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    Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 13:02
One people that have always intrigued me are the Kalmyks.
 
They are the descendants of the Dzungar Khanate, that after suffering a crushing defeat and a massacre at the hands of the Chinese-Manchu empire, fled west to Russia where they put themselves under the protection of the Tsar in exchange for military service.
 
Politically, they were awarded the status of "Cossacks" although they still retained their Mongol language, practiced Buddism, and maintained horse-archery as their main battle tactics.
 
Regarding the Kalmyks today,
how much do they have in common with the Mongols in the East? Is their language intelligible with that spoken in Mongolia?
Is their lifestyle more or less the same as eastern Mongols?
 
Have they Russified to a great extent?
Politically, do they generally identify more with a "Cossack" nation or with a "Mongol" nation?
 
The grandmother of Lenin was a baptised Kalmyk.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 18:21
 Kalmyks moved to Russia a long time before the debacle by Manchus. In fact, after the Manchus complitely decimated Jungar population of the Eastern Turkestan, in a desperate attempt to populate the steppe again they asked Kalmyks to return to the land of their forefathers.
 
Kalmyks had uneasy relations with the Russian authorities at that time; so they gladly agreed. Most of the large Kalmyk Horde moved back. But only a fraction of them was able to reach their ancestors lands. Most of them were massacred by Kazakhs or died on the way.
 
The modern Russian Kalmyks are the ancestors of the small part of Kalmyk horde that stayed. In fact, on the version of the explanation of the origin of the term Kalmyk is that it originated from the Turkic word remnant. "Kalmyk" means remnant in Turkic meaning that those Kalmyks that stayed are only remnants of the large Horde that had left.
 
Regarding their self identity, they regard themselves as Kalmyks. They know of course about their Mongol root and affinity with other Mongolic ethnicities; but they clearly regard themselves as a separate people from Khalkha Mongols, Buriats etc.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 23:40
Why would the Kazakhs massacre the Kalmyks on their way back to Dzungaria?
If the area was so sparsely populated anyway, it certainly wouldn't do much damage to Kazakh livelihood.
 
What are the Kalmyks' relation to other Cossacks? Do they feel identified with them? How do the Slavic Cossack perceive the Kalmyks?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Dec-2008 at 05:02
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

Why would the Kazakhs massacre the Kalmyks on their way back to Dzungaria?
 
Because for the previous 200 years Jungars were the most bitter enemies of Kazakhs that almost destroyed them. Not to say that at that time Kazakhs were at war with almost all of their neighbors.
 
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

If the area was so sparsely populated anyway, it certainly wouldn't do much damage to Kazakh livelihood.
 
The point is that they had to cross through the Kazakh steppe before getting to the devastated Jungar steppe. In fact the Jungar steppe later became populated by Kazakhs as well and they even reached the lands of Khalkha Mongols eventually.
 
 
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

What are the Kalmyks' relation to other Cossacks? Do they feel identified with them? How do the Slavic Cossack perceive the Kalmyks?
 
Not all Kalmyks are Cossacks, only a part of them. But Russian Cossacks perceive Kalmyk Cossacks as their Cossack brother, the same relates to other Cossacks as well including Ukrainian Cossacks of Kuban, Bashkir and Tatar Cossacks.
 
Generally speaking Kalmyks are regarded with respect among Cossacks.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Dec-2008 at 17:22
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

What are the Kalmyks' relation to other Cossacks?
 


i'm not sure by what you mean here? there's two possibilities: individual Kalmyks joining Cossack communities or the Kalmyks militarically organized as their own Cossack Voisko by Imperial Russia. so are you talking about the first or the second?


Edited by Temujin - 17-Dec-2008 at 17:22
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Dec-2008 at 17:48
Kalmyks didn't have their own Cossack Voisko.
 
Kalmyk Cossacks were a part of Don Cossack Voisko and for some time lived in distinctive Kalmyk stanitsas.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Dec-2008 at 17:51
Yeah, I also forgot to mention that according to some historians, the leave of Kalmyks to Jungaria ("the flight of Kalmyks" as it's known in the Russian history) was one of the triggers of Pugachev's rebellion. Yaik Cossacks were ordered to chase the Kalmyks and many of them refused to comply which resulted in riots.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Dec-2008 at 20:24
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

Kalmyks didn't have their own Cossack Voisko.
 
Kalmyk Cossacks were a part of Don Cossack Voisko and for some time lived in distinctive Kalmyk stanitsas.


yes of course they did, most popularly during Napoleonic Wars, also Bashkirs had their own Cossack Voisko as well as Crimean Tatars.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Dec-2008 at 20:40
The Kalmyks formation were just called Kalmyk (irregular) Voisko. They didn't have title "Cossack" until after they joined Don Cossack Voisko as a special district.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Dec-2008 at 17:19
they were one of the Cossack Voiskos for a time, i got that from a Russian-Ukrainian site.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Dec-2008 at 17:52
Give me the link please.
 
As I said, before the special Kalmyk district was created within Don Cossack Voisko they had been called Kalmyk Voisko (and were a part of Russian irregular cavalry units which also included Kazakh, Bashkir and Cossack units), but never Kalmyk Cossack Voisko.
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http://www.cossackdom.com/troopsr.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Dec-2008 at 23:16
Thanks. Yes. I know this site. As you can see, when you click on the link about Kalmyks it doesn't give you any additional information. I believe they also just confused the information about the later Kalmyk Don Cossacks and Kalmytskoe (Irregular cavalry) Voisko.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Dec-2008 at 20:26
Do the modern Kalmyks still hold a grudge against Kazakhs and Kirgiz for past massacres? Or is the affair all forgotten?
 
Another intriguing question is how the steppe people peceived the concept of "nationhood". Most of the peoples, Kazakhs, Kirgiz, Oriats, and Kalmyks were all tribal federations with no centralised government. How could a Kazakh identify a fellow kazakh tribe from a Kirgiz?
The Kalmyks, being Buddhist and speaking Mongolian language, obviously stood out among a sea of Muslim Turks, but how was the difference between Kalmyks and other Mongol nations perceived?
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Dec-2008 at 20:41
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

Thanks. Yes. I know this site. As you can see, when you click on the link about Kalmyks it doesn't give you any additional information. I believe they also just confused the information about the later Kalmyk Don Cossacks and Kalmytskoe (Irregular cavalry) Voisko.


well, it is called Stavropol Kalmyk Voisko. as far as i know Stavropol is different from the Kalmyk province in Russia, maybe that's the difference? i guess those Kalmyks from Stavropol then received their Voisko but other Kalmyks not.

btw do you know why they listed the Zaporozhian Voisko twice?


Edited by Temujin - 21-Dec-2008 at 20:47
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Dec-2008 at 19:21
Confused  I'm confused as well; both "Reestrovoe" and "Nizovoe" Voisko were designations for registered Zaporozhian Cossacks. The sources which they refer to seem to talk about the same subject as well. So, I'm not quite sure what they meant.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Dec-2008 at 19:41
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

Do the modern Kalmyks still hold a grudge against Kazakhs and Kirgiz for past massacres? Or is the affair all forgotten?
 
Hard to say. I guess they are "even" if one can say so; since before the massacres in the 18th century, Oirats i.e. Kalmyks/Jungars were literally terrorizing Kirgizs and Kazakhs. Jungar invasion is considered the most hardest perios of Kazakh history ever and called the "years of great sorrow." It's also meaningful that Kyrgyz herois epic "Manas" is mainly about the fight with Jungars.
 
Recently, if I remember correctly, there were some celebrations in Kazakhstan with regard to the victory over Kalmyk expedition back to Jungaria that created hard feelings among Kalmyks. Kalmyks were also very dissapointed with the recent Kazakh epic movie "Nomad," calling it a "fantazy." However, generally speaking the relations between the 3 people are fine. A lot of Kazakhs and Kalmyks I met talk about close mentality.
 
 
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

Another intriguing question is how the steppe people peceived the concept of "nationhood". Most of the peoples, Kazakhs, Kirgiz, Oriats, and Kalmyks were all tribal federations with no centralised government. How could a Kazakh identify a fellow kazakh tribe from a Kirgiz?
 
Very easy. Kyrgyz customs and language especially medieval Kyrgyz were notably different from Kazakhs' ones. Also Kyrgyzs tribes were not part the Kazakhs' 3 hordes confederations. So, there were no big problems with differentiating between them.
 
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

The Kalmyks, being Buddhist and speaking Mongolian language, obviously stood out among a sea of Muslim Turks, but how was the difference between Kalmyks and other Mongol nations perceived?
 
Again, language and some customs are close but different. Oirat tribal union historically also had a long history of struggle with Khalkha Mongols. Also, some scholars would say that Oirat/Kalmyks absorbed more Turkic influences than Khalkha
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Dec-2008 at 22:48
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

It's also meaningful that Kyrgyz herois epic "Manas" is mainly about the fight with Jungars.


really? i thought the Manas epic is much older even than the Secret Hsitory of Mongols and no specific tribes are mentioned and the persons in it didn't really existed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Dec-2008 at 00:23

Manas epic may be quite old of course, but it includes references to real tribes and places. The epic mixed the memories of different historic periods. For example, the main enemies of Kyrgyzs in the epic besides Kalmyks are Khitans.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TAMER LANE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2009 at 15:16
Hello my brootherhoods! We don`t need to argue this. We are all is the Hun`s descendant. We just separate very long time. Now we have chance to unite again. Turkic, Mongols all is together. Central Asia was the U.S.. For our great country that we should come together.
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