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nomadic tribes of Central and Middle Asia. Circa 160 B.C. the Usun migrated from Central Asia to Semirech’e and the Tien-Shan. In the second and first centuries B.C. they were united in a tribal association. The Usun engaged in nomadic livestock raising, especially horse raising; land cultivation and handicrafts were also highly developed among them. The Usun were headed by a gun’mo (chief), whose headquarters was in Chigu, “the City of the Red Valley,” on the southern shore of the lake Issyk-Kul’. After 125 B.C. the Usun concluded an alliance with China against the Hsiung-nu. In 51 B.C, as a result of internecine conflicts, the Usun were divided into a senior, pro-Chinese, and a junior, pro-Hsiung-nu, principality. In 42 B.C. the Hsiung-nu destroyed the Usun headquarters. The Usun are last mentioned in the fifth century A.D.


Voevodskii, M. V., and M. P. Griaznov. “U-sun’skie mogil’niki na territorii Kirgizskoi SSR.” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1938, no. 3.
Bernshtam, A. N. “K voprosu ob usunl’//kushan i tokharakh.” Sovetskaia etnografiia, 1947, no. 3.
Zuev, Iu. A. “K etnicheskoi istorii usunei.” Trudy In-ta istorii, arkheologii i etnografii AN Kazakhskoi SSR, 1960, vol. 8.
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