(Russian, Srednii Zhuz), a group of Kazakh clans and tribes that once occupied what is now northern, central, northeastern, and eastern Kazakhstan.
The Middle Horde emerged in the early 16th century. The lands it held had long been a major ethnic center, the home of the tribal unions of the Alani and other peoples. Once formed, the Middle Horde included the tribes of the Kipchaks and the Argyn, Naiman, Kerait, Uak, and Kongrat.
The population of the Middle Horde consisted primarily of nomadic stock raisers. The southern part of the Middle Horde gravitated toward the settled agricultural centers of Middle Asia, and the northern and northeastern parts toward Siberia. The Kazakhs exchanged animal products for grain, handicrafts, and manufactured goods. At various times, warring feudal khanates arose in the lands of the Middle Horde. Increasing economic links between Russia and the Middle Horde and raids and pillaging by the feudal lords of Dzungaria hastened the entry of the Kazakhs of the Middle Horde into the Russian state in the 1740’s. In the 19th century the Kazakh population of the Middle Horde numbered more than 1 million.