Nogai Horde

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Nogai Horde


a nomad feudal state that extended from the northern Caspian and Aral regions to the Tura and Kama rivers and from the Volga to the Irtysh. It began to evolve out of the Golden Horde under the emir Edigei in the late 14th and early 15th centuries and became a separate state under his son Nuraddin, who ruled from 1426 to 1440. The area was settled by the Mangyts and the Kungtats, who were called Nogai from the second half of the 15th century, and by other Turkic-speaking tribes. All of these groups became part of the horde of the temnik (commander of 10,000) Nogai in the second half of the 13th century. The horde’s administrative center, the city of Saraichik on the lower Iaik River, was an important point on the trade route from the Black Sea to Middle Asia. Nomadic livestock raising was the main occupation of the population. In the 16th century the Nogai feudal lords supplied tens of thousands of horses and sheep annually to the markets of Moscow and Kazan. In addition to feudal relations, household slavery was widespread in the horde.

The horde was divided into a number of uluses, headed by murzas, often only nominally subject to the prince. Princely power was inherited through a system of clan seniority, and the heir apparent, called the nuraddin, was the most powerful person in the state after the prince. The nuraddin was also the military commander of the western part of the horde. During the second half of the 16th century, after the incorporation of the Kazan and Astrakhan khanates into Russia, the Nogai Horde broke up into several independent states—the Greater Nogai, the Lesser Nogai, and the Altyul Horde (in the Emba River basin). The epic Edigei, composed in the Nogai Horde in the first half of the 15th century, portrayed the struggle between Edigei and Toktamish, khan of the Golden Horde, who opposed the secession of the Nogai Horde. The epic later became known among other Turkic-speaking peoples.


Safargaliev, M. G. Raspad Zolotoi Ordy. Saransk, 1960.


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