was executed in 1939. The Soviet government posthumously rehabilitated him during de-Stalinization.

Kanatzhan Alibekov
Қанатжан Әлібеков

An American biodefense consultant, speaker, and entrepreneur and former Soviet physician, microbiologist and biological warfare (BW) expert. He rose rapidly in the ranks of the Soviet Army to become the First Deputy Director of Biopreparat where he oversaw a vast program of BW facilities. In 1992 he defected to the United States; he has since become an American citizen.

Timur Bekmambetov
Темір Бекмамбетов

A Russian director, producer and screenwriter of mixed Kazakh and Jewish origin who has worked on films and commercials. He is best known for the film Night Watch (2004) and its sequel Day Watch (2006), and the American films Wanted (2008) and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012).

Gabit Musirepov
Ғабит Мүсірепов

A Soviet Kazakh writer, playwright and author of libretto to Kazakh opera Kyz-Zhibek. People's Writer of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, President of the Kazakhstan Union of Writers and member of the Kazakhstan Academy of Sciences.

Ibrahim Altynsarin
Ыбырай Алтынсарин

A major figure in pre-Soviet Kazakh history. He was the most prominent Kazakh educator of the late 19th century, during the period of Russian colonization of and cultural influence in Kazakhstan.

Mukhtar Auezov
Мұхтар Әуезов

A Kazakh writer, a social activist, a Doctor of Philology, a professor and honored academic of the Soviet Union (1946). is grandfather was a storyteller of folk tales, and taught his grandson to read and write, he also instilled within Mukhtar a love of literature, and the poetry of Abai.

Akhmet Baytursinuli
Ахмет Байтұрсынұлы

A Kazakh intellectual who worked in the fields of politic, poetry, linguistics and education. Baytursinuli was born in what is today Kostanay Province, and was educated at the Orenburg Teachers' School. After graduating in 1895, Baitursynov held teaching positions in a number of cities in Kazakhstan, including Aktobe, Kostanay and Karkaralinsk. His work is part of the curriculum for high school education system of Kazakhstan.

Bauyrzhan Momyshuly
Бауыржан Момышұлы
Kazakh soldier

A Kazakh-Soviet military officer and author, posthumously awarded with the titles Hero of the Soviet Union and People's Hero of Kazakhstan. He played various roles in the Soviet military, from serving as a conscript and later a battalion commander.

Talgat Musabayev
Талғат Мұсабаев

A Kazakh test pilot and former cosmonaut who flew on three spaceflights. His first two spaceflights were long-duration stays aboard the Russian space station Mir. His third spaceflight was a short duration visiting mission to the International Space Station. He retired as a cosmonaut in November 2003. He is the current head of Kazakhstan's National Space Agency, KazCosmos.

See AlsoEdit


  1. Kazakhstan National Census 2009 preliminary results
  2. Census 2000 counts 1.25 mln Kazakhs The Kazak Ethnic Group, later the Kazakh population had higher birth rate, but some assimilation processes were present too. Estimations made after the 2000 Cesus are claiming 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 mln in 2008
  3. 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) and the Uzbekistan population in the middle of 2008 was 27.3 mln, the Kazakh population would be 1.1 mln. Using the CIA estimate of the share of Kazakhs (3%), the total Kazakh population in Uzbekistan would be 0.8 mln
  5. Mongolia National Census 2010 Provision Results. National Statistical Office of Mongolia (in Mongolian.)
  6. "Kipchak (people) – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  7. Z. V. Togan: The Origins of the Kazaks and the Uzbeks, Central Asian Survey Vol. 11, No. 3. 1992
  8. [1].
  9. Kazakh Genetics: Abstracts and Summaries
  10. Kazakhs striving to prove Genghis Khan descent
  11. [2]
  12. Barthol'd, Vasiliĭ Vladimirovich. Four Studies on the History of Central Asia, vol. 3, trans. V. and T. Minorsky. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1962, p. 129
  13. 13.0 13.1 Olcott, Martha Brill, The Kazakhs, Hoover Press, 1995, p. 4, ISBN 978-0-8179-9351-1. Retrieved on 7 April 2009
  14. Grodekov, Nikolaĭ Ivanovich. Kirgizy i Karakirgizy Syr-Dar'inskoi oblasti, vol. 1, Tashkent: Iuridicheskii byt, 1889, p. 1
  15. Yudin, Veniamin P. Tsentralnaya Aziya v 14–18 vekah glazami vostokoveda, Almaty: Dajk-Press, 2001, ISBN 978-9965-441-39-4
  16. Centralizing Reform and Its Opponents in the Late Timurid Period Maria Eva Subtelny. Iranian Studies. Vol. 21, No. 1/2, Soviet and North American Studies on Central Asia (1988), pp. 123–151
  17. Y. Bregel, “Abu’l-Kayr Khan,” EIr, I, pp. 331–332.
  18. V. V. Barthold, “History of the Semirechyé,” in Barthold, Four Studies on the History of Central Asia, tr. V. and T. Minorsky (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1962), vol. I, pp. 137–165.
  19. Kazakhstan: The Forgotten Famine, Radio Free Europe, 28 December 2007
  20. Robert Conquest, The harvest of sorrow: Soviet collectivization and the terror-famine, Oxford University Press US, 1987 p.196.
  21. Robert Conquest, The harvest of sorrow, p.193
  22. Timothy Snyder, ‘Holocaust:The Ignored Reality,’ in New York Review of Books 16 July 2009 pp.14–16,p.15
  23. Hiro, Dilip, Between Marx and Muhammad: The Changing Face of Central Asia, Harper Collins, London, 1994,
  24. Atabaki, Touraj. Central Asia and the Caucasus: transnationalism and diaspora, pg. 24
  25. Ibn Athir, volume 8, pg. 396
  26. Khodarkovsky, Michael. Russia's Steppe Frontier: The Making of a Colonial Empire, 1500–1800, pg. 39.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Ember, Carol R. and Melvin Ember. Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender: Men and Women in the World's Cultures, pg. 572
  28. 28.0 28.1 Hunter, Shireen. "Islam in Russia: The Politics of Identity and Security", pg. 14
  29. Farah, Caesar E. Islam: Beliefs and Observances, pg. 304
  30. Farah, Caesar E. Islam: Beliefs and Observances, pg. 340
  31. Page, Kogan. Asia and Pacific Review 2003/04, pg. 99
  32. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named
  33. "Итоги национальной переписи населения 2009 года (Summary of the 2009 national census)" (in Russian). Agency of Statistics of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  34. "Kazakhstan," Food in Every Country, accessed April 18, 2011,
  35. "Kazakhstan food and national meals," About Kazakhstan, accessed April 18, 2011,
  36. "National Dishes and Meals," Oriental Express Central Asia, accessed May 3, 2011,
  37. "National Dishes and Meals"
  38. Kuyrdak on Food in Kazakhstan
  39. Traditional horse meat dishes (Russian)
  40. Kumys (Russian)
  41. Shubat (Russian)
  42. Irimshik (Russian)
  43. Ishchenko et al., Osobennosti selskogo khoziaistva Adaevskogo uezda. Materialy komissii ekspeditsionnykh issledovanii. Issue 13, Leningrad, Izdatelstvo Akademii Nauk SSSR, 1928, p. 146.
  44. "Жент. Казахский десерт". Retrieved 2011-05-01.

Cite error: <ref> tags exist for a group named "curtis", but no corresponding <references group="curtis"/> tag was found.