Alasha is one of the most powerful and the oldest of the Kazakh tribes. Alasha is a member of the Bai-Uly (Rich Son) tribe confederation, which is a part of Kishi Zhuz (Little Hundred). Bai-Uly includes 12 tribes – Alasha, Bersh, Adai, Taz, Alt’n, Baibakty, Zhappas, Kzylkurt, Esentemir, Maskar, Sherkesh, Tana. The battle cry of Alasha is "BaiBarak!". In 1897, members of the Bai-Uly tribe confederation numbered 600,000, or 16.2% of all Kazakhs.
Alasha is subdivided into 35 different clans. These are: tokbas, akberli', atms, sarw', kojamberli', kwdaiberdi', qo'beq, baibarak, jomart, karabatr, malbasar, ma'mbet, botpanai, baida'ulet, baiseu, koisarw', esnazar, koidw'kwl, tyki', kojaghwl, malai, toghai, maimak, dosai, bo'qes, atalk, kozw'beq, a'iti'mbet, karabwra, bojan, baramw'k, qo'bi'lei, tokberli', kongrbo'riq, jabu.
Several hypotheses have been formed as to the origins of the Alasha tribes. Based on comparisons of ethnic shapes and tribe symbols, or tamga, some researchers believe that the Alasha are descended from medieval Naimans. However, some Alasha clans have tribal symbols similar to those of the Great Zhuz tribes, Albani and Dulat. Moreover, both the Alasha and Albani tribes encompass the clan Konyr-Borik, suggesting further connections to the Albani tribe. It has also been suggested that the Alasha are descendents of Alans.
In favor of the hypothesis that the Alasha descend from the Naiman there is a physical resemblance of the Alasha people, with the Mongols, Dakh-Oguz-Qypchaq. There is also the possibility that Alasha are descendants of the ancient Khalaj people, who lived in Central Asia.
In Russian chronicles, the Alasha are referred to as the Ulashevichi. In The Lay of Igor's Warfare, an old Russian legend, it is written that Ulashevichi captured Vladimir, the son of Prince Igor.
In 1801, Bukei Khan led some Alasha to the right bank of the Ural River, and founded a Khanate Bukey (Inner Horde). Nowadays, the people of Alasha live mainly in the West Kazakhstan, Aktobe and Atyrau oblasts of Kazakhstan.
Around the world
- There is an Alasha River, a tributary of the Yenisei, in the West Sayan mountains and on the Aristov's assumption, these places are an ancestral home to the Alasha.
- Alasha village in Azerbaijan
- Alasha mountains in Mongolia
- Province in Mongolia
- Alassa village in Cyprus
- Alasha dialect of Mongolian language
- Ancient state Alashiya
- Saken Gumarov – artist, founder of "attractivism"
- Garipolla Kurmangaliev – singer, composer (author of "16 girls", famous song)
- Sabyr Sargozhin – Russian Major General, died in 1925 in London, UK
- Ahmetov, K.; Alasha genealogy, Uralsk, 2006