Location of modern Uysuns (Uysyns) in Kazakhstan Senior Juz, after M.S.Mukanov [1]

Uysyn is an alternative name of the Senior Juz, a tribal division of Kazakhstan. Its largest subgroup are are Dughlat (Dulat).

They are possibly descendants of the ancient Wusun of Chinese historpigraphy. [2] [3]


Connection with the Wusun[edit]

Further information: Wusun

The Usun-Wusun problem has attracted extensive attention from historians and Sinologists. Major contributions to linguistic, historical, and ethnological studies have been made by the historians and ethnographers Aristov and Bartold; the historians and linguists Altheim, Bacot, Bailey, Chavannes, Harmatta, Maenchen-Helfen; Sinologists Bazen, Franke, Haloun, Hamilton, Hirth, Marquart, Pelliot, Pulleyblank, Shiratori, Zuev; ethnologists Levi-Stros, Kosven.

G. Haloun, and later Η.W. Bailey, Otto Maenchen-Helfen, J. Harmatta, F. Altheim and others, objected to the theory identifying the Usun with the Asii. The present consensus is that such an identification is no longer tenable. The works of these researchers separated the question about the ancient Usuns from the Alano-Tocharian problems of Eastern Iranism. [4]  (The notion that the part Us- corresponds to As- was formulated early on in the studies of Chinese annals, it was confirmed by scrutinizing various versions of the names; As basically stands for "plains", vs. Tag (as in Tochar) that stands for "foothills")


The Wusun pass out of Chinese records in the 5th century. The tribe of the Uyshun is first mentioned in the 13th century, by Rashid-ad-din in his History of the Mongols reporting them as a tribe of Chagataid subjects in the mountains near the river Chu. Uyshun is still extant as the name of a kishlak in Tashkent province.

The author of the "Tarihi-Rashidi" historian Muhamed-Haydar came from the Dulat clan and was a kuregen (i.e. he was married to a Chingisid princess). Muhamed-Haydar's 6th ancestor Emir Bolatchi-Dulat in 1348 brought Tokluk-Temyr from the Kuldja region to the Issyk-Kul region, where lived Dulats or Dogolats, and proclaimed him a Khan of the Chagatai Ulus. After the death of Tokluk and Balatchi, Balatchi brother Kamareddin, a famous opponent of Timur, was a factual ruler of the Chagatai Ulus. Further, the history mentioned ethnically Dulat rulers Hudaydat, a nephew of Kamareddin, a son of Hudaydat Mir Muhamed, and his grandson Seid-Ali (1440). The historian Muhamed Haydar was a cousin of both Babur and Chagataid's Seidkhan, he took part in their wars against the Uzbeks and Kirgiz. After the death of Seidkhan, Muhamed Haydar led a part of Dulats to Babur in Laghor, then he seized Kashmir, annexed Tibet, and died there as an independent sovereign. After the expulsion of Seidkhan from Zhetysu (1527–1545), the remaining Dulats and other Uysyns joined the Kirghiz during the time of Tairkhan and his successors.

In Late Middle Age, the Central Asian steppes were divided between the Nogai Ulus (Ulus-Nogai), a splinter of the Kipchak Khanate-Juchi Ulus, and the Kazakh Khanate, a splinter of the Chagatai Ulus. In the 16th century, the Nogai Ulus extended from the Volga to the Irtysh, and from the Kama to Syr-darya, with its capital in Saraichik. Among the 120 tribes (called "Ils" = "lands"), and among its 8 largest tribes were Uyshuns. A drawn-out period of disintegration of the Nogai Ulus resulted in its population switching allegiance to the Kazakh Khanate, and by the 1730s most of the Nogai Ulus Uysyns were in the orbit of the Kazakh Khanate. In spite of centuries-old conflicts between Nogai Ulus and the Kazakh Khanate, the people felt that the fights were solely between the rulers, and continued to relate themselves as one contigious entity, not divided by political borders. All constituent tribes, including Uysyns, retained their tamgas, battle cries (uran), and exogamic traditions. [5]

In the 1650s, under a pressure of the Oirats (Djungars, Kalmyks, Kalmuks), the Uysyn migrated to the west, and in 1690-1790 they lived in the Tashkent province of modern Uzbekistan. One of the most famous Biys of the Kirgiz people, Tolebiy Alibek, a Dulat of the Djanys branch, was factual ruler of the Senior Horde. Sabalak, a drifter boy at the time, and later a famous Ablay Khan, in 1725 was shepherding Tolebiy's camels.

Uysyn appellations in Late Middle Ages and Modern Times [6]
Desht-i-Kipchak Uzbek Horde 1400-1500 Ulus Nogai 1500-1630 Tribes and clans in genealogical and ethnographical sources of 19th – 20th centuries
Nogais Kazakhs Karakalpaks Kipchaks Bashkorts
Uysun Uyshun Uysin Uysyn, Sary-Uysyn Uyshun Uyshun Uyshin

In 1723 the Kirgiz fled from the Dzungars, settling near lake Alka-Kol. The hungry crowd then headed to Samarkand and Bukhara, casting the settled population of Turkestan into a famine. In 1725-26 the Uysyn actively participated in a victorious attack on the Dzungars, managing to expel them to beyond the Ili River. But after half of the Kirgiz people left the campaign, the Uysyns had to submit to the Dzungars, until they freed themselves in 1757-1758. After that, the Dulat controlled Tashkent until they were expelled in the 1798 by a coalition of the townspeople and the Kirgiz clans Kanly, Chanshkly and Ramadan, whose descendants continue to live in Tashkent province. In Tashkent province still live remnants of the Uysyns, called Uyshuns by the Uzbeks and Karakirgizes.


  1. ^ Mukanov M.S., "Ethnic territory of Kazakhs in 18 - beginning of 20th century", Almaty, 1991, Муканов М. С. "Этническая территория казахов в 18 – нач. 20 вв. Алма-Ата, 1991 (In Russian)
  2. ^ Zuev Yu.A. "Ethnic History Of Usuns", p. 14
  3. ^ Bartold W.W., "Four studies in history of Central Asia", p.80
  4. ^ Zuev Yu.A. "Ethnic History Of Usuns", p. 6
  5. ^ Ilkhamov Alisher et al., "Ethnic atlas of Uzbekistan", Uzbekistan, "Open Society foundation", 2002, p. 176, ISBN 978-5-86280-010-4 (In Russian)
  6. ^ Isin A., "Kazakh khanate and Nogai Horde in the second half of the 15th - 16th centuries", Semipalatinsk, Tengri, 2002, p. 22, ISBN 978-9965-492-29-7
  • W.W. Bartold, Four studies in history of Central Asia, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1962.
  • S. Kudayberdy-Uly, Family tree of Türks, Kyrgyz, Kazakhs and their Khan dynasties, Alma-Ata, Dastan, 1990 (In Russian) [1]
  • M. Tynyshbaev, 'The Uysyn', in Materials on the history of the Kazakh people, Tashkent 1925 (In Russian).
  • Yu.A. Zuev, Ethnic History of the Usuns, Works of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR, History, Archeology And Ethnography Institute, Alma-Ata, Vol. 8, 1960 (In Russian).