Torghut

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Torghut
Mongolia XVI.png
Regions with significant populations
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 106,000 [1]
Flag of Mongolia.svg  Mongolia 14,176 [2]
Languages
Torgut dialect of Oirat
Religion
Tibetan Buddhism, Mongolian shamanism
Related ethnic groups
Mongols, especially Oirats

The Torghut (Mongolian: Торгууд, ᠲᠤᠷᠭᠣᠣᠠ, Torguud, Chinese :土尔扈特, "Guardsman" or "the Silks") are one of the four major subgroups of the Four Oirats. The Torghut nobles traced its descent to the Keraite ruler Tooril; also many Torghuts descended from the Keraites.

Contents

History

They might have been kheshigs of the Great Khans before Kublai Khan. The Torghut clan first appeared as an Oirat group in the mid-16th century. After the collapse of the Four Oirat Alliance, the majority of the Torghuts under Kho Orluk separated from other Oirat groups and moved west to the Volga region in 1630, forming the core of the Kalmyks. A few Torghut nobles followed Toro Baikhu Gushi Khan to Qinghai Lake (Koke Nuur), becoming part of the so-called Upper Mongols. In 1698, 500 Torghuts went on pilgrimage to Tibet but were unable to return. Hence, they were resettled in Ejin River by the Kangxi Emperor of China's Qing dynasty. In 1699 15,000 Torghut households returned from the Volga region to Dzungaria where they joined the Khoits. After the fall of the Dzungar Khanate, one of their princes, Taiji Shyiren, fled west to the Volga region with 10,000 families in 1758. The name Torghut probably originates from the Mongolian word "torog" meaning "silk."

Due to harsh treatment by Russian governors, most Torghuts eventually migrated back to Dzungaria and western Mongolia, departing en masse on January 5, 1771. [3] While the first phase of their movement became the Old Torghuts, the Qing called the later Torghut immigrants "New Torghut". The size of the departing group has been variously estimated between 150,000 and 400,000 people, with perhaps as many as six million animals (cattle, sheep, horses, camels and dogs). [4] Beset by raids, thirst and starvation, approximately 85,000 survivors made it to Dzungaria, where they settled near the Ejin River with the permission of the Qing Emperor. [4] The Torghuts were coerced by the Qing into giving up their nomadic lifestyle and to take up sedentary agriculture instead as part of a deliberate policy by the Qing to enfeeble them.

The Kalmuks on the river Tekes had not sent the assistance demanded by the Governor, being angry that he had not assisted them when they had been attacked a few months before by the Kara-Kirghiz. At last, however, when their great temple on the Ili had been plundered by the Dungans, their Lama excited them to revenge. They therefore marched down to near Ili and signally defeated the insurgents, who after that dared no longer show themselves in the vicinity. The harvest was now ripe, and the grain was greatly needed by the suffering garrison and town population, but no one dared to reap it for fear of the Dungans. The Governor therefore ordered the Kalmuks to gather the harvest, but, as they were nomads who despised agriculture, they refused, and when threats were offered, they all decamped, and no persuasions could bring them back. After their departure the Dungans immediately resumed operations. Of the frightful position of affairs in the fortress, we learn something from Colonel Reinthal, who was there in July and September 1865, to obtain information on the position. It is much to be regretted that the Russian Government did not act upon the information contained in his reports, and either give some active support to the Chinese authorities, or itself occupy the country to prevent bloodshed. The scarcity of provisions in Ili became such that the Governor at last saw himself obliged to dismiss his last auxiliaries, the Thagor Kalmuks. In the meantime both Solons and Sibos were being attacked and plundered, and were obliged to make peace with the insurgents, so that only Ili, Khorgos, Losigun, and Suidun, remained in the hands of the Mantchus. Ili was now entirely surrounded, and it was resolved to reduce it by famine. [5] [6] [7] [8]

A group of around 70,000 Torghuts were left behind in Russia, since (according to legend) the Volga River was not frozen and they could not cross it to join their comrades. [4] This group became known as the Kalmyk, or "remnant", [4] although the name may predate these events. However, Muslims called the Kalmyks before. In any case, the remnant population double their numbers by 1930. [4] Torghut-Kalmyk archers under the command of the notable Russian general Mikhail Kutuzov clashed with the French army of the legendary Napoleon in 1812. [9]

In 1906, the Qing put western Mongolia's New Torghuts under the Altai district. One New Torghut prince opposed independence in Mongolia and fled to Xinjiang in 1911-12. However, the others were reincorporated into Mongolia's far western Khovd Province.[ citation needed ] Torghut forces assisted the Russians in the Soviet Invasion of Xinjiang.[ citation needed ]

An exhibition in memorial to the Torghut exodus from the Volga to the Qing Empire is found at the Potala Palace, Chengde.[ citation needed ]

Language

Modern notable Torghuts in Mongolia

Related Research Articles

Mongols Nomadic groups of Eastern Asian people primarily located in Mongolia and Northeastern China

The Mongols are an East Asian/Central Asian ethnic group native to Mongolia and to China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. They also live as minorities in other regions of China, as well as in Russia. Mongolian people belonging to the Buryat and Kalmyk subgroups live predominantly in the Russian federal subjects of Buryatia and Kalmykia.

Sibe people

The Sibe or Xibo, are an East Asian ethnic group living mostly in Xinjiang, Jilin and Shenyang in Liaoning. The Sibe form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by China.

Kalmyks

The Kalmyks are a Mongol subgroup in Russia and Kyrgyzstan, whose ancestors migrated from Dzungaria. They created the Kalmyk Khanate in 1630–1771 in Russia's North Caucasus territory. Today they form a majority in the Republic of Kalmykia located in the Kalmyk Steppe, on the western shore of the Caspian Sea.

Dzungar Khanate Early modern khanate of Oirat Mongol origin

The Dzungar Khanate, also written as the Zunghar Khanate, was an Inner Asian khanate of Oirat Mongol origin. At its greatest extent, it covered an area from southern Siberia in the north to present-day Kyrgyzstan in the south, and from the Great Wall of China in the east to present-day Kazakhstan in the west. The core of the Dzungar Khanate is today part of northern Xinjiang, also called Dzungaria.

Oirats

Oirats are the westernmost group of the Mongolic peoples whose ancestral home is in the Altai region of Siberia, Xinjiang and Western Mongolia.

The Dörbet is the second largest subgroup of Mongol people in modern Mongolia and was formerly one of the major tribes of the Four Oirat confederation in the 15th-18th centuries. In early times, the Dörbets and the Dzungars were ruled by collateral branches of the Choros lineage. The Dörbets are distributed among the western provinces of Mongolia, Kalmykia and in a small portion in Heilongjiang, China. In modern-day Mongolia, the Dörbets are centered in Uvs Province.

Khoshut

The Khoshut are one of the four major tribes of the Oirat people. Originally, Khoshuuds were one of the Khorchin tribes in southeastern Mongolia, but in the mid-15th century they migrated to western Mongolia to become an ally of Oirats to counter central Mongolian military power. Their ruling family Galwas was the Hasarid-Khorchins who were deported by the Western Mongols.

A khaganate or khanate was a political entity ruled by a khan, khagan, khatun, or khanum. This political entity was typically found on the Eurasian Steppe and could be equivalent in status to tribal chiefdom, principality, kingdom or empire.

Ubashi Khan

Ubashi Khan was a Torghut-Kalmyk prince and the last Khan of the Kalmyk Khanate. In January 1771, he led the return migration of the majority of the Kalmyk people from the Kalmyk steppe to Dzungaria, their ancestral homeland, then under the control of the Qing Dynasty.

Pan-Mongolism Irredentist political view

Pan-Mongolism is an irredentist idea that advocates cultural and political solidarity of Mongols. The proposed territory, called "Greater Mongolia", usually includes the independent state of Mongolia, the Chinese regions of Inner Mongolia and Dzungaria, and the Russian republic of Buryatia. Sometimes Tuva, the Altai Republic and parts of Zabaykalsky Krai and Irkutsk Oblast are included as well. As of 2006, all areas in Greater Mongolia except Mongolia have non-Mongol majorities.

Zakhchin

The Zakhchin is a subgroup of the Oirats residing in Khovd Province, Mongolia. Zakhchin means 'Border people'. They are so called because they originated from the border garrison of Dzungar Empire. They originally speak the Zakhchin dialect of the Oirat language, but actually pure Oirat language is used by elder generations, younger generations use a dialect being under a strong Khalkh influence.

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Choros Historical ethnic group

Choros or Tsoros was the ruling clan of the Dzungars and Dörbet Oirat and once ruled the whole Four Oirat. They founded the Dzungar Khanate in the 17th century. Their chiefs reckoned their descent from a boy nourished by a sacred tree.

The name Dzungar people, also written as Zunghar, referred to the several Oirat tribes who formed and maintained the Dzungar Khanate in the 17th and 18th centuries. Historically they were one of major tribes of the Four Oirat confederation. They were also known as the Eleuths or Ööled, from the Qing dynasty euphemism for the hated word "Dzungar" and also called "Kalmyks". In 2010, 15,520 people claimed "Ööled" ancestry in Mongolia. An unknown number also live in China, Russia and Kazakhstan.

Kalmyk Khanate

The Kalmyk Khanate was an Oirat khanate on the Eurasian steppe. It extended over modern Kalmykia and surrounding areas in the North Caucasus, including Stavropol and Astrakhan. During their independence, the Kalmyks both raided and allied with Russia in turn, engaging in numerous military expeditions against the Crimean Tatars, the Ottoman Empire, neighboring Muslim tribes, and the highlanders of the North Caucasus. The Khanate was annexed by the Russian Empire in 1771.

The Sart Kalmyks are an ethnic group of the Oirats, who live in Issyk Kul Province, Kyrgyzstan. Their population is estimated to be c. 12,000. They are descendants of the Ööled tribes, who moved to the territory of the Russian Empire after the failure of the Dungan revolt, some part inhabited the area during the rule of the Zunghar Khanate. They used to speak in a dialect of the Oirat language, but now completely switched to the Kyrgyz language. As a result of the long co-inhabitance with Kyrgyz people their incorporation into Kyrgyz nation occurred, and now the Kyrgyzs consider them to be one of their tribes. Today majority of them identify themselves as Kyrgyz. They belong to the Muslim faith.

Migration to Xinjiang Typically state-sponsored migration to the Xinjiang region

Migration to Xinjiang is both an ongoing and historical movement of people, often sponsored by various states who controlled the region, including the Han dynasty, Qing dynasty, Republic of China and People's Republic of China.

Amursana

Amursana was an 18th-century taishi or prince of the Khoit-Oirat tribe that ruled over parts of Dzungaria and Altishahr in present-day northwest China. Known as the last great Oirat hero, Amursana was the last of the Dzungar rulers. The defeat of his rebel forces by Qing dynasty Chinese armies in the late 1750s signaled the final extinction of Mongol influence and power in Inner Asia, ensured the incorporation of Mongol territory into the Qing Chinese Empire, and brought about the Dzungar genocide, the Qing Emperor's "final solution" to China's northwest frontier problems.

Anti-Mongolian sentiment has been prevalent throughout history, often perceiving the Mongols to be a barbaric and uncivilized people.

Xinjiang under Qing rule Historical period

The Qing dynasty ruled over Xinjiang from the late 1750s to 1912. In the history of Xinjiang, the Qing rule was established in the final phase of the Dzungar–Qing Wars when the Dzungar Khanate was conquered by the Manchu-led Qing dynasty of China, and lasted until the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1912. The post of General of Ili was established to govern the whole of Xinjiang and reported to the Lifan Yuan, a Qing government agency that oversaw the empire's frontier regions. Xinjiang was turned into a province in 1884.

References

  1. National Census 2010
  2. Perdue 2009, p. 295.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 DeFrancis, John. In the Footsteps of Genghis Khan. University of Hawaii Press, 1993.
  4. Turkistan: 2 (5 ed.). Sampson Low, Marston, Searle &Rivington. 1876.
  5. Turkistan: 2 (5 ed.). Sampson Low, Marston, Searle &Rivington. 1876. p. 181.
  6. Schuyler, Eugene (1876). Turkistan: Notes of a Journey in Russian Turkistan, Khokand, Bukhara and Kuldja, Volume 2 (2 ed.). S. Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington. p. 181.
  7. Schuyler, Eugene (1876). Turkestan: Notes of a Journey in Russian Turkistan, Khorand, Bukhara, and Kuldja (4 ed.). Sampson Low. p. 181.
  8. Michel Hoàng, Ingrid Cranfield-Genghis Khan, p.323