Greater Horde

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Greater Horde


(Russian, Starshii Zhuz), a group of Kazakh clans and tribes that once occupied Semirech’e.

The lands of the Greater Horde were the home of the Sacae tribal union from the seventh to fourth centuries B.C., the Usun tribal union in the third and second centuries B.C., and the West Turkic Kaganate, the Karluk state, and others in subsequent periods. The Greater Horde took shape in the early 16th century, embracing the Usun, Kangly, Dulat, Albani, Suan, Jalair, and other tribes.

The population of the Greater Horde consisted primarily of nomadic stock raisers. The regions inhabited by nomads were closely linked economically with local agricultural settlements. From the 16th to 18th centuries several khanates arose in the lands of the Greater Horde; they played no little role in mounting a defense of the region against incursions by foreign enemies. Owing to feudal internecine strife, the raids and plunder by the khans of Khiva and Kokand, the threat from the Ch’ing Empire, and growing economic links with Russia, the Kazakhs of the Greater Horde increasingly sought union with Russia. Between the 1840’s and 1860’s the Greater Horde became part of the Russian Empire. In the 19th century the Kazakh population of the Greater Horde numbered approximately 550,000.


Bekmakhanov, E. B. Prisoedinenie Kazakhstana k Rossii. Moscow, 1957.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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