Thursday, October 27, 2016

Kipchak Cuman Confederation

The Kipchak (also spelled Qipchaq,Kypchak, Kupchak, Kıpçak, or Qıpçaq) were a Turkic nomadic people. Originating in the Kimek Khanate, they conquered large parts of the Eurasian steppe during the Turkic expansion of the 11th and 12th centuries together with the Cumans, and were in turn conquered by the Mongol invasions of the early 13th century.

The Kipchak Cuman confederation probably originated near the Chinese borders in time settling on the River Irtysh alongside the Kimäks. In the course of the Turkic expansion in the 9th century they migrated further into Siberia and then westwards into the trans-Volga region. In the 11th century they continued spreading west occupying a vast territory in the Eurasian steppe, stretching from north of the Aral Sea westward to the region north of the Black Sea (now in Ukraine and southwestern Russia) establishing a state known as Desht-i Qipchaq. The western grouping of this confederation was known as the Polovtsy, or Kuman/Cumans who expanded into Europe reaching Moldavia, Wallachia, and part of Transylvania.

In the 12th centuries this nomadic confederacy of the Cumans and (Eastern) Kipchaks became involved in various conflicts with the Byzantines, Kievan Rus', and with the Hungarians and Pechenegs (Cuman involvement only), allying themselves with one or the other side at different times. In 1089, they were defeated by Ladislaus I of Hungary, and again by Knyaz Vladimir Monomakh of the Rus in the 12th century. They sacked Kiev in 1203.

The Kipchak remained masters of the steppe north of the Black Sea until the Mongol invasions. During the first Mongol invasion of Kievan Rus (1221–23), the Kipchak sided at different times with the invaders and with the local Slavic princes. In 1237 the Mongols penetrated for the second time into Kipchak territory and killed Bachman, the Khan of the eastern Kipchak tribes. The Kipchak confederation was destroyed, and most of its lands and people were incorporated into the Golden Horde, the westernmost division of the Mongol empire.

The Cuman tribes, fled to Hungary, and some of their warriors became mercenaries for the Latin crusaders and the Byzantines. The defeated Kipchaks also became a major source of slaves for parts of the Islāmic world. Kipchak slaves—called Mamlūks—serving in the Ayyūbid dynasty’s armies came to play important roles in the history of Egypt and Syria, where they formed the Mamlūk state, the remnants of which survived until the 19th century.

The Kipchaks and Cumans spoke a Turkic language whose most important surviving record is the Codex Cumanicus, a late 13th-century dictionary of words in Kipchak, Cuman, and Latin. The presence in Egypt of Turkic-speaking Mamluks also stimulated the compilation of Kipchak/Cuman-Arabic dictionaries and grammars that are important in the study of several old Turkic languages.

Kipchak Language

Kipchak - The Kipchak language is the precursor language of a number of modern Turkic languages that are spoken in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia today. Kazakhs are remnants of Eastern Cuman-Kipchak tribes who lived in Northern Kazakhstan in the 10th century. So, their language originates from a more isolated form of earlier Kipchak. Bolgar-speaking Volga Bulgarians (later Kazan Tatars), Astrakhan Tatars, Balkars, Karachays, Kumyks, Cumans (later Crimean Tatars), Bashkirs and Mongolian aristocracy adopted the Kipchak language in the days of the Golden Horde.

The modern Northwestern branch of the Turkic language is often referred to as the Kipchak branch. The languages in this branch are mostly considered to be descendants of the Kipchak language, and the people who speak them may likewise be referred to as Kipchak peoples.

Karakalpak - Karakalpak is also a member of the Eastern Kipchak branch of Turkic languages, which includes Tatar, Kumyk, Nogai, and Kazakh. Due to its proximity to Uzbek, much of Karakalpak's vocabulary and grammar has been influenced by Uzbek. Like Turkish, Karakalpak has vowel harmony, is agglutinative and has no grammatical gender. Word order is usually subject–object–verb.


The origin of the Oghuz Turks

The Oghuz is a linguistic term designating the Western Turkic or Oghuz languages from the Oghur sub-division of Turkic language family. Oghus also spelled Oğuz, or Ghuzz also refers to a confederation of Turkic peoples whose homeland, until at least the 11th century AD, was the steppes of central Asia known as Turkistan or Turan, which has been the domain of all Turkic peoples since antiquity.

According to many historians, the usage of the word "Oguz" dates back to the advent of the Huns (220 BC). Legend has it that the title "Oguz Khan" was given to Mete, the founder of the Hun empire, which is often considered the first Turkic political entity in Central Asia. Also in the 2nd century BC, a Turkic tribe called "O-kut" who were described as Huns (referred to as Hsiung-Nu or "colored-eyed people" in Chinese sources) were mentioned in the area of Tarbogatain, in present-day southern Kazakhstan. Greek sources also used the name Oufi (or Ouvvi) to describe the Huns. Prior to the Gokturk state, there are references to the "Sekiz-Oguz" ("eight-Oguz") and the "Dokuz-Oguz" ("nine-Oguz") state formations ruling
different areas in the vicinity of the Altay mountains.

Orkhon Museum, Kharkhorin, Mongolia

In the 6th century the "six Oguz tribal union" in the Turkic Orhun inscriptions  found in the Orkhon Valley in Mongolia, near Ögii Lake. Before the inscriptions were deciphered by the Danish linguist Vilhelm Thomsen, very little was known about Turkic script. These scripts are the oldest form of a Turkic language to be preserved.   
The main domain of the Oguz in the ensuing centuries was the area of Transoxiana, in western Turkistan. This land became known as the "Oguz steppe" between the Caspian and Aral Seas. Oguz are said to have first come there in the period of the caliph Al-Mehdi in the years between 775 and 785 from the Zhetysu now the South-Eastern part of modern Kazakhstan after conflict with the Karluk branch of Uighurs. Mass migrations of the Oghuz into Western Eurasia occurred from the early part of the 9th Century onwards, during the period of the Abbasid caliph Al-Ma'mun (813–833). They established trading, religious and cultural contacts with the Abbasid Arab caliphate who ruled to the south. This influence led to most of them to converted to Islam and renounced their Tengriism belief system.

Mass migrations of the Oghuz into Western Eurasia occurred from the early part of the 9th Century onwards, during the period of the Abbasid caliph Al-Ma'mun (813–833). They established trading, religious and cultural contacts with the Abbasid Arab caliphate who ruled to the south. This influence led to most of them to converted to Islam and renounced their Tengriism belief system.
In the mid 9th century, the Oguzes drove the Bechens from the Emba and Ural River region toward the west. By the 10th century, they inhabited the steppe of the rivers Sari-su, Turgai, and Emba to the north of Lake Balkhash of modern-day Kazakhstan. It was in this area that one branch of the Oğuz later founded the Seljuk Empire, and it was from here that they spread west into western Asia and eastern Europe during the mass Turkic migrations from the 9th -12th centuries. By the end of the 11th century they controlled an empire stretching from the Amu Darya to the Persian Gulf and from the Indus to the Mediterranean Sea by the end of the 11th century.

Also in the 11th century, a Tengriist Oghuz clan—referred to as Uzes or Torks in the Russian chronicles — overthrew Pecheneg supremacy in the Russian steppe. Harried by another Turkic horde, the Kipchaks, these Oghuz penetrated as far as the lower Danube, crossed it and invaded the Balkans, where most they were either crushed or struck down by an outbreak of plague, causing the survivors either to flee or to join the Byzantine imperial forces as mercenaries (1065). Oghuz warriors served in almost all Islamic armies of the Middle East from the 1000s onwards from Byzantium to Spain and Morocco.

"The term 'Oghuz' was gradually supplanted among the Turks themselves by the term Türkmen or Turcoman, from the mid 900's on, a process which was completed by the beginning of the 1200s." The Ottoman dynasty, who gradually took over Anatolia after the fall of the Seljuks, toward the end of the 13th century, led an army that was also predominantly Oghuz.

Linguistically, the Oghuz are listed together with the old Kimaks of the middle Yenisei of the Ob, the old Kipchaks who later emigrated to southern Russia, and the modern Kirghiz in one particular Turkic group, distinguished from the rest by the mutation of the initial y sound to j (dj). Today this language is spoken by the Azerbaijanis of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the South Azerbaijan region of Iran, Turks of Turkey and Cyprus, Turkmens of Turkmenistan and northeastern Iran, Qashqay and Khurasani Turks of Iran, Balkan Turks of Greece, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslavia as well as Gauguz (Gokoguz) Turks of Moldova.

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